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Paris progress pleases Blanc, Matuidi wants more

Laurent Blanc thanked his side for securing qualification to the knockout phase but Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Blaise Matuidi only has eyes for top spot in Group F.

David Luiz reacts during the win against APOEL
David Luiz reacts during the win against APOEL ©AFP/Getty Images

Laurent Blanc praises his Paris side who secured qualification
Giorgos Donis regrets worst performance of campaign from his APOEL team
Paris midfielder Blaise Matuidi now determined to secure Group F top spot 
Match report: Paris 1-0 APOEL
Next games: Paris v Ajax, APOEL v Barcelona (25 November)

Laurent Blanc, Paris coach
We've achieved our goal. I think we deserved to win by more goals, but because of our clumsiness or the quality of the opposition goalkeeper, we only won 1-0. We're progressing well in comparison with recent performances, so that's encouraging for the future. Because we have ambitions in the Champions League, we'll try to win the next game at home to Ajax to finish first in our group. That's our new goal, although we know Barcelona have the same one.

Giorgos Donis, APOEL coach
Today we played our worst match in this [UEFA] Champions League group stage. The only positive is that we lost only 1-0, but we didn't deserve any better. That said, we managed to deal with the situation – all of our current problems, injuries, etc. showed on the pitch. And the goal, conceded very early in the game, made us lose our concentration. Football is a sport full of surprises and that works for the players too.

I decided to play Nicholas [Ioannou, 18 years old] because we have faith in him and we believe he has a bright future. Usually you give a player his debut in an easier match but we have faith in him. I think logic has prevailed in our group, as we expected Barcelona and Paris to go through. Now everything is up from grabs during the last two matchdays, for us to earn qualification for the [UEFA] Europa League.

Lucas, Paris forward
It's a magnificent night and I'm very happy. I want to thank my team-mates. I want to help this team win matches; that's my job and I'm progressing. I'll continue to work hard and improve by delivering more assists, scoring goals and going on runs. That's my style of play. I believe in my team and we're very strong. We've reached an initial goal – qualifying for the round of 16. I think we can go very far and we'll work hard to do that.

Rafik Djebbour, APOEL forward
It's a shame to have this regret of having lost by a single goal. We played well and defended well. We didn't express ourselves enough, though. We didn't believe in our chances enough. Paris's players are world class and they'll keep going from strength to strength. The Europa League is our new goal, and we face a battle with Ajax for third place.

David Luiz, Paris defender
We never relaxed in this game. We played well for the whole 90 minutes, with a lot of possession and chances, and this performance was better than how we played in Cyprus. We want to finish top, so we need to win against Ajax and get a draw with Barcelona. We'll play with humility, but we want to win every game.

We want to go further than before. We have a great team and a good coach, and you need to have ambition when you play for a big club. We'll take the competition step by step and game by game. I'm happy to be able play with Edinson [Cavani] because he's a great player, and I'm happy for him as well because he scored the goal.

Blaise Matuidi, Paris midfielder
We've achieved one of our goals and now we have another – to finish first in the group. We're top at the moment and want to stay there, but we know it won't be easy against such a big team as Barcelona. But for now we're satisfied to have qualified. We played a good game and created a lot of chances. Unfortunately we lacked precision, but in terms of our play and spirit, there's nothing to say – we did what we needed to do. We made chances and didn't let them have many, so it was a good performance.

We're playing better now. You can always do more, but there's a lot to be positive about. This was a good Paris display and we just wanted to score more goals. Our goal is to go as far as possible and do better than last year. The Champions League is tough because there are so many good teams, so it's important to finish first to get a better draw. That would also be superb for our confidence.

Thiago Silva, Paris defender
The important thing is that we've qualified. We're very happy, but we have another tough game [against Olympique de Marseille] on Sunday. I think it will be even tougher than this game, but we have a lot of confidence at the moment and the support of our fans behind us.

Gustavo Manduca, APOEL midfielder
In the first game we played well and could have scored. Tonight we didn't play so well – OK, we were unlucky to concede the goal so early and that made our job difficult – but after that we didn't develop our game enough. We could have done better, but Paris deserved the victory. The team were a little tired in the second half and couldn't produce counterattacks. Paris just tried to keep the ball and defend the result. They played more conservatively to manage the win.

We now have to play for third place, although Ajax are a good team as well with young players. Before that, we have Barcelona at home. That'll be difficult, but we need to try to take points and then go for third place in the last game.

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