Paris Saint-Germain manager Thomas Tuchel hailed his side’s victory over Lille as their best performance of the season.
The Ligue 1 table-toppers now face Napoli in the Champions League next week, and Tuchel believes their victory against Lille – which extends their title lead to 11 points – puts them in the right frame of mind ahead of their trip to Italy.
“I think it was our best match this season,” Tuchel was quoted as saying in L’Equipe.
“It was necessary against this opponent and it will also be necessary on Tuesday night. Napoli have a different style and it will be a big challenge.
“The team is confident after this game. It was necessary to play with a lot of quality and we did.
“It was a wonderful performance. There was a lot of structure, possession of the ball, we closed the spaces. We were very serious, very disciplined and we have to congratulate my team.”
After winning at Marseille and equalling Tottenham’s 58-year-old record with the best start to a European season by any side in the top five leagues, PSG went one better at the Parc des Princes.
Following strong resistance by second-placed Lille, France international Mbappe broke the deadlock with 20 minutes remaining. Neymar then got his name on the scoresheet before there was a consolation strike by Lille’s Nicolas Pepe from the penalty spot in stoppage time.
“Paris was really so strong that we only had two or three seconds to catch our breath,” Lille manager Christophe Galtier added.
“We knew the individual, technical and transition quality of this team, and they strove to choke us as soon as they lost the ball, to hurry us. We were suffocated.
“Tonight, they were on top, so automatically we could not produce as we usually do. We tried to defend well, but that is not enough. Paris prevented us from developing the game.”
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.
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.