Thomas Tuchel Rejects Kylian Mbappe Assessment After PSG's 5-1 Defeat to Lille

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistApril 15, 2019

LILLE, FRANCE - APRIL 14:  Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain is disapointed during the Ligue 1 match between Lille OSC and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Stade Pierre Mauroy on April 14, 2019 in Lille, France.  (Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images)
Xavier Laine/Getty Images

Thomas Tuchel believes Kylian Mbappe was wrong to say Paris Saint-Germain "lack personality" after they were thrashed 5-1 by second-placed Lille in Ligue 1 on Sunday. 

For the second week running, it meant the Paris giants failed to wrap up a seventh Ligue 1 title in eight years.

Given they have a 17-point lead and a game in hand, PSG will still eventually be crowned champions.

But Mbappe criticised his side's performance, per Reuters' Julien Pretot (h/t MailOnline):

"It was a box-to-box game, some moments we were in control, some moments we were not. We're going to be champions, but we cannot lose like this. It's not normal. We lack personality, it's one of our flaws, we have to correct this. We played like debutants."

Juan Bernat levelled for PSG in the 11th minute following Thomas Meunier's own goal but was then sent off before half-time.

PSG also had two Mbappe goals ruled out for offside and lost captain Thiago Silva and Meunier to injury in the first half before being blown away by the hosts after the break.

They were already missing Neymar, Edinson Cavani, Angel Di Maria and Marquinhos through injury.

PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 03: Thomas Tuchel Head Coach of Paris Saint-Germain looks on during the Coupe de France Semi Final match between Paris Saint-Germain and FC Nantes at Parc des Princes on April 3, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/
Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

Unsurprisingly, and not unreasonably, Tuchel chose to highlight a lack of key personnel as the reason for their defeat, rather than the more systemic issue highlighted by Mbappe, per Pretot:

"It's not possible, even Thilo Kehrer who came on for Thiago Silva was ill today. I don't even know how many players I can take to Nantes [on Wednesday]. We don't have enough players. Nobody talks about it because we win but today was just too much."

Per Goal, the German manager added:

"It's too easy to say like Mbappe that we lacked personality, we were in control. We made a good start to the match, with four goals, two for us and two offside. They didn't have any chance in the first half, and there was Kehrer's opportunity in the beginning of second half.

"With 10 players it became complicated, we played with sick players who should not have played. It's not possible to have only 16 players. This defeat shows something else, that we have shortcomings every time? On the contrary, this game shows our mentality, contrary to what everyone thinks. To win here, we would have needed more quality."

Given how far clear PSG are at the head of the Ligue 1 table, there is also a potential motivation issue for Tuchel to deal with. 

They know they will seal the title sooner or later, and Lille took advantage of a weak PSG squad on Sunday.

Nantes could well be the location of PSG's coronation on Wednesday.

The 15th-placed side brought to an end a four-game winless run on Friday when they beat Lyon 2-1. But PSG have won each of their last 17 matches against Nantes in all competitions. 

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