Ángel Di María reckoned Paris "played ten-times better than Madrid" in their 1-0 loss at the Santiago Bernabéu, team-mate David Luiz concluding: "Sometimes the best team doesn't win."
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Despite succumbing 1-0 away to Real Madrid in their UEFA Champions League Group A meeting on Tuesday, Paris Saint-Germain's players came away from the Santiago Bernabéu in bullish mood.
The team from the French capital dominated the ten-time European champions – with Zlatan Ibrahimović, Edinson Cavani and Blaise Matuidi all going close on more than one occasion – but were undone in the 35th minute, substitute Nacho scoring following a slip by Paris goalkeeper Kevin Trapp.
Heads might have dropped, but Paris continued to dictate proceedings, finishing the game with 59% possession and 16 attempts on goal. Ángel Di María called it his side's "best performance of the season," though the fact only three of their shots were on target may have been what counted against them.
"It's tough," said Di María, who returned to the Bernabéu for the first time since leaving the Merengues for Manchester United in August 2014. "We had an exceptional game, but we made a mistake and we lost. We played ten-times better than Madrid, showing that Paris can fight it out against the world's biggest clubs.
"We need to keep working to make sure we cut out these errors that can cost us dearly. We're on the right track, the side is strong – starters and substitutes. We dominated this game."
The Argentinian international was impressive all evening, striking a post as he impishly attempted to catch out Keylor Navas, before clipping the crossbar with an arced free-kick two minutes from time.
"[Returning to my former club] was not how I wanted it to be given the defeat, but it was nice to see my former team-mates here at the Bernabéu," the 27-year-old said. "Having said that, it wasn't the most important thing – that was to win."
Substitute Adrien Rabiot rattled the frame of the goal less than 60 seconds after Madrid had gone ahead. Cavani then saw an effort cleared off the line as the French titleholders piled on the pressure, but they were unable to find a way past Navas, with Madrid the only side yet to concede in the 2015/16 group stage.
"Sometimes you don't have the answer," said Paris defender David Luiz, wondering how his side managed to come away with nothing. "We deserved three points. We played better all game. To play better than Real Madrid here is never easy. We had a great game, controlled the match, the possession of the ball and created a lot of opportunities to score, but we were unlucky with the result.
"Football is like this," added the Brazil defender, whose club remain second in Group A, four points clear of Shakhtar Donetsk and Malmö. "Sometimes the better team doesn't win and that was the case tonight."