Not one Paris Saint-Germain FC player was fully content with their admirable display in defeating Valencia CF in their UEFA Champions League round of 16 opener in Spain, but any disappointment was not going to be allowed to cloud a big achievement.
PSG produced exactly the performance coach Carlo Ancelotti demanded of them – with the obvious exceptions of conceding a late volleyed goal to Adil Rami and Zlatan Ibrahimović's sending-off. However the class, intelligence and power of PSG's counterattacking, which yielded goals for Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore, was impressive in itself and leaves little doubt that the Ligue 1 leaders will be very strong favourites to qualify for the quarter-finals when the second leg in Paris comes around next month.
Javier Pastore, PSG midfielder
There's no doubt we could have left here with a greater winning margin. Nevertheless, we have to leave feeling some contentment because we got the win, which was what we aimed for, and that's the key thing we'll take away with us.
To a great extent it went to plan. We'd planned to stay calm, make sure we controlled the ball and negate their strengths – while also breaking quickly and effectively on the counterattack. We've got perfect players for that – Lucas and Lavezzi, who are super-quick, and Ibra who helps us play effectively on the counter. We could have scored more but we gave a good account of ourselves, we won and that's what makes us content. This is how we should continue performing if we want to go far – very disciplined and very hungry.
There's a month until the next leg so it's important to immediately concentrate on our domestic work, particularly as we are top of the table. The return game will be hard, like this one, and perhaps we will be missing a couple through suspension, but we just have to go out and perform this well again.
Alex, PSG defender
We knew from the outset that it was difficult to play here but we did a good job tonight – we played well. It was a good performance for us because we used our fast players like Lucas, Lavezzi and Ibra on the counterattack and it was successful.
Yes, we created a lot of chances, but as far as I'm concerned if we can score in the first minute that's fine, no problem. But the most important thing is simply that you score, full stop. We have one more difficult game, 90 more minutes over in Paris, but we did well here.
If we came under a bit more pressure in the second half, that is to be expected. Valencia were at home, losing 2-0, and they came out to score. We were pushed back and we tried to kill the game off on the counterattack. OK, it was a shame that we conceded a goal in the last minutes but we have another 90 minutes to go forward.
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