Unai Emery believes he missed out on the chance to become the world's best coach during his time at Paris Saint-Germain because there was no VAR.

The Spaniard won seven domestic trophies in two seasons in the French capital but left in 2018 after failing to mount a serious Champions League challenge.

In their first season under Emery, PSG thrashed Barcelona 4-0 in the round-of-16 first leg only to suffer an astonishing 6-1 defeat in the return match at Camp Nou.

A year later, they reached the same stage of the competition only to lose 5-2 on aggregate to Real Madrid, who went on to lift the trophy for the third season in a row.

Emery thinks his fortunes as an elite-level coach might have been better had VAR been in existence for those ties.

"In Paris, I missed the chance to become the best coach in the world," he told France Football.

"I won the league, four domestic cups and two Trophees des Champions. But the ultimate goal was the Champions League.

"The first year, in the round-of-16 against Barcelona, were played a really high-level first leg. In the return leg, we were knocked out because VAR didn't yet exist. We were very clearly knocked out by refereeing decisions.

"The second year, against Real Madrid, we bowed to a team who recorded an historic hat-trick and, again, in the first leg, we could find fault with the officiating.

"To conclude: we lost the first time on refereeing decisions, and the second against the defending and future champions."

The 4-0 win over Barca came despite Thiago Silva being left out of the starting line-up.

It was initially reported the Brazil centre-back had an injury but reports soon suggested his omission was more of a tactical decision.

Emery has now explained he had grown frustrated with the player for not following his instructions to hold a higher defensive line.

"I wanted the team to defend higher. Thiago Silva is a great player, but I wanted him to be higher and I couldn't get him to accept that," Emery said.

"I wanted him to get out of his comfort zone, to dare to defend higher so that the general pressure of the team on the opposition would be more effective. I worked with him to make him accept this, but I didn't succeed.

"This characteristic of Thiago Silva's game reflected on the whole team, which, under pressure, had a natural tendency to drop deeper."

Despite a disappointing end to his two seasons in charge, Emery insists he always felt he had the backing of president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

Indeed, the former Arsenal boss says it was left to him to convince Neymar of PSG's plans ahead of his world-record €222million transfer from Barcelona

"I always felt supported by president Nasser," he said. "For example, when we were about to sign Neymar, it was up to me to explain in person to Ney that we were going to build the team around him.

"With such a phenomenal player, you can't tell him there is already a team there and that he will have to adapt. You have to create the team for him. Otherwise, he wouldn't come - that's for sure.

"The president and the directors discuss the contract, but it's the coach who has to convince him of the game plan."

Barcelona are prepared to take a loss on Philippe Coutinho, sparking apparent interest from the Premier League.

Coutinho is on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona, and the Bundesliga giants hold an option to buy the Brazil playmaker.

If Bayern opt against purchasing Coutinho, Barca may be willing to sell the 27-year-old and accept a loss.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA READY TO SELL COUTINHO FOR £77M AMID PREMIER LEAGUE INTEREST

Coutinho has been told he can leave Barcelona for £77million (€90.7m) at the end of the season, according to the Daily Express.

Barcelona paid Liverpool €120m (£105m) for Coutinho in 2018, but are preparing for change under Quique Setien.

The report says Coutinho has already attracted interest from Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham.

Bayern hold an option to buy Coutinho for a reported €120m.

 

ROUND-UP

- Could it be one Brazilian in and another out at Liverpool? The Sun reports Bayern Munich want Roberto Firmino to leave the Premier League giants and join the Bundesliga outfit at the end of the season.

- Staying at Anfield and the Daily Express reports Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz is Liverpool's top midfield target ahead of 2020-21.

- With James Maddison reportedly ready to extend his contract at Leicester City, Manchester United's interest in the attacker has cooled significantly, according to the Daily Express.

- Thiago Silva wants to stay in Paris. Paris United reports the Paris Saint-Germain captain could discuss a new contract with club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi amid uncertainty over his future, with his deal expiring at the end of the season.

- Manchester United have angered Roma. The Daily Express says the Premier League club have increased their asking price for Chris Smalling from €14.1m (£12m) to €20m (£17m), with the defender having impressed during his loan spell with the Serie A outfit.

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel said Edinson Cavani is more focused following a failed move away from the French champions during the January transfer window.

Cavani – out of contract at season's end – was tipped to leave PSG last month but a proposed transfer to LaLiga outfit Atletico Madrid did not materialise.

