Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel says his side’s Coupe de France triumph over Saint-Etienne was an “expensive victory” after losing star striker Kylian Mbappe to a potentially serious ankle injury.
The France forward was left in agony after a horror challenge by Saint-Etienne defender Loic Perrin during the first half at the Stade de France, with Perrin shown a straight red card.
The 21-year-old was close to tears as he limped off the field and down the tunnel, reemerging late in the second half on crutches.
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The incident sparked a brawl between both sets of players, with an ill-tempered encounter producing 10 yellow cards along with Perrin’s red, the third time Saint-Etienne have had a player sent off in the first half in a match against PSG this season.
The injury puts Mbappe’s participation in next week’s Coupe de la Ligue final and, perhaps more significantly, next month’s Champions League clash with Atalanta, in serious doubt.
On the pitch, a solitary first-half goal from Neymar was enough to secure the win as PSG lifted the Coupe de France for the 13th time in their history, though Mbappe's injury overshadowed the result.
"Yes, we won. In a final, that's most important. It was complicated for several reasons,” Tuchel told Eurosport.
“There are many things to improve and analyse. That's good. But it's an expensive victory.
“In the last three matches against Saint Etienne, they always have a red card in the first 30 minutes. And I'm not telling you what is said in the locker room before. And in addition, we are the ones who had three yellow cards.”
When asked about Mbappe, Tuchel added: “I have no news at the moment. Everyone would be worried after seeing the images of the injury. Of course, I'm worried."
Reflecting on the result, which was PSG's first competitive match since the coronavirus shutdown in March, Tuchel added: "It was hard despite the numerical superiority. It was the first competitive match [since the shutdown], but we had a lot to lose. We were the big favourites.
"We had opportunities to score the second and I remembered last year when we lost after leading 2-0.
"The satisfaction remains to have won. We did not concede a goal and we did not get angry even if we were not at our best”
PSG defender Marquinhos was also satisfied with the win, though he conceded the injury to Mbappe and Thilo Kehrer, who limped off early on, overshadowed the win.
“It wasn't our best game. But we had to win,” Marquinhos told France 2. “Obviously, Mbappe's injury worries us, and that of Kehrer. Hopefully they are not too serious. We will see how it goes. They are two important players in the squad.
“You just have to think about preparing and working well. There are still trophies to go for. We will see day by day.”