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Champions League

Tuchel: "Are Juventus first in the league? Are Madrid or Barcelona?"

Thomas Tuchel said Paris Saint-Germain's domestic achievements should not be underestimated after recent criticism of his side.

Tuchel: "Are Juventus first in the league? Are Madrid or Barcelona?"
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Thomas Tuchel rounded on critics of his team after Paris Saint-Germain swept to victory at Istanbul Basaksehir.

The former Borussia Dortmund head coach is into his third year with PSG, whom he has led to back-to-back Ligue 1 titles and a place in the 2019-20 Champions League final.

Although the Paris giants were edged out by Bayern Munich in last season's European showpiece, they have rebounded by recovering from a slow start to this campaign and lead their domestic championship once again.

Defeat to Manchester United last week in the Champions League was a setback, but a 2-0 victory against the Super Lig winners on Wednesday put PSG back on an even keel in Group H.

Tuchel feels his side are not getting the credit they deserve, having followed up a late-finishing 2019-20 season, which featured a domestic treble, with signs that this campaign could also prove a success.

Tuchel: "Everyone keeps saying, 'Oh yeah, it's PSG, it's easy for them'."

"Okay, we can keep this conversation and say that it is always my responsibility," Tuchel said. "It's not a problem, you can be critical towards me, there is no problem, but let's be realistic. In Italy, are Juventus first in the league? No. In England, is it Liverpool or Manchester City?"

As Tuchel pointed out, City were among the eight teams that travelled to Lisbon in August to take part in the final stages of the Champions League. They have found it a challenge to get up to speed early in the new season.

"In Spain, is it Barcelona first or Real Madrid? No, they are not," Tuchel added, continuing with his theme.

"We are first in Ligue 1, but everyone keeps saying, 'Oh yeah, it's PSG, it's easy for them.' But it's not easy! Maybe people should start to accept this is a real performance [to be first in the league]."

Two goals from Moise Kean, the Italian striker that PSG signed on loan from Everton, secured their latest European win, with both set up by Kylian Mbappé.

By playing a part in both goals, Mbappé took his assists haul in the Champions League to 15 since the start of the 2017-18 season, which is more than any other player has achieved.

The only real negative on the night was an injury to Neymar that could keep him sidelined for a number of games.

That recent loss to United is PSG's only defeat in their previous 13 Champions League group games (W9 D3), and they have scored in 36 of their past 37 games in European competition - the conspicuous blip in that run being the final against Bayern in August.

Kean, meanwhile, became the youngest Italian to score when starting a Champions League game for the first time, at 20 years and 243 days, beating a record previously held by Alessandro Del Piero.

Such records and high achievement are factors in Tuchel's thinking that his team should be celebrated.

Since losing to Lens and Marseille in their opening two Ligue 1 games this term, PSG have reeled off six straight wins to leap to the top of the standings.

Clearly, Tuchel has grown sick of attitudes towards his high-achieving side.

"We can't keep going like that, we can't have this atmosphere all the time," he said.

"Inside the team, we can't always focus about negative things and negative comments because there are positive things to talk about. Obviously, there are also things to improve for sure and we will never stop to do it and that's it."


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