PSG boss Thomas Tuchel was a proud man after his side bounced back from Sunday’s 3-3 draw with Monaco to beat the principality club 4-1 in the reverse fixture on Wednesday and reclaim an eight-point lead atop the standings.
After Sunday’s shock draw at the Parc des Princes, Paris Saint-Germain were out to reassert their dominance in Ligue 1 Conforama at the Stade Louis II on Wednesday – and did so in style, with Monaco old boy Kylian Mbappé leading the way with two goals.
“Winning was very important for us after the draw at the Parc, which was a difficult encounter. We needed to make a few adjustments and show that we were capable of beating this team. We remained very focused and deserved the win. I am therefore happy,” said Tuchel, whose side managed to better contain Monaco’s incursions this time around.
“We didn’t come up against the same counters as on Sunday, because we protected and pressed better. It was needed in order to improve. We did it, and that’s great.”
Mbappé: ‘We play as 11 men’
Sunday’s result had created plenty of public debate concerning whether Mbappé, Neymar, Angel Di Maria and Mauro Icardi – known in France as Les Quatre Fantastiques, or Fantastic Four – can all be played at the same time without sacrificing the team’s defensive integrity. All four started the match and, as Mbappé pointed out, it was a strong team performance.
“I think we speak a bit too much about the four up front. We play as 11 men and not four,” said Mbappé, whose side have won 12 of an unbeaten run of 14 matches in all competitions, scoring an impressive 47 goals and conceding just 11 in the process. “The Fantastic Four, that’s not our thing. We leave the superlatives to the people on the outside. We are aware of the effort that we need to put in, but it’s only over a longer period of time that we will be able to show that.”
Meanwhile new Monaco boss Robert Moreno was upbeat despite tasting in his first home match in Ligue 1 Conforama.
“I’m very happy and proud of my team. We’ve been in the rhythm. The result is different from Sunday, but we kept attacking,” explained the Spaniard, whose next test comes when Strasbourg visit on Saturday, 25 January. “It’s difficult to find space against Paris. The four goals we conceded were due to the risks we took, but we played a good game collectively.”
Rennes get the job done
In other action, Rennes firmed in third as they carved out a four-point lead over fourth-placed Nantes by topping Nîmes Olympique 1-0 thanks to Adrien Hunou’s lone strike. A businesslike result that pleased coach Julien Stéphan.
“Tonight we were very pragmatic and efficient, and that’s great for our points tally. I saw a very solid, well-organised Rennes. It wasn’t the best football match – there have been more successful matches – but we didn’t conceded many chances and we played an intelligent and coherent match,” said Stéphan. “We had hoped to find more space in the second half, but we did manage to cut off Nîmes’ desire to attack hard. They had few or no chances and [Rennes ‘keeper Edouard] Mendy didn’t have many saves to make.”