With an exit on hold until at least the end of the campaign, Cavani came off the bench and scored within three minutes of his introduction as PSG beat Ligue 1 rivals Lyon 4-2 on Sunday.

"Whenever there's competition it's good. We need all the players. I've always said that," Tuchel told reporters.

"You can feel that Edi [Cavani] is stronger in training at the moment because things are clear after the mercato. It's been like that for a few days now.

"He made a very good entrance [in the game], he put in a very important goal. It's good for him and for us. Because we need all the players with experience and quality like Edi. That's necessary. They are in good shape and that's good."

Cavani – PSG's all-time leading scorer – netted his third Ligue 1 goal of the season but first since August, while the Uruguay international forward has six across all competitions.

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo defended Kylian Mbappe following his strop at being substituted early by head coach Thomas Tuchel, insisting the star forward is not a "spoiled child".

Mbappe vocally questioned Tuchel's decision to replace him after 68 minutes with PSG already five goals ahead in last weekend's 5-0 Ligue 1 rout of Montpellier.

Former France international Christophe Dugarry criticised the youngster's reaction and said he has lost respect for his 21-year-old compatriot.

However, Mbappe has since played 90 minutes in back-to-back games for the Ligue 1 champions and Leonardo attempted to further play down the incident amid links to Real Madrid.

"I heard things about Mbappe. On his personality. It makes me feel uncomfortable," he told Canal+. 

"If a player leaves the field, and talks to the coach, okay... he is at fault. We will talk about it and settle this. But to say that he is a spoiled child? I don't accept that. 

"He's an adorable, very committed person and a fantastic player."

Mbappe has formed a formidable partnership with Neymar this term, scoring 38 goals between them in all competitions.

And Leonardo questioned the negativity surrounding PSG, who are on a 21-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

"In the top four players in the world, there is one 35 years old, another 32 years old and the other two are 28 and 21 years old," Leonardo said.

"And those two are with us. Let us rejoice. I am a happy sports director. We should take advantage of that. It's the joy of football. We have to stop talking about the problems."

PSG remain on course for a domestic and European quadruple as they prepare for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Borussia Dortmund later this month.

The French giants have been eliminated at this stage in the past three seasons, but Leonardo vowed his side will take on Bundesliga outfit Dortmund with no fear.

"In recent times, I have taken a step back and I have tried to see how it is going [around the club]," he said. 

"Whenever the knockout round of the Champions League looms, there is the same trial. 

"We're starting to talk too much. We say that this team is not ready, that Ligue 1 is not at the level, that the club does not know how to manage its stars. 

"I want to understand why? Because we have the right to be happy from time to time. The team is first, with a 12-point lead. We have an incredible squad. 

"Our best players are in shape. Why do we have to be worried every time when the last 16 arrives? Why do we have to stress? It won't be a matter of life and death. 

"We're just playing a Champions League match. I think the team is ready. If we win, that's good. Otherwise, too bad, PSG will continue to grow. We have to get out of this."

Substitute Edinson Cavani scored his first Ligue 1 goal since August as Paris Saint-Germain held off a second-half Lyon fightback to win 4-2 on Sunday and open up a 12-point lead at the summit.

The runaway leaders took a two-goal advantage into half-time at the Parc des Princes thanks to strikes from Angel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappe, and Marcal then comically put into his own net to further extend PSG's advantage following the restart.

But Thomas Tuchel's men were in trouble by the time of Cavani's 76th-minute introduction, Martin Terrier and Moussa Dembele scoring in quick succession as Lyon roared back.

PSG held on in tricky, windy conditions, though, and added a fourth through record goalscorer Cavani, with just his second touch, to ensure an eighth win in a row in all competitions and a healthy gap to second-placed Marseille.

Anthony Lopes thwarted Mbappe early on but was soon caught out by Di Maria, the PSG ace cutting inside from the right past Marcal and finding a gap at the near post.

Mauro Icardi then had a delightful chipped finish ruled out for offside, but there was to be no denying Mbappe, who delicately lifted the ball over Lopes when a desperate Marcelo lunge failed to cut out Thomas Meunier's centre.

PSG had another goal disallowed just before half-time, with Icardi again marginally offside before teeing up Mbappe to tap in, but their third arrived 89 seconds into the second half.

