Ander Herrera ‘died in the dressing room’, claims PSG manager Thomas Tuchel after Spanish midfielder’s dogged display in Ligue 1 victory over Rennes
- Thomas Tuchel has praised Ander Herrera for his efforts for Paris Saint-Germain
- Ex-Manchester United star Herrera has been ever-present for the club this term
- PSG have been plagued by injuries to aces including Neymar and Kylian Mbappe
- The French side beat Rennes in Lique 1 but have toiled in the Champions League
Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel has claimed that midfielder Ander Herrera ‘was dead before the match’ and ‘died in the dressing room’ as his side secured an eighth successive Ligue 1 victory.
Herrera helped the reigning champions to win 3-0 at home to Rennes on Saturday, leading Tuchel to praise the former Manchester United star following his ever-present start to the season.
Tuchel curiously claimed: ‘Ander was dead before the match. He died in the dressing room tonight.
Ander Herrera (left) has been involved in all 13 of Paris Saint Germain’s matches this campaign
Tuchel (third from left) bizarrely claimed that the ex-Man United man had ‘died’ during a match
‘What he did was exceptional. The same for Leandro Paredes. We played a really good Rennes teams but we showed a good mentality and a collective effort. It was a great win.’
First-choice strikers Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were absent again, while Marco Verratti and Juan Bernat also missed the 2-1 defeat at Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Defender Presnel Kimpembe is suffering from a metatarsal problem and goalkeeper Keylor Navas and midfielder Pablo Sarabia have muscle injuries.
Tuchel also rued the condition of his opening goalscorer against Rennes, saying: ‘Moise Kean took a lot of blows and he already had pains before the match.
Herrera helped his side to beat Rennes 3-0 at home as their winning spree continued in Ligue 1
‘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.’
Leipzig’s comeback win put them three points ahead of third-placed PSG in Group H, meaning that the French giants are in danger of failing to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition for the first time since Qatar Sports Investments took over the club in 2011.
Herrera has provided welcome stability during his 13-game run in the team, but Tuchel has been frustrated by the inclusion of Brazil’s Neymar and France prodigy Mbappe in their national squads despite their injuries.
The under-pressure coach conceded: ‘It’s the right of the national team to call up players. We cannot do anything.
Depleted PSG lost 2-1 at Leipzig and have only won once in the Champions League this season
‘If the boys are injured and can’t play, I always prefer that they don’t play.
‘It’s a super important phase, a good time to recover for players, but we have confidence that they will be treated well, that they have good care and good preparation.
‘It’s the truth. We have confidence in these people who are responsible for the national teams.’
Another ex-United regular, Angel di Maria, scored the two goals that sealed the win to send Paris five points clear at the top of the domestic table.
Tuchel said: ‘Angel likes to play a lot to get his rhythm. He was suspended for four games [for spitting] and it was very difficult for him – and serious for us.’
Star strikers Neymar (centre) and Kylian Mbappe (right) are also struggling with injury issues
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