PSG can cope without Neymar, insists Tuchel

February 4, 2019
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  • as Lyon spoil their unbeaten run

The Brazil international has been ruled out for 10 weeks with a metatarsal injury

Thomas Tuchel retains faith that his Paris Saint-Germain squad can handle the absence of Neymar, despite slipping to their first defeat of the Ligue 1 campaign on Sunday.

Neymar will miss the next two months due to another metatarsal injury sustained in last month’s Coupe de France victory over Strasbourg.

PSG had won their first game without the Brazil international – against Rennes – but they came up short against Lyon, losing 2-1 to Bruno Genesio’s side.

Angel Di Maria had given PSG an early lead at the Groupama Stadium, but Moussa Dembele and Nabil Fekir turned the game back in Lyon’s favour, ending PSG’s unbeaten run at 20 league matches.

While disappointed, PSG head coach Tuchel found some positives and is confident his squad can cope without Neymar, particularly as the Champions League nears a return.

“I do not know it we missed them but it’s clear that we do not have a second Neymar or a second [Marco] Verratti, but I have full confidence in the other players,” he said.

“There were a lot of chances on the line with Angel and [Julian] Draxler who made a very good match.

“We were too passive after our first goal, we lacked precision, we made bad decisions. Lyon played with a lot of quality, but I liked our second period.”

Tuchel’s side will be without their Brazilian star when they take on Manchester United in the Champions League last 16, a tie that looks tricky given the Red Devils’ form of late.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has gone unbeaten in his first 10 games in charge after picking up a 1-0 against Leicester on Sunday, and has won five consecutive away matches in all competitions.

Neymar, who scored an impressive five goals as the Parisians’ topped their group ahead of Liverpool, Napoli and Red Star Belgrade, could be sorely missed when the sides meet at Old Trafford on February 12.

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