Meunier's initial cross was cut out by Thiago Mendes but his second was rifled into the net in farcical fashion by Marcal just inside the six-yard box with no PSG player nearby.

Lyon pulled one back against the run of play as Terrier's shot squirmed under Navas, before Dembele rounded off a slick team move - teed up by influential substitute Karl Toko Ekambi - to leave PSG sweating.

The visitors were without Memphis Depay and Maxwel Cornet but should have been level after 63 minutes, only for Dembele to fire off target from a glorious position.

Cavani made certain of the points three minutes after being introduced from the bench, though, his clinical finish a first goal in all competitions since the January transfer window closed.

Neymar's return would hand Barcelona a huge boost, according to sporting director Eric Abidal.

The Brazil superstar left Camp Nou for PSG in a world-record €222million transfer in August 2017 but has been persistently linked with a move back to Barca.

Head coach Quique Setien said last week he would relish the chance to coach the Neymar and Abidal believes such a deal might be possible.

Asked for his opinion on Neymar coming back to the Catalan giants, Abidal told Mundo Deportivo: "I totally agree.

"Quique would be proud to be able to coach a player like Neymar and the others here who are of such a high level."

Barca have been left short in attack by serious injuries to Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele, though Ansu Fati impressed with a double in a 2-1 victory over Levante last weekend.

On the effect signing Neymar could have on Fati, Abidal said: "That's why planning is not so easy. We may wish to have all the best players, but we can't make a mistake in the development of players.

"Since Ansu broke into the first team, he's contributed a lot. In the last [LaLiga] game, he showed his talent again. He's a player who can play in many positions and you have to take that into account.

"I think the player is 100 per cent with us, with the first team, and has the goal of staying here for many years."

Barca could help fund a move for Neymar by letting Philippe Coutinho make his loan at Bayern permanent, which the Bundesliga giants can achieve by activating a €120m option.

However, it has been reported this week that Barca would be willing to consider an offer at €80m.

"The information we have is that Bayern are very happy with Philippe and Philippe is also very happy there," said Abidal.

"It's true they have an option [to buy him], but we have to plan perfectly with those who are in house and on loan, and then we'll see."

Another player who could be heading for the exit at Camp Nou is Ivan Rakitic, who accused the club of a lack of respect and was disappointed by the treatment of former coach Ernesto Valverde.

"I don't know in what sense of respect he spoke about," said Abidal, who believes Rakitic remains content at Barca.

"For a player, the most important thing is to have minutes. He's gone through a difficult moment with Valverde, now we have changed coach. It's something for the coach, because I can't manage playing minutes for a player.

"We have respect because we haven't spoken with anybody, and neither has he, it seems. He said he planned to leave but in the end he decided to stay at Barca and if he did that, it's because there is a percentage of satisfaction."

Neymar out of PSG v Lyon

February 08, 2020

Paris Saint-Germain will once again be without Neymar when they face Lyon on Sunday and Juan Bernat also remains sidelined due to illness.

Neymar suffered a rib injury during a 5-0 thrashing of Montpellier last weekend and sat out the 2-1 victory at Nantes on Tuesday, having thrown a lavish party 48 hours earlier to celebrate his 28th birthday.

He trained on Friday, but PSG boss Thomas Tuchel revealed the former Barcelona man will not feature in the Ligue 1 clash with Rudi Garcia's side at the Parc des Princes.

Bernat has recovered from a calf injury, but the full-back misses out after falling ill. 

Thiago Silva is not ready to return from a hip problem, although the centre-back has also been able to resume training this week and the same goes for fellow defenders Marquinhos (calf) and Abdou Diallo (thigh).

Colin Dagba is another player unavailable to Tuchel due to a knee injury as PSG look to extend their unbeaten run to 21 matches in all competitions. 

The champions are 12 points clear of Marseille at the top of the table.

Premier League clubs are queuing up to sign Jadon Sancho.

But, Borussia Dortmund will not be rushed in parting with the England teenager.

Dortmund are reportedly determined to make the most of a strong Euro 2020 for the 19-year-old.

 

TOP STORY – DORTMUND WON'T RUSH SANCHO SALE

Borussia Dortmund will take their time over selling in-demand star Jadon Sancho amid links to Manchester United and Chelsea, reports 90min.

Sancho is a player in demand, with Premier League giants United and Chelsea interested in luring the 19-year-old back to England.

