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Thomas Tuchel Praises 'Sensitive' Neymar After Edinson Cavani Penalty

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2019

Paris Saint-Germain's Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani (R) receives the football from Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar before shoot the penalty kick the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Galatasaray at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on December 11, 2019. (Photo by Bertrand GUAY / AFP) (Photo by BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty Images)
BERTRAND GUAY/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain manager Thomas Tuchel has praised "very sensitive" Neymar after the forward handed over penalty duties to Edinson Cavani in the win over Galatasaray on Wednesday. 

PSG were 5-0 winners in the UEFA Champions League on the night. Cavani scored the fifth goal of the evening from the spot, with Neymar making a point of giving the ball to the Uruguayan.

With speculation rife regarding a possible transfer for Cavani, the goal may well have been the veteran striker's last one for PSG. Tuchel praised Neymar's unselfishness following the game:

"It was a nice gesture. Everyone can see, Ney is very sensitive. He gave the ball to Edi, and it's a good symbol for the team.

"Neymar was already super important and very good at Montpellier [a 3-1 win on Saturday]. He was decisive for us and he's getting better. He worked hard today, won lots of balls and did well defensively. He's finding his form. It's easier for him now.

"Cavani lacked rhythm and that was my fault and the fault of injuries. It was important for him to score. It's the best way to get confidence and I'm very happy for him."

Neymar was not only in a generous mood on the night, he was far too hot to handle for Galatasaray, setting up two goals and netting another in a lopsided victory for PSG:

B/R Football @brfootball

Neymar gave the penalty to Edinson Cavani 🤝 https://t.co/AcIGLIQ3ka

Neymar has been productive in the competition during his time with Barcelona and the French champions:

Oddschecker @Oddschecker

🇧🇷 Neymar in the Champions League: 👕 Games: 55 ⚽ Goals: 33 🎯 Assists: 22 🤯 Only three players have scored more since he netted his first.

The scenes at the Parc des Princes before the fifth goal would have encouraged PSG supporters, especially after Neymar and Cavani famously bickered over who should take a spot-kick in a clash with Lyon in 2017. The latter took the kick on that occasion, only to miss.

This season, the pair haven't been on the field together regularly. Cavani has suffered with some injury issues, and the acquisition of Mauro Icardi on loan from Inter Milan has given Tuchel another lethal option at the point of the attack.

Given the striker's ruthless finishing ability, it would be harsh to leave him out of the side:

UEFA Champions League @ChampionsLeague

1⃣2⃣ goals in 1⃣5⃣ games for Paris! Mauro Icardi ⚽️ #UCL https://t.co/JrV3oMC939

Naturally, that's prompted speculation about the future of Cavani, who will want to be getting regular football at the age of 32. The forward's contract in the French capital is set to expire at the end of the season, and Atletico Madrid are reportedly among the clubs interested in him, according to Mundo Deportivo (h/t MailOnline).

The harmony in the PSG camp has been criticised at times, with squabbles like the one between Neymar and Cavani two years ago not painting a positive picture of morale in the group. With that in mind, Tuchel will be delighted to see a show of selflessness from his star man.