PSG forward Angel Di Maria was spurred on by the hostile crowd at Manchester Utd, the French club’s manager Thomas Tuchel revealed. Di Maria
PSG forward Angel Di Maria was spurred on by the hostile crowd at Manchester Utd, the French club’s manager Thomas Tuchel revealed.
Di Maria was United’s record signing in 2014 when he was bought for £59.7 million.
But an underwhelming debut season under then-manager Louis Van Gaal led to the Argentina international’s departure to PSG a year later.
In the Champions League last 16 on Tuesday, the 30-year-old was booed by fans and had a beer bottle thrown in his direction.
But he had the last laugh by having a hand in both PSG goals in a 2-0 win.
Speaking to reporters after the Champions League triumph, Tuchel said: “He had a hard time in the first half, the guy is very competitive.
“If you tease him, it does not make him weaker.
“I thought he had a good relationship with the fans. He was a bit nervous and needed to be calmer in the first half. In the end he did well.”
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Di Maria was the architect of PSG’s victory, providing the corner that allowed Kimpembe to open the scoring in the 53rd minute before teeing up Mbappe on the hour.
Tuchel thought his Argentinian forward had been below par before the interval but was delighted he delivered a stunning riposte in the second half.
He added: “In the first half it was a bit hard for him playing right in front of me and losing many easy balls. He had a bit of a hard time because I was close to him.
“Maybe he was a bit nervous and a bit overused because he plays all the time for us.
“I’m happy he stayed confident, he’s always super reliable, he always gives his best and for that it’s easy to forgive him when he has not such a good first half.
“It’s always dangerous for him from the corners and of course a superb assist, it was a perfect pass for Kylian.
“It was a nice comeback for him, I’m very happy for him and of course he helped us a lot.”