Bundesliga outfit Dortmund, however, are keen to maximise Sancho's transfer value after Euro 2020.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona captain Lionel Messi wants to stay at Camp Nu despite his public row with sporting director Eric Abidal, according to Sky Sports News. Amid uncertainty over Messi's future with his contract due to expire in 2021, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner had been linked to Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Inter and United.

- Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane is unhappy with Gareth Bale's training, reports Marca. Bale – who was linked with a return to former club Tottenham during the January transfer window – and his intensity at training has reportedly angered Zidane.

- Real Sociedad striker Willian Jose is Barcelona's main target, says Marca. With Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele injured, LaLiga champions Barca are hoping to be granted permission to sign a Spain-based player to fill the void.

- Il Mattino claims United are at the front of the que to sign Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly. The defender has also been linked to Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and City.

Juventus are rushing to make a move for United star Paul Pogba, says Tuttosport. United are reportedly resigned to Pogba leaving and former club Juve are keen to bring the Frenchman back to Turin as Madrid also circle.

Lionel Messi "has every right in the world" to be angry with Eric Abidal, according to former Barcelona star Rivaldo.

Tensions are running high at Camp Nou following a disappointing week of results on the pitch and an apparent dispute between the club captain and the first-team technical secretary.

Messi used a social media post to criticise Abidal after he accused some Barca players of downing tools during Ernesto Valverde's final weeks as head coach.

Messi felt Abidal, a former team-mate at Barca, was "dirtying" the squad by making generalised comments about their efforts without naming any specific players.

The issue has led to suggestions Messi could exercise an option to have his Barca contract cancelled at the end of the season in order to leave on a free transfer, although Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on Friday moved to quash any suggestion he would try to tempt his former player to England.

Rivaldo believes a difficult few days for his old club, compounded by Thursday's Copa del Rey elimination at the hands of Athletic Bilbao, will be swiftly forgotten if the team returns to winning ways quickly.

However, the 1999 Ballon d'Or winner thinks Messi was always likely to jump to the defence of his team-mates after Abidal's "naive" remarks.

"Leo Messi's reaction last Wednesday in which, through his social pages, he criticised Eric Abidal, seems normal to me," he said via Betfair.

"Messi has every right in the world to be angry with Abidal over the way in which he complained about the professionalism of some players in training, especially when he did not mention any specific name.

"That called the whole squad into question. It's hard to talk about this situation from the outside, but Messi just tried to defend the group and himself, maintain his reputation and - at the same time - find out which players Abidal was referring to.

"The latter was naive in saying something like that in an interview that, of course, would have a big impact in the media, forcing Messi to react.

"These types of problems should be solved internally. Abidal didn't do it on purpose but, ultimately, he has hurt the club.

"It's now clear that Ernesto Valverde was not the biggest problem for the club. The biggest loser in all of this is Barca.

"Abidal and Messi should have a conversation, as good people. Abidal is in a difficult situation, especially because the player who reacted to his comments is not just anybody: he's the captain of Barca and a superstar. He's Leo Messi.

"Simply getting back on the road to victories will calm all this."

Abidal also said this week that it was "not impossible" for Barca to bring back Neymar - a transfer Messi is said to have been keen for the club to make last year.

Rivaldo thinks his compatriot, who joined Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record €222million fee in 2017, would be the ideal signing to take some of the pressure off Barca's number 10.

"Barcelona need to find a player who makes the difference when Messi isn't there or it's not his night, as happened at San Mames," he added. "The club should look for a player to accompany him and replace him when necessary and, in my opinion, Neymar is that player.

"Barca should perhaps continue considering signing him next summer. The club isn't responsible for Neymar leaving a couple of years ago.

"It's been a while since then and perhaps it's time for negotiations that allow him to return and spend the best years of his career at Camp Nou."

Neymar has resumed Paris Saint-Germain training after missing the Ligue 1 win over Nantes with a rib injury.

The Brazil star was hurt during the 5-0 win over Montpellier on February 1 and missed the 2-1 victory at Stade de la Beaujoire, having thrown a lavish party 48 hours earlier to celebrate his 28th birthday.

The forward was pictured training with team-mates on Friday, as the Ligue 1 leaders stepped up preparations for Sunday's showdown with sixth-place Lyon at Parc des Princes.

It is not clear whether Neymar will return to action this weekend or be given extra time to recover, with the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie with Borussia Dortmund less than two weeks away.

