'Neymar's heart is very big' - PSG boss Tuchel applauds Brazilian for giving Mbappe penalty to end drought

Neymar Mbappe PSG 2020Getty

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel applauded Neymar for turning down the chance to complete his hat-trick from the penalty spot against Istanbul Basaksehir, with the Brazilian instead giving Kylian Mbappe the chance to end his Champions League scoring drought. 

Neymar had already scored twice against the Turkish side when PSG were awarded a penalty near the end of the first half. Rather than take it himself though, Neymar handed Mbappe the opportunity to end a goal-less streak in Europe that had reached nine games. 

Mbappe duly converted from the spot and would go on to add another goal as PSG clinched top spot in Group H with a 5-1 win, with Neymar eventually completing his hat-trick anyway in the second half. 

Tuchel was happy to see the gesture from the Brazilian, saying the move would do wonders for Mbappe's confidence.

"It's a great gesture," Tuchel said in his post-game press conference. "He gave that ball away that would've been a hat-trick.

"It is also not usual for Ney to score three goals in the same game. He gave the ball to Kylian to end his long streak without scoring in the Champions League.

"Neymar's heart is very big. He always thinks of his team-mates. He knows very well how important it is for forwards and for Kylian to score."

Wednesday's match began 14 minutes in, after the game was originally started on Tuesday and then postponed following allegations of racism against the fourth official.

Basaksehir initially walked off the pitch after the official identified their assistant coach Pierre Webo as "the black one" and were then followed in solidarity by PSG's players. 

Tuchel said he was proud of his players for their actions on Tuesday.

"They made a strong decision, they showed solidarity with the opponent," Tuchel added. "They had a lot of courage. In the locker room, it was clear that they wanted to show that reaction.

"They are adults, they know what they are doing. I didn't understand the whole situation, I didn't hear the words on the pitch, but in the dressing room everything was very clear to us. It was necessary that we show this solidarity."