The relief in the Paris Saint-Germain camp was as stark as the sense of disappointment that clouded APOEL FC's post-match thoughts after Edinson Cavani snatched victory.
Article top media content
• Edinson Cavani's late goal settles tight encounter in Nicosia
• Laurent Blanc acknowledges Paris need to improve but hails fighting spirit
• David Luiz delighted to be playing alongside Thiago Silva again
• Giorgos Donis believes APOEL were the more dangerous side
• Next games: Paris v APOEL (5 November)
David Luiz, Paris defender
It was a very tough match. APOEL have a strong team, with fantastic defensive organisation. It was difficult for us to create scoring opportunities, but at the last moment Cavani made a great movement and scored a great goal for us.
[Playing again with fit-again Thiago Silva] was very good, a very nice feeling. He is my good friend, a great player, and it was good to see him on the pitch again. I know he was missing that. He loves football, like me.
Improve? Those who don't have ambition can't play for big clubs. In every game we need to improve, to do better. If you want to win the Champions League – this is the best league in the world, with the best teams and the best players – you need to improve game by game.
Edinson Cavani, Paris forward
The most important thing for a striker is to score. And the most important thing for Paris tonight was to take a step closer to our first objective of the season: making it to the knockout stage.
Laurent Blanc, Paris coach
My players didn't give up and kept fighting right until the end. It could have gone either way but we were fortunate to take the three points. My team were positive on the pitch. We played against a good, organised, defensive team but also one that is dangerous and could have scored. It's not for me to say whether or not we deserved the win but I can say that it was important for us to get three points.
Cavani scored to give us the win so I am obviously happy with that. He has been lacking some confidence of late and this goal will hopefully help him for the future.
This season has been tougher for us compared with last. We had the World Cup and the absence of key players like [Zlatan] Ibrahimović, which hasn't helped. But we still controlled play against opponents that admittedly allowed us to have the ball. Some players are not 100% fit and we are not in peak condition as a whole. But wins like tonight will do us no harm.
APOEL are a very well-organised team. If you don't score early against them, you can be sure you will be in for a difficult evening. Our performance was not the best and this is certainly not a game that will be remembered for how great we played. But we will happily take the three points and look ahead.
Giorgos Donis, APOEL coach
I don't believe in justice or luck when it comes to football. It's a sport and there are always deciding factors. My players work very hard to prepare for these games and need to use all their strength against some of the best teams on the planet. Not only do they manage to achieve that, but they also make life very difficult for these great clubs.
We are upset with the result but we feel fortunate that these players work so hard to represent this team in the best possible way. Against Paris, taking into account the chances, we were the ones who were close to sealing the win. But unfortunately, in one instance, David Luiz saved a clear goal off the line and then moments later, following confusion in our box, Cavani managed to score.
We are playing against world-class players and you cannot allow them too much space. But we were more dangerous than Paris. They have so many quality players and yet failed to penetrate our back line. I hope my team can play poorly in their remaining games so that we can also celebrate a victory.
Urko Pardo, APOEL goalkeeper
That's football. Sometimes you win like this, others you lose. We need to accept it. We know we played well, we are proud of our team, but what matters is the result and today we lost. We had our chances and could have scored at least once, but we had strong opposition – it was tough.
I believe the results so far don't reflect our performances on the pitch. To think now of a third-place finish in the group would be a mistake. The right mentality is to aspire to win our remaining matches and see where that takes us. When the group stage is over, we'll see what we have achieved.
George Efrem, APOEL midfielder
We are very sad – one look at the long faces of my team-mates says it all. We deserved more and we made our rivals' lives difficult. Despite having less possession, we were more dangerous. We had more obvious chances than our opponents; we should have won but ended up losing.
Nuno Morais, APOEL midfielder
We are downbeat. The team that deserved to win tonight was APOEL. We had chances but failed to convert them. Paris Saint-Germain were lucky. We know that we are up for a very tough game in Paris now. They have a good squad, but we will fight, as we always do, to get all three points.