Thiago Silva was also involved in Friday's session, having been sidelined since the 2-0 win over Lille on January 26 with a hip problem.

PSG are 12 points clear of Marseille at the top of the table after 23 matches.

A return to Barcelona could be on the cards for Adama Traore.

Wolves star Traore has taken the Premier League and Europe by storm with his performances this season.

Barcelona's LaLiga rivals Real Madrid are also reportedly interested.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA AND MADRID EYE TRAORE

Barcelona are plotting a move to bring Wolves star Adama Traore back to Camp Nou, according to the Daily Mail.

LaLiga rivals Real Madrid are also interested in Spanish winger Traore, who left Barca in 2015.

Wolves are set to command a big transfer fee for Traore amid links to Manchester City and Liverpool, having signed the 24-year-old from Middlesbrough two years ago.

 

ROUND-UP

- Gazzetta dello Sport claims Manchester United are interested in trying to prise Lionel Messi from Barcelona. There are doubts over Messi's future following his row with sporting director Eric Abidal. City, Paris Saint-Germain, Inter and Juventus have also been mentioned as possible destinations for the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.

United have given the green light to sell Paul Pogba, says The Sun. Linked to Madrid and Juventus, the Red Devils are ready to part with Pogba for £150million.

Juventus and Paulo Dybala are working on a contract extension, reports Tuttosport. Tied to Juve until 2022, the Serie A champions want to keep the in-form attacker until 2025.

- L'Equipe reports Thiago Silva wants to stay at PSG but the Ligue 1 champions want to offload the 35-year-old defender in an attempt to free up some of the wage budget.

United have been turned off by Lautaro Martinez's £94m (€110.7m) release clause, according to The Times. The Inter striker has been heavily linked to Barca as a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez.

- The Telegraph says Leicester City are leading the race to sign Liverpool's Adam Lallana, who is out of contract at the end of the season. Tottenham, Arsenal and West Ham have also reportedly been tracking the England midfielder.

- According to Fotomac, Galatasaray striker Radamel Falcao is wanted by Saudi Arabian giants Al Hilal. Falcao only moved to Istanbul at the start of the season.

Real Madrid attacker Vinicius Junior dismissed speculation over a move to Paris Saint-Germain, insisting he wants to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Vinicius was linked with PSG in January – the Ligue 1 champions' sporting director Leonardo a reported admirer of his fellow Brazilian.

However, Vinicius has no plans to leave LaLiga giants Madrid, where the 19-year-old arrived in 2018.

Speaking after Thursday's shock 4-3 Copa del Rey quarter-final loss to Real Sociedad, Vinicius told reporters: "There's no choice, I want to stay at Madrid."

Trailing Sociedad 1-0 at half-time, Madrid found themselves 3-0 down before the hour-mark in the Spanish capital.

Marcelo reduced the deficit in the 59th minute but Mikel Merino restored Sociedad's three-goal advantage 10 minutes later.

Late goals from Rodrygo Goes and Nacho gave Madrid some hope, however, it was not enough for the LaLiga leaders at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"I would like to ask to the fans to keep this way up, we are going to fight until the end of the season in order to win La Liga and Champions League too," Vinicius said.

Vinicius added: "We were not in good shape, and Sociedad plays football really well, they're well-placed in LaLiga. It was a difficult match. The only Copa one played at home, and we lost.

"It is hard to lose at home. We were unbeaten at home and we got beaten on the single match we can't afford to lose. But on the other hand, we keep fighting until the end, fighting to keep in good shape looking forward the end of this season."

Zinedine Zidane's Madrid – three points clear of Barcelona atop LaLiga, travel to Osasuna on Sunday.

Serie A strikers Romelu Lukaku and Ciro Immobile lead the line in FIFA Ultimate Team's latest Team of the Week.

Lukaku and Immobile are two of the form front men in European football, and the duo have earned recognition following their latest goalscoring exploits.

Inter striker Lukaku grabbed both goals in a 2-0 away win at Udinese on Sunday.

And Immobile matched that haul as Lazio thrashed SPAL 5-1, the Italy international's brace taking his 2019-20 league tally to 25 already.

The duo are far from the only big names in this week's selection, however, with Roberto Firmino, Jadon Sancho and Hugo Lloris also among the new in-form cards.

Find the full squad below.

