Ancelotti: 'Proud, but not happy'
While PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti hailed his players' courage in twice coming back to draw 2-2 with Barcelona, he wasn't pleased with the result, believing his side deserved better after turning in such a performance.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, first leg
Paris Saint-Germain 2 - 2 FC Barcelona
Carlo Ancelotti (Paris Saint-Germain coach): "I don't think it's a good result. We didn't simply defend; we had chances. In the first half, we had a good offensive aspect. The objective for the next match is to do the same, but for more than 30 minutes. Even though it will be at the Camp Nou, I'm confident that we can do it. We conceded two goals tonight: the first was a gifted to Messi and the second was a present from the referee. I'm proud of my players' performance, of their attitude and the courage they showed. But I'm not happy about the result. Blaise Matuidi's suspension is a real blow for us as he's a very important player. But I hope to have Thiago Motta back, and [Clément] Chantôme, a very aggressive player, could also step in. I think we can replace Blaise for next week.
Leonardo (Paris Saint-Germain sporting director): "It was an extraordinary evening. At the same time, we can be disappointed because victory wasn't too far away. Then again, Barcelona have been working together for 20 years while we've had just 20 months. There is a real pride to be Parisian tonight. We'll do everything we can to have more nights like this one. [On Matuidi's supension] That's how it goes, but we've shown that we have the depth in our squad. Carlo [Ancelotti] had the right strategy tonight and he'll find the right one in Barcelona as well."
David Beckham (Paris Saint-Germain midfielder): "Obviously it's very special to return to the Champions League after several years. It's never easy to take on this kind of players, who are so comfortable on the ball, especially in midfield. The return leg will be tough, but not impossible. I was a bit surprised to be a starter tonight. I've always said since coming here that I never expect to start matches, but being a handed a start in a match like this shows that the coach has faith in me. [On a possible extension of his contract] We'll see. I'm not getting any younger and I want to enjoy the rest of the season, then we'll see."
Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain midfielder): "Frankly we're very proud; we gave football fans a real show tonight. We showed that Paris are a team with a lot of courage, but Barça still have the advantage. [On his suspension] It's disappointing, but my teammates will do the maximum, I know it. I hope everyone gives their all, as they did tonight. Nothing is decided yet, and we'll all we can to qualify for the semis. My goal showed that we fought right to the bitter end. Just before that, Ibra told me to move closer to him when we passed the ball long. That shows that great players can also give great advice, and I thank him. I have mixed feelings, but I can't just think about myself. Tonight we left ourselves with a chance, and we can't stop here."
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain striker): "We need to score in the second leg. I remain optimistic. It's not up to me to say how we should play; the coach has already thought it all through and made plans."
Nasser Al-Khelaïfi (Paris Saint-Germain president): "It's magnificent! We rivaled Barcelona tonight and I'm very proud of my team. Above and beyond the result, we played very well tonight. There's a second half to look forward to in Barcelona. I'm very proud of what we've done in the last 18 months. Playing a quarter-final against the best team in the world is magnificent."
Jordi Roura (Barcelona assistant coach): "It was a Champions League quarter-final. The result is a good one for us but given the match as a whole, it's not as good as we deserved because we were superior and we played with a lot of intensity. The match took its toll, because we lost Leo Messi and Mascherano, who injured his medial ligament and will be out for four to six weeks. Messi has a twinge in his thigh and we'll know more after further examinations. If we lose the best player in the world for the second leg, obviously it will be a huge blow, but we can play [Cesc] Fabregas there as well, and we have faith in him. PSG didn't surprise me tonight; we knew their potential, the way they play and their physical impact. They have some great players; I don't know what impact it had on their morale to level the scores twice, but in the end the result was a favourable one for us."