PSG Boss Thomas Tuchel Says Neymar, Kylian Mbappe Motivate Each Other

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 22, 2019

PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 21: Neymar Jr of PSG celebrates his goal with Kylian Mbappe  (left) during the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Amiens SC at Parc des Princes stadium on December 21, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain manager Thomas Tuchel said Neymar and Kylian Mbappe spur each other on to reach new heights.

The pair got on the scoresheet as PSG beat Amiens 4-1 in their final match of 2019 on Saturday.

"Neymar motivates Mbappe, and Mbappe motivates Neymar—that's good," Tuchel said, per Goal's Dejan Kalinic.

Asked if they could get better, he said:

"What does that mean, better? They play very well together. They've regained confidence and fitness; that's the most important thing.

"They defend with a lot of intensity. They're dangerous together because they like to play together. They're very close together on the field, and we want to play like that."

Mbappe, who turned 21 on Friday, opened the scoring with a deft chip over Regis Gurtner after being slipped through by Neymar in the 10th minute.

The Brazilian and the Frenchman have an excellent connection with one another:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Assist providers for Kylian Mbappé's last six goals across all competitions: 🅰️ Neymar 🅰️ Neymar 🅰️ Neymar 🅰️ Neymar 🅰️ Verratti 🅰️ Neymar An iconic duo. https://t.co/QbI8ZZp7GW

Mbappe's goal also marked an impressive milestone:

OptaJean @OptaJean

1969 - Kylian Mbappé is the 1st French player to score at least 30 goals in a calendar year in Ligue 1 since Hervé Revelli in 1969 (31 goals). Peroxide. @KMbappe @PSG_English https://t.co/1ZTCzEaSJm

In the first minute of the second half, Neymar doubled PSG's lead from close range.

Mbappe added his second in the 65th minute before Mauro Icardi rounded out the scoring late on, after Stiven Mendoza had pulled one back for Amiens.

The youngster has already achieved an enormous amount in his short career:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Kylian Mbappé's goals for club & country by calendar year: 2015: 4 games, 0 goals 2016: 25 games, 7 goals 2017: 62 games, 33 goals 2018: 60 games, 34 goals 2019: 49 games, 44 goals Pure bonkers. https://t.co/GSHqf1QhnM

He and Neymar have both ended 2019 in top form. The former has nine goals and three assists in his last seven matches in all competitions, while the latter has five goals and six assists in his last five.

The pair have helped PSG end the year seven points clear at the top of Ligue 1, with a game in hand over their nearest rivals Marseille. Winning their seventh title in eight seasons should be more or less a formality if they win that game in hand.

In the UEFA Champions League, PSG will face Tuchel's former side Borussia Dortmund in the last 16, the stage at which they've exited the competition for three seasons running.

If Neymar and Mbappe maintain their form, the Parisians will have an excellent chance of going far in Europe, but the former's fitness will be key, as injuries has restricted him to just one knockout appearance in the Champions League since he joined PSG in 2017.