Thanks to a 4-0 win at Bayer Leverkusen in the first leg of its two-game UEFA Champions League Round of 16 series with the German club, Paris Saint-Germain was able to stay in second gear on Wednesday, cruising to a 2-1 win in the return-leg at the Parc des Princes. Nevertheless, PSG coach Laurent Blanc was less than impressed with the effort of his players.
“During our preparations we told the players to forget the first leg,” Blanc said in his post-game press conference. “It is true that subconsciously we knew we had a cushion, but there were players who have had little opportunity to play. It’s a Champions League match – we should show our best face.” He added: “I expected more from my team in this match of a higher level. But I will not be choosy – we have had a lot of satisfaction from the beginning of the season with this team.”
Despite progressing to the UCL quarterfinals with ease, which President Nasser Al-Khelaifi has said was the “minimum requirement” in the competition, Blanc noted, “Now the hard work begins, the motivation of the players will be present. We are going to have a very good season. It is already good but at the end of the season, what matters is to win trophies, the championship, the Coupe de la Ligue and to go as far as possible in the Champions League.”