TEAM OF THE WEEK

GK: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) - 89

CB: Matthijs de Ligt (Piemonte Calcio/Juventus) - 87

LB: Alex Telles (Porto) - 87

CB: Yerry Mina (Everton) - 84

CM: Daniel Parejo (Valencia) - 88

RM: Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain) - 88

CAM: Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) - 87

CM: Santi Cazorla (Villarreal) - 86

CF: Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) - 88

ST: Ciro Immobile (Lazio) - 90

ST: Romelu Lukaku (Inter) - 88

SUBSTITUTES

GK: Steve Mandanda (Marseille) - 83

CB: Kaan Ayhan (Fortuna Dusseldorf) - 81

RM: Robert Snodgrass (West Ham) - 81

ST: Francesco Caputo (Sassuolo) - 84

RW: Daniel Ginczek (Wolfsburg) - 82

ST: Kasper Dolberg (Nice) - 81

LW: Oussama Idrissi (AZ) - 81

RESERVES

CM: Alexandru Maxim (Gaziantep) - 79

CM: Alexandru Cicaldau (Universitatea Craiova) - 78

LM: Ahmet Engin (Duisburg) - 76

LM: Nathan Thomas (Carlisle United) - 74

LW: Said Benrahma (Brentford) - 80

Barcelona director of football Eric Abidal says a bid to bring Neymar back to Catalonia is "not impossible".

Neymar left Camp Nou for Paris Saint-Germain in acrimonious circumstances in August 2017 for a world record fee of €222 million but suggestions of a return have lingered ever since.

The Brazil star's time in France has not always been easy with injuries and off-field issues blighting his bid to challenge Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the world's best player.

But he, along with Inter striker Lautaro Martinez, are seemingly on Barca's wish-list.

Abidal told El Mundo Deportivo: "It depends on planning, passports and many things.

"The important thing for me is the sporting aspect, trying to have a stronger team to reach our goals as a club.

"But having talented players like Lautaro, Neymar or others would always be good for the club.

"I don't see it as impossible. We will try to work for that."

It has been reported that Neymar has a clause in his contract that would enable him to leave the Parc des Princes for €170m at the end of the season.

"It gives you a price, but the price would be the same for all clubs. not just Barca," added Abidal, whose public exchange of views with Lionel Messi over Ernesto Valverde's exit means he may not be in the job long enough to oversee summer recruitment.

"The decision is always that of the player.

"If we can do that signing it would be good but we're always thinking that Barca has the philosophy of seeing what happens in the B team and youth teams.

"We always take into account what is already here when we do our planning."

Presnel Kimpembe may have been guilty of "overconfidence" with the mistake that preceded a tense finale in Paris Saint-Germain's 2-1 victory over Nantes on Tuesday, said Thomas Tuchel.

Mauro Icardi's first-half goal was added to by Thilo Kehrer to put PSG in control of the Ligue 1 game at La Beaujoire, on a night when the Parisians were without Neymar due to a rib injury.

However, Kimpembe's attempt to flick a pass from Marco Verratti behind his standing leg and to Kehrer ended up going straight to Moses Simon, who raced through to score with 22 minutes remaining.

Simon missed a one-on-one with Keylor Navas and substitute Renaud Emond wasted a glorious chance to snatch a point for Nantes in stoppage time.

"Sometimes it's like that. The pitch was difficult and I am impressed with the way we played for 70 minutes," Tuchel told Canal+.

"It was excellent. We were aggressive and we had total control. We could have made 4-0 and after one mistake, it was 2-1.

"It may be overconfidence, but it can happen. You shouldn't take too many risks. They had opportunities and played with great courage afterwards.

"It's football. But the most important thing is that we had quality, and we always had opportunities to score the third. But the mentality is excellent."

Kylian Mbappe started despite reacting angrily to being substituted during Saturday's 5-0 victory over Montpellier at the Parc des Princes.

The World Cup winner was bright in the first half but missed a couple of chances as PSG came under pressure in the closing stages.

Asked for his assessment of Mbappe's display, Tuchel said: "He played a top match."

Kehrer was frustrated PSG were unable to find a third goal but refused to lay blame on Kimpembe for the pressure they came under.

"In the second half, we had big chances, but we didn't score and we didn't kill the match. We knew that Nantes play well at home and remain aggressive. They pushed and it was not easy," said Kehrer.

"I don't think [Kimpembe's mistake] made us doubtful. We felt like we were always in control. In matches, there are always mistakes. We are a team and we are here to win."

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