Thomas Tuchel hailed Paris Saint-Germain’s “deserved” 2-1 win over Rennes in the Trophee des Champions on Saturday.
Tuchel’s side got off to a strong start in China and had the measure of their opponents in the early stages. However, a small lapse in concentration allowed an unmarked Adrien Hunou to put Rennes into a surprise 13th-minute lead.
With the pressure well and truly on their shoulders, PSG attempted to quickly regroup and fire in an equaliser. While they continued to insert their dominance in the game, the Ligue 1 champions couldn’t breakdown the Rennes defence.
The likes of Pablo Sarabia, Edinson Cavani (twice) and Kylian Mbappe all came close to equalising.
But Sarabia, who joined PSG from Sevilla this summer, set-up Mbappe to score a long-awaited equaliser in the second half. Substitute Angel Di Maria then scored a free-kick in the 73rd-minute to seal the victory.
“It was a difficult win to achieve, but it’s deserved. We conceded the opener but managed to turn things around,” said head coach Tuchel on the club’s website.
“We started the game too relaxed, and then got into it after ten minutes, pressing high up the pitch with a lot of intensity. We created a lot of chances.”
“We continued like that after the break. I’m very happy with the performance, even if we relaxed a bit after our second goal. We produced 70 top quality minutes.”
Match-winner Di Maria added: “I’m very happy, very happy to win another trophy with this club. The team won, I scored…it’s a good evening. If I make the fans happy, I’m happy!”
Although PSG and Tuchel’s big win at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Centre was overshadowed by an incident involving Mbappe and Neymar. Video footage emerged of the French striker pushing his wantaway colleague away from the team photo in a not-so-friendly manner.