Neymar has levelled the blame for PSG’s shock Coupe de France final defeat to Rennes firmly at the club’s youngsters.
The Brazil international made his first start since January and bagged a goal and an assist as the Parisians raced into a 2-0 lead within 21 minutes of Saturday’s showpiece final.
Rennes’ remarkable comeback: Five key things to kn0w…
- PSG held a 2-0 lead over Rennes after just 21 minutes of Saturday’s Coupe de France final.
- However, a Presnel Kimpembe own goal and a Mexer header saw Rennes draw level.
- Kylian Mbappe was sent off in extra-time as Julien Stephan’s side forced penalties.
- Christopher Nkunku missed the decisive spot-kick to hand Rennes a first Coupe de France title since 1971.
- Neymar has blamed PSG’s ‘lost’ youngsters for the shock defeat.
However, Rennes fought back through a Presnel Kimpembe own goal and a header from Mexer to take the game all the way to extra-time and penalties.
Kylian Mbappe was sent off during extra-time and Christopher Nkunku was brought on to be involved in the shootout but missed the decisive spot-kick as Rennes ended their 48-year wait for a Coupe de France crown.
And Neymar has accused PSG’s younger players of not listening, blaming them for the surprise defeat.
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“I feel bad. You always feel bad when you lose, even more so when it’s in a final,” he told Ligue 1’s official website after the game. “Everybody is sad but now there’s nothing we can do about it.
“I think I played well. I scored and set a goal up. I was very pleased with that but of course, the feelings are mixed because we lost.
2014/15: PSG 🏆
2015/16: PSG 🏆
2016/17: PSG 🏆
2017/18: PSG 🏆
2018/19: P̶S̶G̶ Rennes 🏆
Stade Rennais end PSG's Coupe de France dominance as a 6-5 penalty shootout win secures the trophy. pic.twitter.com/10VSZ7SeVd
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) April 27, 2019
“The youngsters are a bit lost and they don’t listen. The experienced players give them advice but they reply… We have experience and they need to respect that.”
‘Emotional’ Ben Arfa ‘proud’ of Rennes effort
At the final whistle, Rennes midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa shed tears of joy and was visibly emotional about this landmark victory.
And while the ramifications for Thomas Tuchel’s job will rumble on, it is a time for Rennes to celebrate their first Coupe de France title since 1971, sealed in such dramatic fashion.
“This is huge and I’m feeling exceptional because we worked very hard for this,” Ben Arfa said. “We have had a few difficult moments but we have stayed together.
“We had a good Europa League run and we picked up a trophy that Rennes had been waiting for nearly 50 years.
“We’re really very happy and it’s a source of pride to all the players, the coaching staff and the supporters.”