‘I trust the coach… we want to calm down and see what he wants’: PSG president issues statement of support to boss Thomas Tuchel despite shock Champions League last-16 exit
Thomas Tuchel still has the ‘trust’ of Paris Saint-Germain’s board despite Wednesday night’s shock Champions League defeat to Manchester United.
The German appears to be on borrowed time after a 3-1 defeat to United at the Parc des Princes meant PSG crashed out of the competition at the last-16 stage despite holding a 2-0 lead from the first leg at Old Trafford, but club president Nasser Al Khelaifi says now is not the time for anyone to rush into a decision on what happens next.
Success in domestic competition is almost a given at PSG, so each coach is measured on how he performs in the Champions League – which spells trouble for Tuchel.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Thomas Tuchel has been backed despite the loss to Manchester United
President Nasser Al Khelaifi (left) says he trusts Tuchel and will not make a snap decision
‘I trust the coach,’ Al Khelaifi said in quotes reported by L’Equipe.
‘We will see his decision, if he wants to change or if he does not change. But it’s not because we have lost a match that we have to act now. We must make decisions with a cool head.
‘But this is not the moment. We want to calm down. We want to see what the coach wants too. It’s very important.’
Tuchel highlighted the first-half errors made by Thilo Kehrer and Gianluigi Buffon as crucial to the outcome, and said United ‘never came to win’.
‘It’s easy to explain (the defeat): we made two gifts in the first half,’ he said.
‘We totally controlled the game in the first 30 minutes. We played with a lot of quality, a good mentality, a good reaction after this first gift to Manchester.
Marcus Rashford (centre) scored a last-gasp penalty to send Man United into the last eight
‘We had a lot of opportunities. And there, without opportunity, without anything, there is this second goal of Manchester. And there, it’s as if everyone said to themselves: “They have two goals while they do not attack.”
‘We controlled the game, it was a totally ridiculous result.
‘I never felt that Manchester United was coming to win. But hey, they did it so congratulations for that but… I do not know if the season is ruined. I do not know.
‘Do you want a good answer 20 minutes after the match? This is the time to defend my players, that’s all.’
PSG players look dejected (bottom) after crashing out in the last 16 of the Champions League
Tuchel said he is still in favour of video assistant referee (VAR) technology despite controversy over the award of the decisive spot-kick when Presnel Kimpembe was ruled to have deliberately handled a shot by United full-back Diogo Dalot.
‘I think there are reasons why you can give this penalty,’ he said in quotes reported by Sky Sports.
‘When (the referee) goes to VAR we know he has reasons. With handball, you have soft facts but not hard facts. The shot is wide, and then suddenly it’s a penalty. OK.’