Carlo Ancelotti believes Paris Saint-Germain deserved to progress to the UEFA Champions League semifinals despite bowing out of the competition on away goals. The French league leader drew both games in its quarterfinal series against Barcelona, which finished 3-3 on aggregate.
"It's hard to be eliminated after what we did tonight," Ancelotti told Canal+ following Wednesday’s night’s 1-1 draw in Barcelona. "We were a little timid in the first leg [in Paris] and the result [2-2] was not good. But after tonight's game, while we feel regret, we also feel pride. We are proud because we did everything possible to win.” He added: "We played well -- didn't just defend -- and that is why I want to thank all the players. We were so close to winning this game. This could have been a fantastic night for us."
Ancelotti’s players said they were proud to have stood toe-to-toe with the mighty Barcelona. "We gave it everything tonight," PSG defender Christophe Jallet told UEFA.com. "We didn't fear them and we played our game. We caused them trouble from the off and I think they were nervous and not far from going out.”
Defender Gregory van der Wiel added: “Of course we are proud. We've drawn twice against Barcelona so that's certainly something to be proud of. Tactically the coach asked us to do a lot of things. You have to watch out for Barcelona, you can't let them play their game. We had to press them as much as possible and, most importantly, to have the courage to play our own game.”
Forward Javier Pastore, who scored the game’s opening goal, admitted that Argentine compatriot Lionel Messi changed everything when he entered the game in the 62nd minute. “Messi was their decisive player,” he said. “Once they scored they were a different proposition. They were relaxed and playing as they like to.”