Kylian Mbappe has 'room for improvement' as Paris Saint-German go for European record

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Thomas Tuchel is convinced Kylian Mbappe has room to improve as Paris Saint-Germain put their 100 per cent Ligue 1 record on the line at Marseille.

France striker Mbappe has scored nine goals in six league appearances this season ahead of Sunday’s Le Classique at the Stade Velodrome.

But the 19-year-old had a rare off night on Wednesday when PSG had to rely on Angel Di Maria’s stunning stoppage-time strike to secure a 2-2 Champions League draw against Napoli.

“We are playing a lot of matches and playing is the best way for a player to keep improving and progressing,” PSG manager Tuchel said of Mbappe at his pre-match press conference.

“Kylian has already achieved so much, but he also has room for improvement.

“Great players want to play every game and need these big matches to show what they can do.

“He has already shown he can adapt and learn quickly, he has a lot of quality, but everyone can always improve.”

PSG, who came into the weekend with an eight-point lead over second-placed Lille, will equal a long-standing European record if they make it 11 wins from 11 at Marseille.

Bill Nicholson’s great Tottenham side of the early 1960s registered 11 consecutive wins at the start of the 1960/61 English season, a best in Europe’s top five leagues.

“I am very excited and can’t wait for the match,” Tuchel said.

“It’s an extraordinary match to play, in a great stadium, and we know matches between Paris and Marseille are never easy.

“Marseille’s results since the start of the season are not so important this weekend. This is the type of match when anything can happen.

“They will be playing at home and have the chance to stop our record run of wins.

“We know they will be extra motivated and that they will do everything to beat us.”

Brazil defender Thiago Silva remains out with a hamstring problem, but Di Maria and Adrien Rabiot are expected to shake off midweek knocks to start.

Marseille suffered a blow when losing 3-1 at home to Lazio in the Europa League on Thursday.

But l’OM began the weekend in fourth spot in Ligue 1 after back-to-back wins against Caen and Nice.

“What’s good is that we’re gaining in confidence,” defender Adil Rami was quoted as saying by www.ligue1.com.

“The coach (Rudi Garcia) had told us before the game that it’s never easy after an international break, especially as we were missing some players.

“We showed character and didn’t concede a goal. We’re starting to understand, OM is different.

“You have to put in a shift and fight for one another. When we don’t have that unity, you can see it immediately and we go into a crisis.

“To win, we have to suffer and that’s the most important thing.”

Top scorer Florian Thauvin is expected to be fit after missing the Nice game with a heel injury.

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WATCH PSG boss Thomas Tuchel coy on Neymar return to Barcelona

Alex Broun 20/10/2018
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Thomas Tuchel

The ongoing speculation around Neymar‘s return to Barcelona just won’t go away.

Thomas Tuchel, the coach of France Ligue 1 leaders PSG, who have won all of their nine league matches so far this season, discussed Neymar’s future at the club ahead of the clash with Amiens SC on Saturday. (19:00 UAE time)

And for those who are keen to see the Brazilian star back at the Blaugrana there was reason for optimism.

Watch what Tuchel had to say below.

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Neymar claims spotlight with a hat-trick, but his selfish streak could still cost PSG

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Brazil superstar Neymar hit a hat-trick as Paris Saint-Germain earned an emphatic 6-1 win against Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League.

The forward produced superb free-kicks in either half, plus a close-range strike from France forward Kylian Mbappe’s pass.

These goals in a one-sided Group C clash saw him go level with the iconic Kaka as the competition’s highest-scoring Brazilian, with 30 strikes.

Here, we analyse the performance of the world’s most expensive player.

STATISTICS 

Goals – 3

Assists – 0

Shots – 9

Shots on target – 7

Touches – 108

Passes – 63

Key passes – 5

Dribbles – 7

Dispossessed – 3

30-SECOND REPORT

After a wasteful display in defeat during the opener at Liverpool last time out, Neymar was determined to make amends.

Red Star represent cannon fodder in this section – and they were quickly blown apart by the 26-year-old.

Neymar produced two goals in two minutes upon the 20-minute mark. He first delicately curled in a dead ball from just outside the penalty box, before rattling into the roof of the goal via a give-and-go with Mbappe.

Into the second half, an endemic selfish streak emerged. Team-mates in better positions were repeatedly spurned as he went in search of the match ball.

His first trio in the competition was duly earned on 81 minutes with another unstoppable set-piece from 25 yards.

GOT RIGHT

SET-PIECE SUPERSTAR – Neymar comes to life when a free-kick comes his way. His effort for Barcelona against PSG in 2016/17 will never be forgotten and this outstanding collection was added to against the Serbians.

You had to feel sorry for Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan, who had no chance with both. This pair ensured Neymar became the first player since Cristiano Ronaldo in September 2009 to notch two direct free-kicks in a Champions League game.

GOT WRONG

TUNNEL VISION – A resigned look crept across Uruguay centre forward Edinson Cavani’s face. So often present in an advantageous position, Mbappe and – in particular – Neymar went for goal themselves.

This duo teamed up once to devastating effect in the first half. They must think of the team’s goals rather than their own when Napoli come to town on October 24.

Neymar did not pass once to Cavani during his time on the pitch, and only nine passes were made to Mbappe. This has to change.

KEY MOMENTS

9th min CREATES CHANCE: Neymar’s cross produces a poor clearance from Borjan, but Mbappe can only place the ball wide.

20th min GOAL: An absolute beaut of a free-kick dips and curls past the despairing dive of Borjan.

22nd min GOAL: Gets on a wavelength with Mbappe and ruthlessly shoots high into the net from eight yards.

52nd min CHANCE: Mbappe goes on a mazy run, from which Neymar forces the busy Borjan into another save.

68th min FOULED: Neymar is hauled down by the cynical Filip Stojkovic and the right-back is booked. Acres of space beckoned.

81st min GOAL: The best is saved for last. Borjan is motionless and is left to applaud after another free-kick flies in from Neymar.

82nd min SUBSTITUTED: The man of the match comes off to booming applause at Parc des Princes and Germany midfielder Julian Draxler is thrown on.

FBL-EUR-C1-PSG-BELGRADE

VERDICT

Neymar’s talent is magical, but its application can be maddening.

Goals of supreme quality were conjured by the world’s third-most-gifted player. What continues to separate him, in particular, from former Barca team-mate Lionel Messi is an incurable selfish streak.

Liverpool rattled him last month and the knockout stages will prove similarly troublesome, unless he adheres to collective aims. There is strength in numbers, after all.

RATING: 8/10

All statistics are compiled using whoscored.com

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