Ligue 1

Mbappe and Di Maria inspire PSG and delight Tuchel

Kylian Mbappe's return heralded PSG's most convincing display of the season but Thomas Tuchel also reserved praise for Angel Di Maria.

Mbappe and Di Maria inspire PSG and delight Tuchel

Thomas Tuchel lauded Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria's powers of recovery after they inspired Paris Saint-Germain's 3-0 win at Nice on Sunday.

France forward Mbappe made his first PSG appearance of the season following a positive coronavirus test.

His return heralded by far PSG's most convincing display of their title defence to date, following back-to-back losses against Lens and Marseille before the last-gasp 1-0 victory over Metz in midweek.

Positive returns

Di Maria also tested positive for COVID-19 but has managed to play three games since his return despite minimal time on the training pitch.

The Argentina winger scored from the rebound in first-half stoppage time when Mbappe's shot was saved, with the ex-Monaco man having won and converted a penalty to open the scoring.

Captain Marquinhos made sure of the points with a 66th-minute header from Di Maria's free-kick.

"I'm not surprised no, but it's impressive," Tuchel told a post-match news conference when asked about Mbappe's display.

"What Di Maria did is not easy. Angel has played three games in a row starting after just one practice.

"He always shows that he is capable of doing extraordinary things. It's the same with Kylian.

"He had a very good game. He has shown again that he can make the difference with his confidence and his hunger to score.

Navas in fine form

"He helped us a lot, that's clear. I am very happy. I saw a lot of effort from the team. It is a deserved victory, but it was not easy because Keylor Navas had a great game too.

"We now have a week to prepare for the next match."

Tuchel is glad of the seven days to recuperate before next Sunday's trip to Reims, his squad still beset by fitness and suspension issues due to the respective challenges of coronavirus and four red cards across the Marseille and Metz matches.

"We suffer a lot. I see we are really tired after this game," he added.

"But it's something important and it shows in our performance. I see that we haven't lost our state of mind. We are always ready to suffer and to work together. It's a great victory."