Thomas Tuchel said he "will never stop believing" in Angel Di Maria despite once again leaving the attacking midfielder out of Paris Saint-Germain's starting line-up.

Di Maria has been in and out of the PSG XI of late and was again named among the substitutes for Wednesday's 2-0 Ligue 1 victory over Lorient at the Parc des Princes.

The Argentina international was introduced for the final 19 minutes, at which point the reigning champions were already two goals ahead against their 10-man opponents thanks to Kylian Mbappe's penalty and Moise Kean's strike.

Di Maria had 18 touches of the ball during his time on the pitch – none of those inside the opposition box - and failed to get a shot away.

And PSG head coach Tuchel told Di Maria to improve his attacking displays if he is to force his way back into regular contention.

"I feel like Angel has lost some things that were easy for him before, but that's how it is," Tuchel said at his post-match news conference. 

"We changed the structure in the last minutes against [RB] Leipzig, in Manchester, against [Istanbul] Basaksehir here, and in Montpellier. 

"We were a little stronger in this structure in 5-3-2. It's a little easier for Rafinha in this position, in the midfield, he is more decisive. But it is a decision of the moment."

PSG have won five and lost three of the eight Ligue 1 matches Di Maria has started this season, compared to five wins, one draw and one defeat in the seven matches without him included from the beginning. 

"I'm never going to stop believing in Angel. It is in my head, it is in my heart, even if at the moment it is less easy," Tuchel added. "He tried again today, but he lacks that spark."

Rafinha, selected in a midfield three alongside Ander Herrera and Idrissa Gueye, played a joint-high four key passes and was involved in both of PSG's goals.

The former Barcelona man picked out Mbappe in the build-up to PSG's penalty, which the prolific forward converted, and teed up Kean for the second.

"Whenever he plays, Rafa is decisive, he is reliable," Tuchel said. "He gives what he can for the team and that is very important. 

"He's always up to speed, in every game. He's not afraid to play, he sets the pace. When he can be decisive, he is there. We are very happy with him.

"I like him a lot because he does easy things. If it is necessary to play in one touch, he does so.

"If we need to stay compact, he allows us to do that. He thinks for the team. He's a good player who is used to playing in a team that has possession. It's a good time for him."

Marco Verratti was another high-profile omission from the PSG side, which Tuchel put down to the midfielder – used 11 times in all competitions this season – needing a rest.

"It is clear that we are using him too much and we have decided to let him rest tonight," he said. 

"We saw against Lyon that for concentration and energy it was not easy for him in the last match. That's why we decided to start with Herrera, Gueye and Rafinha."

It was a much-needed victory for PSG on the back of Sunday's 1-0 home loss to Lyon, lifting them up to second in the table and still within a point of Lille ahead of next weekend's trip to the league leaders.

Tuchel, who is unsure if Neymar will be back in time for the top-of-the-table clash, hinted he could stick with a five-man defence after successfully seeing off Lorient.

"The problem against Lyon was us, our performance," Tuchel said. "The important thing is the energy and the effort that we put in to animate the structure. 

"We want to improve our game and today I have the impression that the 3-5-2 gives us more stability even if we lost Danilo to injury tonight, Abdou Diallo in the last match, and that it will be difficult to find the three central defenders at Lille."