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French first delights Deschamps

Published: Thursday 18 September 2003, 0.27CET
Didier Deschamps was jubilant as his AS Monaco FC side became the first French team to score at PSV Eindhoven.
Published: Thursday 18 September 2003, 0.27CET

French first delights Deschamps

Didier Deschamps was jubilant as his AS Monaco FC side became the first French team to score at PSV Eindhoven.

By Mark Bennett in Eindhoven

AS Monaco FC turned up to spoil the party at PSV Eindhoven's 100th European Champion Clubs' Cup game by taking all three points from their visit to the Philips stadium. Running out 2-1 winners, Didier Deschamps' side became the first French team to score a goal in Eindhoven.

Deschamps overjoyed
The Monaco coach was ecstatic to see his men open their UEFA Champions League campaign with a win. "We came here to do a job and that is what we have done," said the former French international. "I am very pleased with the result. French sides have come here nine times and never scored. It makes me even more happy that my young team managed to score twice."

Morientes goal
Fernando Morientes, on loan from Real Madrid CF, opened the scoring for Monaco after 31 minutes of his first Champions League game for the club, but Deschamps was not surprised. "Morientes is a great player and great players have the habit of scoring important goals in big games," he said. "That is what he did today."

'I don't think they were bad'
Asked whether he had expected PSV to concede defeat so easily at home, Deschamps insisted: "That is always the big question in football. Did they play bad or did we play really well? I don't think they were bad. We kept things very tight in midfield and didn't let them play the game they wanted."

Hiddink 'disappointed'
PSV coach Guus Hiddink was inclined to disagree as his team once again failed to win a home fixture on Matchday 1. "We are all very disappointed," he said. "Before the match I said that Monaco always play the same way. They concentrate on defending and are dangerous on the break. My players failed to break down their defence and we were punished for that."

Limited resources
Hiddink admitted that his side were not strong enough for the level of football played in the Champions League. "If you want to win in the Champions League you need eleven players that are up to it," the PSV coach said. "Sadly, today I didn't have eleven players available who were up to it."

Dutch disadvantage
"However, I don't mean that as a criticism," added Hiddink. "Some of the players in my side just haven't got the experience needed at this level. It is something we will have to work on in the future. The big problem for Dutch teams is that Monaco, for example, face strong opposition week in and week out. We only have a couple of really tough fixtures every season."

'We won't give up'
Yet with five Group C fixtures remaining, both coaches agreed that there was plenty still to play for. "We have five games to go and we will try to lift our game," said Hiddink. "Hopefully we can do enough to finish either first or second. We definitely won't give up."

'One game at a time'
Deschamps added: "Nothing is ever decided after one game and naturally I am not planning for things to come later in the competition. Like every other side we must take it one game at a time." Monaco's next match is at home against AEK Athens FC on 30 September. PSV travel to RC Deportivo La Coruña the same evening.

Last updated: 29/09/03 20.55CET

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