The manager of Paris Saint Germain, Mauricio Pochettino believes that his team is improving despite a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester City on Wednesday, November 24, 2021.
Recall that when coach Pep Guardiola led Manchester City to visit Parc des Princes on September 28 for the UEFA Champions League group game, the star-studded PSG beat City 2-0.
In the reverse fixture at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, Pep Guardiola’s boys made life difficult for coach Mauricio Pochettino and his superstar players.
Throughout the first half of the game, it was Manchester City players that showed more signs that they wanted a win.
From that point, Manchester City proved to be more organized and focused than their visitors. Their effort paid off in the 76th minute when Gabriel Jesus scored the winner.
The 2-1 win took PSG to the top of Champions League Group A with 12 points in 5 games.
On the other hand, the defeat pushed PSG to the second spot with 8 points in 5 games. Despite the low points the star-studded French side garnered, they were able to move to the round of 16 alongside Manchester City.
While third-placed RB Leipzig and fourth-placed Club Brugge made do with qualification for the Europa League group stage.
After the game, coach Mauricio Pochettino who is heavily linked with a move to Manchester United described the defeat as a disappointment.
The Argentine tactician said: “Yes, disappointed but, at the same time, Man City, in the first half, they played well, and they forced us to play deeper. They were very aggressive.
“Being honest, I think we need to give the credit to Man City. But, second half, it’s true after 0-0 in the first half, we scored, we were calm because we were controlling them very well. The circumstances of the game changed a little bit and we conceded two goals. Man City is a very good team.
“The objective was to qualify and then to be first. But we beat Man City in the Parc de Princes, we lost here. The difference here is the draw against Brugge and Leipzig, that is why we finished second, not because of the two games we played against Man City…
“Credit to Man City, they are a really good team. We are disappointed but we need to look forward.
“We are improving and I am happy in the process. Things are better than one month ago and much better than two months ago. Little by little the team is improving.”
Pep Guardiola believes the defeat over Mauricio Pochettino and his team is a statement
Just like Paris Saint Germain, the goal of Manchester City is to win the UEFA Champions League for the first time in the club’s history.
Manchester City have qualified for the round of 16 nine conservative times and they played in the final of the tournament last season but were defeated by Chelsea.
Ahead of this season, many pundits thought PSG would walk over every team in the tournament due to the array of stars at the club. But Manchester City were able to prove that Mauricio Pochettino and his superstars are beatable and City are in the tournament to win it.
Guardiola said: “PSG – what a team, what players, what can I say? We tried to keep these players far away from our goal. When they are close to your goal they can do anything.
“Except for five minutes after we conceded, when they [went for the] knockout on the counter-attack but couldn’t finish, we made a really top performance.
“We are happy to be in the next stage. Congratulations to everyone in the club. It’s many years of being there.
“Now we will focus on the Premier League and try to arrive in February in the best condition possible to go to the quarter-finals.”