Ancelotti dismisses PSG's hopes of winning UCL

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Carlo Ancelotti claims his side do not harbour hopes of winning the Champions League and only want to do their best in the competition.

Lavezzi's celebration mimics that of Ade Akinbiyi


The free-spending French giants secured themselves a berth in the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a hard fought 3-2 aggregate win over Valencia in the last-16 of the competition.

Having taken a slender 2-1 lead from the first leg of their last-16 tie, PSG were given a huge scare as Valencia took a 55th minute lead in the second leg through midfielder Jonas, who struck a sweet 25-yard drive into the top corner of the net.

PSG however fought back and equalised 11 minutes later when Kevin Gameiro embarked on a mazy run from midfield and set up striker Ezequiel Lavezzi tapped in from close range.

Despite reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in 18 years, Ancelotti remained pessimistic about his side's chances of winning European football's premier club competition.

"It's very difficult to win the Champions League," Ancelotti was quoted as saying by the official Champions League website. 

"It's not our aim, our aim is to do our best. At the start of the Champions League everyone said we didn't know what we are going to do. 

"We've done really well - we won our group, got to the last 16 and now we're in the quarter-finals."

Reflecting on the game, Ancelotti gave due credit to Valencia for pushing his charges all the way and admitted Jonas' goal was the "wake up" call his side needed.

"It was very hard, a very difficult game, but we knew Valencia came here to give a performance," Ancelotti added. 

"In the first half we weren't so good, not at our best, but in the second half, after we'd conceded, we were better. 

"It's a very important result for the club because after 18 years, reaching the quarter-finals is a big thing.

"The goal we conceded woke us up. We had the first half too much under control and the second was better."

Valencia head coach Ernesto Valverde conceded that his side were distraught at having exited the Champions League but claimed his players had nothing to be ashamed of after their battling display.

"In the dressing room there is sadness, we are a little sad, but my team has shown its true colours," Valverde said.  

"We leave with our heads held high.

"We came here with a hope of qualifying, we knew it would be difficult because they're a good team - but it wasn't possible.

"We hoped to score and complicate things for them, and though we did so in the second half, it was a pity we couldn't keep our lead for longer because we could have caused them more problems. At least we kept the tie alive until the end.

"We got close to their area [on several occasions] and had many corners, but we lacked an end product in the final third and fatigue may have cost us in the last few minutes. 

"In the first half we were very conscious of the need to stop their counterattacks because in the first leg those caused us a lot of damage."

As of now, the teams which have qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions League are PSG, Juventus, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.

comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular News

News & Update