After Paris Saint-Germain dominated the French league, it suddenly became bizarre.
Considering how far the PSG has progressed throughout the season, the French title should have been reached by now.
Instead, the champagne stayed on ice three times. PSG drew once and lost twice. Over three years, there have been more than three goals.
After a 2-2 draw in Strasbourg, PSG lost 1-1 to Lille and 3-2 to Nantes. Not since 1985, when the PSG scored eleven goals in three games, the defense has scored the goals so badly. Lille has given the PSG the worst defeat since Qatari owners QSI in 2011.
The German coach of PSG, Thomas Tuchel, has received much praise for his tactical innovations as well as for his carefree comments this season.
He does not laugh either. After the defeat of Nantes Tuchel sounded sarcastic.
"We were happy not to lose 1: 4," he said. "We always defend players when we feel like they are playing with great mentality and a lot of hunger. But today it is simply not possible. "
These comments were fair as PSG played poorly, especially in a defense with goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and four international players.
But they were also a bit surprising.
Because as striker Kylian Mbappe after the defeat in Lille made similar statements about lack of character in the team, Tuchel persisted obstinately.
"No, no, no," Tuchel had insisted. "That's not the case, it's too easy (to say)."
WHERE WAS MBAP?
Since PSG had to beat Nantes to win the title, Mbappe was omitted. This was all the more surprising, as Tuchel had previously complained about an injury crisis. He had no eight players for injury and suspension, but the World Cup winner of France was not even on the bench.
Without him PSG was toothless in 14th place against a modest Nantes team.
Asked about the absence of his striker, Tuchel became defensive.
"I do not have to explain," he said. "Punishment, stop this science fiction, it's not a punishment, it's something that was decided between us."
Mbappe should return to the home game against Monaco on Sunday, when PSG wants to win the eighth championship title.
PSG have a 17-point advantage over Lille, but can already prevail on Sunday if Lille does not win in Toulouse.
The defense of PSG looks weaker without Thiago Silva.
Da Silva limped off Lille with a knee injury in the first half and scored four goals in a row – two goals in the second half against Lille and one against Nantes.
In the second half, there was a strange moment against Nantes when the television cameras Layvin Kurzawa let go on the bench. In a frustrated voice, the 13-year-old from France questioned PSG's tactics when an assistant coach tried to explain it to him.
In the back right Thilo Kehrer sees no confidence.
His form has dropped sharply since the 3-1 home defeat by Manchester United in the last 16 of the Champions League. Kehrer's sloppy return led to Romelu Lukaku's first goal in just two minutes, immediately putting PSG on the back foot.
The German international was easily beaten off the ball against Nantes for their second goal. After the match he left the field with his head bowed.
PSG prevailed against Rennes in the French Cup final on 27 April.
Tuchel hopes to have a few players for this game, including Neymar.
The Brazilian star resumed training following a foot injury sustained in January.
He could argue, but Silva seems doubtful to face a Rennes team with one of France's best forward legs.
Other AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.