Tuchel hails 'exceptional' PSG mentality

Thomas Tuchel praised Paris Saint-Germain's character after the Ligue 1 champions rounded off a triumphant week with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Saint-Etienne.

PSG put a significant marker down in the Champions League as they beat Manchester United 2-0 at Old Trafford in the first leg of a last-16 tie they tackled without star forwards Neymar and Edinson Cavani.

As his did in midweek, Kylian Mbappe stepped up impressively in their absence 17 minutes from time at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard – volleying a brilliant 73rd-minute winner.

"I am very happy because I knew very well that it was very difficult to play at Saint-Etienne," Tuchel told reporters after his team extended their seemingly unassailable lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 12 points.

"My team showed an exceptional mentality. We accepted all the circumstances. 

"We defended with great intensity and vigilance. We accepted that it was a difficult match. I am very happy. 

"We have been patient, the victory is deserved."

On Mbappe, whose 18th Ligue 1 appearance this term produced his 19th top-flight goal of the campaign, Tuchel added: "He shows his quality every day in training, he has this hunger to score, score, score. 

"It's his quality - he is a special player. 

"Everyone was tired after Manchester United, physically but also mentally. It was necessary to control the game, to play focused. 

"We showed the mentality to have the victory."

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