Coupe de la ligue

Kings of France, PSG set sights on Europe

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After completing a domestic clean sweep by claiming the final Coupe de la Ligue BKT 6-5 on penalties against Lyon, proud Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel and his men now turn to preparations for the Champions League.

Despite having four months of lockdown in their legs and soaring temperatures to contend with, the Paris Saint-Germain and OL players put on a show to farewell the Coupe de la Ligue BKT on Friday night.

Relentless drive and running weren't enough to decide the match in regular time, nor extra time, and so it was that PSG 'keeper's save from Bertrand Traoré carried the day.

Tuchel: 'A huge achievement'

PSG thus completed the third quadruple - Trophée des Champions, Ligue 1 Uber Eats, Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue BKT - in club and French history, a fact that capital club coach Tuchel was thrilled by.

"My lads are reliable guys who play, enjoy working and suffering together. That makes me very happy. I am proud and happy," said the German after the domestic clean sweep was stitched up. "We did not lose concentration, the hunger to win or our confidence. We won on penalties and that counts for a lot. We won these four titles, and there is a good atmosphere in the locker room. And I'm very happy because everyone thinks it's okay to win, but it's not that easy. Winning four titles is a huge achievement and I am happy."

Garcia: 'Capable of competing with the best teams'

Meanwhile, Tuchel's opposite number Rudi Garcia was also a proud man - if somewhat more circumspect - after his players turned in an excellent performance against the country's most powerful club.

"We could have been a bit more specific about a few transitions and caused a few more problems. But penalties are a technical exercise and they were better than us," said Garcia, whose side's only route to Europe next season is to win the Champions League - starting with the second leg of their last-16 tie with Juventus on 7 August (1-0 win for Lyon in the first leg). "In terms of a learning experience, it gave the squad confidence. We're showing that we're capable of competing with the best teams in Europe, if not the best… I would like to congratulate my players for a good performance. We made very few mistakes. It's a good basis for work ahead of the Juventus clash."

Verratti: 'Three finals to win'

As Italy midfielder Marco Verratti - named Man of the Match for his indefatigable display in the middle of the park against Lyon - noted, Paris now have a massive challenge to meet in the form of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Atalanta in Lisbon on 12 August.

"We're happy. It was a difficult match and that's normal because it was a final against a good team. Winning a final like that and suffering is good. 120 minutes was tough after the four-month break, and it wasn't the best match," said the midfield maestro before turning his attention to Europe's biggest club prize. "We'll celebrate a bit and then we'll think about what's next. We still have three finals to win. We've already won two, there's three left. We're going to rest and try to get ready for Lisbon."Verratti: '