Paris Saint-Germain manager Thomas Tuchel said on Friday that veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon will be rested from the team’s next two games, with Alphonse Areola set to start against Angers and Nimes.
Buffon, who arrived from Juventus on a free transfer this summer, started in PSG’s first three games of the season, the Trophee des Champions win over Monaco as well as Ligue 1 victories over Caen and Guingamp.
However, the 40-year-old is suspended for the first three games of the Champions League this season following the ban he earned last season when protesting a penalty award as Juve were knocked out by Real Madrid in the quarter-finals.
Thus, Areola will get two games to regain full match fitness ahead of the team’s European opener, which will take place on either September 18 or 19.
“Alphonse will play against Angers and Nimes,” Tuchel explained. “After that, we will see. I am not making any long-term decisions – Alphonse needs to play.
“Gianluigi has put in three magnificent performances, so I am not dropping him. Rather, it is important in this preparatory phase that Alphonse is given a chance to play and that he adapts to the team.”
Mbappe scored in the 82nd minute and, with a delightful finish, again in the 90th having come off the bench at half-time for his first appearance since winning the World Cup with France over the summer and being named the young player of the tournament.
Neymar, who continues to be linked with Real Madrid, had equalised eight minutes after the interval with a coolly-taken penalty he won himself, and also provided the assist for Mbappe’s second goal.
Mbappe was quoted by L’Equipe as telling Canal Plus after the game regarding his status at PSG: “Neymar is a superstar, more than me. He worked a lot in Barcelona for that.
“With a goal and an assist, it is not bad either. I try to bring what I can and help the team win.”
Regarding the triumph at the World Cup, the 19-year-old added: “We won, we celebrated but football continues, my career begins, I have very high goals with the Paris SG, with the team of France and at the individual level.
“We don’t have time to sit around.”
Neymar assist, Mbappe goal. 😍How often will we see this this season? pic.twitter.com/82jQLd3p3u
— David Kappel (@kappilinho) August 18, 2018
PSG turned things around after a first half in which they showed little attacking threat and fell behind in the 20th minute via Nolan Roux’s strike.
Prior to that Roux had seen a shot superbly diverted against the crossbar by Gianluigi Buffon, and shortly after the goal Nicolas Benezet thought he had put Guingamp 2-0 up, but his header was ruled out by referee Clement Turpin following a VAR review.
PSG boss Thomas Tuchel, also quoted on lequipe.fr, said after the Ligue 1 clash at the Stade de Roudourou: “It’s not possible to start playing a game as we played in the first half.
“We were not ready for this game here.
“It was clear that Guingamp is a very intensive team that plays with courage and a lot of individual qualities, many aerial battles.
“We were not ready for that, not at all. And we were lucky that the result was not 2-0 or 3-0 (at the break).
“And that’s why we changed a few things (with the introduction of) Kylian, with the organisation, but, most importantly, with another approach to the game.
“There were a lot of problems with our organisation to attack, to defend, and on the other hand the situation is still complicated for us because the players are not in top shape because they arrived late after the World Cup.
“That’s why it’s important that we win our match, but today it was very difficult.”
Guingamp boss Antoine Kombouare said: “There are two disappointments. The first is the first half where we can return to the locker room with (the score) 2-0.
“Afterwards, it’s up to the referee and we saw that it was against us.
“And the second disappointment is to have taken (conceded) the goal too early.
“That they scored very quickly (after half-time), it gave us a blow on the head.
“And after, what we can see is that we had given a lot in the first half, we left a lot of strength, and in the second half with their mastery, offensively it hurt us very much and they could do what it takes to score three goals.”
Defending champions PSG lead the table with six points from two games. Guingamp have suffered two defeats so far.
Brazil head coach Tite has mounted a defence of superstar forward Neymar’s behaviour.
Neymar, 26, was criticised during World Cup 2018 for his perceived playacting and other antics.
This has sparked a reaction from his international coach.
Watch his press conference below.