Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel has revealed that the former Man United midfielder Ander Herrera died inside dressing room after Saturday’s 3-0 win over Rennes.
The Ligue 1 champions were depleted for their match against the side that lay third in the league, with Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Marco Verratti just some of the players out due to injury.
Herrera, though, stepped forward and created a goal for Angel Di Maria, who was widely hailed as the man of the match after finding the net twice. For Tuchel, however, the former Manchester United central midfielder merited singling out.
“Ander was dead before the match,” Tuchel said. “He died in the dressing room tonight. What he did was exceptional. The same for Leandro Paredes.
“We took risks. At the start, we hoped he would play an hour but it was necessary for him to play the whole of the match. We played a really good Rennes teams but we showed a good mentality and a collective effort. It was a great win.”
Meanwhile, he also praised Di Maria, who bounced back from missing a critical penalty against RB Leipzig.
“Angel likes to play a lot to get his rhythm,” the former Dortmund boss said. “He was suspended for four games and it was very difficult for him – and serious for us.
“After his missed penalty in Leipzig, which was a key moment, he was very sad. Today, he took his responsibilities and gave a good response. That’s sport. There will be difficult and sad moments, but you must get up. He did that and I’m very happy.”
Already without a raft of players, PSG’s injury issues mounted throughout the Rennes fixture as several players limped off.
“Moise Kean took a lot of blows, and he already had pains before the match,” Tuchel said of the frontman, who opened the scoring but left the park unsteadily. “We used him a lot and physically, he was exceptional. I hope there’s nothing too serious for him.
“Idrissa Gueye is suffering again with his hamstring, and for Thilo Kehrer, it’s the same groin injury. That means it’s grave. Alessandro Florenzi is not injured. He was very tired.”
PSG have two weeks off for the international break before returning with a trip to Monaco then a vital home Champions League match with Leipzig.