'It's no excuse' – Neymar uncertainty not to blame for PSG loss, says Thiago Silva

The Brazilian defender was frustrated with his side’s performance, while manager Thomas Tuchel raised concerns about his squad’s fitness levels

Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva says the ongoing uncertainty surrounding star man Neymar was no excuse for their performance as they were deservedly beaten 2-1 at Rennes on Sunday night.

After initially leading through Edinson Cavani, the Ligue 1 champions were pegged back on the stroke of half-time by M’Baye Niang before Romain Del Castillo headed in a superb winner shortly after the break.

Speaking on Canal+ after the game, Silva was asked if the transfer speculation around his Brazilian compatriot had affected the side as they slumped to a surprise defeat.

“It’s hard, right?” he said. “For everyone, the club, and for us, the players. But that isn’t an excuse. It isn’t because of that that we’ve been less focused tonight. Ney wasn’t here and we have to concentrate on ourselves, and about all we need to do this season. It’s a shame to lose in the second game of the season.

“It was a difficult match. We started well, we opened the scoring but then we relaxed a bit, and I don’t know why we lost our concentration.

“It was a shame to concede at the end of the first half, and then at the beginning of the second half we concede a goal that we wouldn’t usually concede. We are going to lift our heads up, think about the next game and try to improve, because today it wasn’t the PSG we know.”

He added: “We worked well, but this is only the beginning of the season. This is not an excuse, because Rennes played well. They were solid and more attentive. I do not know exactly what happened. It will be better in the next matches.’

Manager Thomas Tuchel had similar thoughts about his side’s display, after watching a lethargic performance. Though PSG saw more of the ball than their opponents, they created fewer shooting opportunities and never managed to pose a consistent threat to Rennes’ lead.

But, with Neymar’s move to either Barcelona or Real Madrid thought to be moving closer to a conclusion at last, Tuchel wasn’t able to offer any update on the transfer.

Next up for PSG is a clash with Toulouse next Sunday in the club’s third match of the Ligue 1 campaign.

PSG topped Nimes 3-0 in the club’s opener behind goals from Cavani, Kylian Mbappe and Angel di Maria.

The champions currently sit eighth in Ligue 1 with Lyon, Nice and Rennes currently tied atop the table with six points from two matches.

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