Quarter-final reactions - Blanc: 'Be patient'
Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc said that Barcelona's experience paid off in the 5-1 aggregate win to book a semis berth, but believes that the capital club has a bright future in the competition.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
UEFA Champions League, quarter-final second leg
Nou Camp, Barcelona
FC Barcelona 2 - 0 Paris Saint-Germain (Barcelona go through 5-1 on aggregate)
Luis Enrique (FC Barcelona coach): "The players understood what they had to do in this match: bring a lot of intensity even though we had clinched a favourable result in the first leg. Our attitude right from kick-off, our pressing in the opponent's half and the scoring chances that followed put us in a good position and that's great for the fans. I hope that the best is yet to come. We're where we want to be but we haven't achieved anything yet."
Laurent Blanc (Paris Saint-Germain coach): "We had hoped to play better but Barcelona didn't let us, just as they didn't let us in the first leg. Barcelona deserve to go through. We didn't do enough to earn that ticket to the semis. I can analyse why we haven't qualified: because Barcelona scored five goals. We beat Chelsea and that was amazing but not enough to stay in the competition. We had more experience than our opponents then, but tonight we lacked experience compared with Barcelona. Everyone wants fast results but Paris will move forward given a positive mentality and time. When you don't beat a team like Barcelona you can say you haven't achieved what you wanted. We just didn't defend but although they were superior, we did see a bit of the ball. We had our weapons, fewer than Barcelona, but we had them. We didn't abandon our philosophy; we stuck to our style. We took risks. If you follow Barcelona you know how patient you have to be to win the Champions League. How long did it take them? They won in 1992 when the club were in their centenary. I am not saying PSG will need to wait that long, but we have to be patient."
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain striker): "We have to be realistic: they were better than us. They were the better team and they deserved to win. They will probably win the Champions League this season. As far as we're concerned, it's not possible to achieve such an objective in such a short time. We've made impressive progress but we were knocked out by a superb side. There's no points in lying or sugar-coating it. that's simply the reality."
Nasser Al-Khelaifi (Paris Saint-Germain president): "Barcelona deserved to qualify. After the first goal, our morale took a blow, which could explain the second goal. We were better in the second half, but it wasn't enough for us to win and get the qualification. It was too hard to play against Barcelona with four players out injured in the first leg. We were very unlucky, but that's no excuse. They have one of the best teams in the world, if not the best. It has been four years since we bought PSG, whereas Barcelona have been around for 101 years. You could see the difference between the two clubs tonight. But that won't stop us from continuing to build our project. We're motivated and we've done a lot of positive things this season. Soon we'll be (Ligue 1) champions for third successive season, I hope. Sure, we lost today but we mustn't forget the positives."
David Luiz (Paris Saint-Germain defender): "They controlled the match and they deserved to win. In the second leg as in the first, they played a better match than us. They played two fantastic matches, so it was tough for us to win. It also has to be said that when you're missing four or five players, it's even tougher. But we still have two competitions to win this season (Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France)."
Javier Pastore (Paris Saint-Germain midfielder): "We're not disappointed; quite simply, we were up against a team who were stronger than us. We were knocked out by a great team. That's Barcelona. We know that if we play them ten times, we'll lose nine of those matches. I would have liked to see what we could do against a different team. You have to remember that we played three 'finals' before this quarter-finals tie, and all of them were matches to be played at 100 per cent. So there was fatigue involved. And when you don't have the ball, and you have to run after it all night, fatigue kicks in that much sooner."
Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain 'keeper): "Right from the start, we tried to turn the situation around, but they started very strongly. After 15 minutes, they scored a very important goal and that really affected our game plan. They're a really strong side. There's not much to say, really. You just have to admit that they were the better side. It's the first time we've lost in the quarter-finals with a loss in both legs. But when your opponent is that much stronger, there's nothing to say. Sometimes football is simple, and you don't need to comment any further."
Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain midfielder): "We know that Barça are a great team and they showed that in both legs. They're strong in maintaining possession and winning back the ball. If they lost the ball, they pressed extremely hard to get it back. We have some regrets, but in the end, we were up against a ide who were stronger than us. They really are a great team. We're disappointed. We needed to pull out a huge performance but that wasn't the case tonight. Now we need to concentrate on the league and the Coupe de France."