Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel admitted Neymar’s latest luxury birthday celebrations were a “distraction” at a vital time in the summer after the Brazilian helped the Ligue 1 leaders into a 5-0 win over nine-man Montpellier on Saturday. Neymar, with his hair dyed pink, shook off an injury scare and raged with all the match officials while Pablo Sarabia, Angel Di Maria, Kylian Mbappe and Layvin Kurzawa all scored along with a Daniel Congre own goal as PSG moved 13 points clear of Marseille at the peak of the table.
On Sunday, the Brazilian is set to host a party for his birthday despite his team, at a Parisian nightclub.”It’s a diversion, that is clear,” explained Tuchel. “I always want to protect my own players, also when there are difficult things to talk about that I prefer to say them internally.”These are all distractions, and they give the impression we aren’t serious, not professional. However, I do not really wish to discuss it then these things become big problems.” Neymar warmed up with a shirt bearing the name of Kobe Bryant. While Neymar did not score, needing to settle just for one assist, he produced his usual tricks, provoked the resistance, and needed lengthy treatment at the end of the first half after appearing to hurt his ribs as he grappled for the ball with Montpellier’s Arnaud Souquet.
Unhappy with the some of the treatment Neymar was caught by television cameras angrily remonstrating using the fourth official at the tunnel at half-time in Portuguese and was booked for dissent in the first half. Tuchel was also made to answer questions about Mbappe’s furious reaction to being taken off midway through the second half, as a January move to Atletico Madrid fell through, as Edinson Cavani arrived to get a first look.”This group shows how focused and professional they are every day, but this provides the impression it is not always like this and I am miserable because it is not vital. I explained to him why he came off and that would be. Decisions are made by me for sporting reasons. This is football, not tennis, and you need to respect everyone.”