Saturday, March 23, 2019

Tuchel defends Neymar over penalty anger

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 7 Mar 2019

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Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel defended Neymar after the star’s angry response to the penalty awarded to Manchester United on Wednesday.

PSG crashed out of the Champions League in the last 16 after a 3-1 loss at home to United, bowing out on away goals following a 3-3 aggregate draw.

Marcus Rashford converted a 94th-minute penalty for United after Presnel Kimpembe was ruled to have handled in the area, the referee awarding the spot-kick with the help of the VAR.

Neymar, sidelined with a foot injury, used Instagram Stories after the game to blast the decision.

However, Tuchel said it was only natural for the Brazil and PSG star to react angrily after the difficult defeat.

“Of course it’s a strong reaction. He was at the field. You can only see,” he told a news conference.

“Sometimes when you remember yourself in a big, big fight and you remember being very emotional you use words and you react in a way that you take back some hours later.

“You see how emotional he is and how he lives with us and how badly he wanted to help us and Ney, coming back latest in the quarter-finals and coming today and biting his nails for every game we play without him, so don’t be too harsh on him.

“It’s, like I said, hard to accept, but for all of us who could not even play and do nothing.

“I would not over-interpret the use of his words in the heat of the challenge and the moment of the decision. It’s quickly typed into a smartphone.”

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