Thomas Tuchel Says PSG's Kylian Mbappe and Neymar Are 'Very Strong Together'

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 5, 2020

Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe (R) is congratulated by Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar after scoring a goal during the French Cup semi-final football match between Olympique Lyonnais (OL) and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at the Groupama Stadium in Decines-Charpieu, centraleastern France, on March 4, 2020. (Photo by Philippe DESMAZES / AFP) (Photo by PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP via Getty Images)
PHILIPPE DESMAZES/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel praised Kylian Mbappe and Neymar after they fired the team to a 5-1 victory over Lyon in the Coupe de France semi-finals on Wednesday.

Mbappe netted a hat-trick, while Neymar also go on the scoresheet, and Tuchel hailed their partnership in the final third.

Per Goal's Rob Lancaster, the coach said:

"Mbappe's been very strong these last few weeks. He had a tough time in Dortmund playing in a different position. It was clearly difficult for him against Dortmund.

"With Neymar, they're very strong together. After Dortmund, Mbappe showed a great reaction after every training session and during the games against Dijon and Lyon.

"He's very strong, he uses his speed very well, he's very decisive. He's really in good shape."

Tuchel added that Neymar helps PSG to produce "extraordinary performances" and is "super strong" when he plays regularly.

Martin Terrier gave Lyon an 11th-minute lead on Wednesday when he converted Karl Toko Ekambi's cross, but Mbappe headed home a Layvin Kurzawa corner to level proceedings just three minutes later.

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Neymar put the Parisians in front from the penalty spot in the second half shortly after Fernando Marcal was sent off for a second bookable offence. Six minutes later, Mbappe netted his second with a superb solo effort.

Pablo Sarabia got in on the act in the 81st minute, and Mbappe sealed his hat-trick from close range in injury time after Neymar picked him out (U.S. only):

Mbappe moved on to 30 goals in 32 appearances for the season, and he also has 17 assists. Despite his age he's already a prolific scorer:

It was his seventh career hat-trick, and it wasn't the first time he's haunted Lyon, either:

As for Neymar, he has 17 goals and 10 assists in 21 appearances in all competitions this season. It was only the third time he has played since February 1; he missed four matches with a rib injury and another through suspension.

According to AS' Andres Onrubia, PSG are prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure Mbappe remains at the Parc des Princes, even if it means Neymar's departure. Given the Brazilian has missed 18 matches this season through injury and suspension—and the fact that he's seven years older than Mbappe—it's little wonder they consider the Frenchman their biggest asset.

PSG face a trip to Strasbourg on Saturday before they take on Borussia Dortmund in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie the following Wednesday.

The Parisians are 2-1 down from the away leg. Mbappe assisted Neymar for PSG's goal in Germany, but it wasn't either player's best performance.

The likes of Sarabia (14 goals, seven assists), Mauro Icardi (20 goals, four assists) and Angel Di Maria (12 goals, 20 assists) are all potential match-winners for PSG, but whether they overturn the deficit against Dortmund will largely hinge on how their star duo perform.

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