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Hyypiä tells Leverkusen to 'play without fear'

Published: Tuesday 11 March 2014, 21.30CET
Trailing Paris Saint-Germain 4-0, Sami Hyypiä asks Bayer 04 Leverkusen to show no fear while Laurent Blanc urges his charges to "remain vigilant" despite their lead.
Hyypiä tells Leverkusen to 'play without fear'
Leverkusen coach Sami Hyypiä at the pre-match press conference ©AFP/Getty Images

Tournament statistics


Goals scored25
Possession (%)58
Total attempts125
on target86
off target39
against woodwork1
Yellow cards21
Red Cards1
Fouls committed116
Fouls suffered153

Press kits

  • Match press kit (local language)
Published: Tuesday 11 March 2014, 21.30CET

Hyypiä tells Leverkusen to 'play without fear'

Trailing Paris Saint-Germain 4-0, Sami Hyypiä asks Bayer 04 Leverkusen to show no fear while Laurent Blanc urges his charges to "remain vigilant" despite their lead.

His Bayer 04 Leverkusen side may trail Paris Saint-Germain 4-0 but Sami Hyypiä is hopeful an improved round of 16 second-leg showing at the Parc des Princes can give the German club something to build on for the remainder of the season. For Paris coach Laurent Blanc, meanwhile, Wednesday is a chance to prove the "richness of our squad" and that Paris are genuine contenders for a first-ever European Cup.

Laurent Blanc, coach

We don't necessarily fear anything about this match – we prepare for every fixture to win it. We respect these opponents, just like we respect every opponent. Each Champions League game requires thorough preparation. We're playing at home, so we'll have to take the game to them like we did in the away leg.

What can we achieve in this competition? I won't comment on the media's observations, as they regularly change their mind over us. What we can say is that we want to go as far as possible in this competition. I said earlier that we have nothing to fear from this match and that is true, but we'll have to remain vigilant as they lost 4-0 at home in the first leg [and will want to avenge that defeat].

Everybody knows the biggest contenders for the title – some have a greater history and tradition than Paris, but it's our aim to try and catch up, and match the club's ambitions.

Weekend result
Saturday: SC Bastia 0-3 Paris (Ibrahimović 6, Lavezzi 19 88)

Sirigu; Van der Wiel, Alex, Marquinhos, Maxwell; Verratti (Cabaye 65), Thiago Motta, Rabiot (Matuidi 65); Lucas (Pastore 80), Lavezzi; Ibrahimović.

• Zlatan Ibrahimović's opener, which lifted him to sixth on the club's all-time top scorers' list, was Paris's 100th goal of the season in all competitions.

Team news
Blanc says he "may have to rest" Ibrahimović despite the improving condition of his back injury. The coach also confirmed that Marco Verratti, Gregory van der Wiel, Blaise Matuidi, Hervin Ongenda and Kingsley Coman would not be involved against Leverkusen as he seeks to "rotate the squad because of the busy schedule". Jérémy Menez, who has started just one Ligue 1 game in 2014, did not travel to Bastia because of a calf complaint, while Zoumana Camara has been sidelined with a similar problem.

Sami Hyypiä, coach

We won't have any motivation problems: this is a Champions League game and you don't need to motivate your players. We have played three very high-profile matches this season in the competition, two against Manchester United [FC] and the home leg versus Paris. Each time, we played with a bit of fear, so we need to approach this match better.

This is a new experience for me and I'm trying to learn as much as I can from every situation, this one included. It's not easy to have an influence on the game from the bench. The team needs to build confidence and self-belief, and one way to do so could be with a good performance here. The most important thing is we need to find some stability defensively, especially now that we're going through difficult times. I'll naturally ask my players to attack, even though we won't throw ourselves into all-out attack – we mainly have to improve our defensive play. And if we manage to deliver a good performance, it could help us for the rest of the season.

I've never known such comebacks [as the one required to qualify], neither as a coach nor as a player. I will not say we're going to win 4-0 or 5-0, but let's focus on delivering a good performance, both offensively and defensively. We will play to win, and aim to play without fear and impose our game. Of course it'll be very hard to win, but our goal is at least to deliver a good performance.

Weekend result
Saturday: Hannover 96 1-1 Leverkusen (Rudnevs 33; Castro 28)

Leno; Hilbert, Wollscheid, Spahić, Boenisch; Castro, Rolfes, Can; Hegeler (Sam 24), Son (Brandt 69); Kiessling (Derdiyok 79).

• The Werkself have lost eight of their 11 matches since the end of the group stage, including five of the last six. Bernd Leno made his fifth penalty save of the campaign during Saturday's 1-1 draw at Hannover 96.

Team news
Jens Hegeler tore a ligament in his right ankle on Saturday and is likely to sit out the rest of the campaign. Lars Bender missed the Hannover game due to thigh problems while Stefan Reinartz (heel) and Ömer Toprak (ankle) have also been struggling – although both trained on Tuesday. "Bender and Toprak are very uncertain and we will delay our decision on Reinartz until after training," said Hyypiä.

Match fact
• It is five years since a Paris side including Camara won their only previous two-legged tie against Bundesliga opposition, 5-1 on aggregate against VfL Wolfsburg in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup round of 32.

Last updated: 12/03/14 20.11CET