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Blanc: Paris are making progress in Europe

While Laurent Blanc believes Paris Saint-Germain proved their credentials at Chelsea, Guus Hiddink was left to reflect on the latest setback in "a difficult season".

Paris players celebrate at the final whistle
Paris players celebrate at the final whistle ©AFP/Getty Images

Laurent Blanc, Paris coach
In terms of the result, the game itself and the fact we went through, it was a positive match. We didn't necessarily think we would be able to deliver such a good performance away from home. But I think we controlled the game from start to finish – even when we conceded, we weren't overly worried. We kept playing the same way and it enabled us to have an easier night than maybe expected.

We showed real quality and we were very effective in attack. It was a great challenge to come here to win – I thought it would be harder this year but that's twice now we've won the tie here. It's a sign that we're making progress in Europe. To go further, we must be lucky, but not just that: these ties are decided on details and an important detail is the draw.

Adrien Rabiot lived up to Blanc's expectations
Adrien Rabiot lived up to Blanc's expectations©Getty Images

We wanted to get in behind Chelsea, I think it's harder to play that way but my players are capable. At half-time I told them: 'Keep playing like that, I think it will put Chelsea in big trouble mentally.' Perhaps they thought we might change our approach after scoring the goal.

I'm delighted. We matched them all over the park. Picking Adrien Rabiot was practically a choice that was forced on me. We had two injured players [Marco Verratti and Blaise Matuidi]. Marco was not available unfortunately, but Adrien had played really well against Real Madrid in the group stage. You have to trust the players who are performing well and Adrien's doing great. Javier Pastore's level of fitness meant he could be on the bench and give us something for 20 to 25 minutes, nothing more.

David Luiz's reaction to beating his old side
David Luiz's reaction to beating his old side

Guus Hiddink, Chelsea manager
I'm disappointed. When you analyse the game we started too respectfully in the first ten to 15 minutes, but they are a team who know the short possession game very well and you must be careful not to be outplayed in the first part of the match.

We were too respectful but later on, at 1-0 down, we lost that respect and we tried to defend more forcefully, we won duels and we got a deserved equaliser. There were chances at both ends after that in the first half. In the second half we pushed, we tried to make it 2-1. We had chances to score in the 65th minute, we didn't do so and in the 67th minute with a little attack they killed the game.

Laurent Blanc and Guus Hiddink
Laurent Blanc and Guus Hiddink©Getty Images

We had that good chance to score, then Diego Costa was injured. We knew he was not totally fit but he desperately wanted to play and he scored a beautiful goal. You saw the difference between the squads when we had to bring young guys on and they had Edinson Cavani. But I must say that we had young Kenedy at left-back and he was excellent.

It's a difficult season. We were almost panicking about relegation when I came in but it is difficult to get into fourth place, there is a very big gap. In my opinion, Chelsea are now in a transitional period.