Paris Saint-Germain may have downed Stade Rennais 4-1, but it was not without controversy even despite the lopsided scoreline.
In the 34th minute, with the match tied 1-1, M’baye Niang – who had already bagged Stade Rennais’s lone goal of the match – went in studs up on 22-year-old German international Thilo Kehrer.
It was an incredibly bad tackle, as replays showed Niang’s studs caught Kehrer square on the shin after he had already released the ball to a teammate. It looks a textbook red card, but referee Karim Abed initially awarded a yellow card. VAR flagged the incident as needing review, and Abed went to the sidelines to look at the monitor.
Somehow, he refused to change his initial decision. See for yourself:
As the game progressed and halftime arrived, PSG manager Thomas Tuchel was still understandably seething about the decision. As the halftime whistle blew, cameras caught the German boss yelled angrily at the referees – in English – to “go home and get that s*** away,” referring to the VAR equipment.
But Tuchel wasn’t done. He marched down the tunnel with purpose and continued to berate the referees…but switched languages. He transitioned flawlessly into angry French, asking the referees “Why do we even have VAR? Why do we even have it? Why? If there is a foul, it’s not a foul! If there is a red card, it’s not a red card!”
Niang apologized for the tackle after the match on social media. “A tackle poorly controlled! I had no intention to hurt you, I’m happy I did not hurt you! @KehrerThilo good luck the rest of the season and I’m so sorry!”
Thankfully for Tuchel, Kehrer was able to continue and PSG eventually won on a brilliant performance from Kylian Mbappe who picked up a goal and an assist in the second half, with Edinson Cavani scoring twice and Angel Di Maria bagging two assists.