Pochettino confirms the clubs ambition to win the Champions League

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Mauricio Pochettino promised that PSG will fight to the death to win this year’s Champions League.

PSG will seek to book their place within the quarter-finals of Europe’s elite competition once they host five-time winners Barcelona in their round of 16 second-leg clash in midweek. The French champions reached the showpiece last season, only to suffer a narrow defeat to Bayern Munich, and Pochettino is decided to assist the team go one step further in May.

In a pre-match interview with the LFP Pochettino the boss said: “Clearly, it is the ambition of the club that of the win. There are a lot of other teams who want to win it, it’s not that easy. We are aware of our responsibility, and we will fight to the death to achieve it.”

PSG were dealt a difficult attract the group stage of the 2020-21 Champions League alongside Manchester United, RB Leipzig and Istanbul Basaksehir.

The French champions only picked up three points from their first three fixtures, losing reception to United and away to Leipzig either side of a 2-0 win against Basaksehir, but recovered to end top of Pool H. PSG beat Leipzig 1-0 reception before earning a powerful 3-1 victory over the Red Devils at Old Trafford and thrashing Basaksehir 5-1, with a heavyweight knockout stage encounter against Barca serving because the reward for his or her efforts.

Pochettino’s side then hammered home their European aspirations by dismantling the Blaugrana 4-1 at Camp Nou within the first leg of their last 16 tie, and can be expected to end the work at Parc des Princes on Wednesday night.

Carlo Ancelotti, Laurent Blanc and Unai Emery all did not take PSG beyond the quarter-finals of the Champions League, but Thomas Tuchel managed to buck that trend in 2019-20.

The German head coach found how to bring the simplest out of key performers like Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria as they swept aside all comers to succeed in the ultimate , but were outclassed by Bayern.

Marquinhos mad by claims that Mbappe plays better without Neymar

Marquinhos has thrown away theories by which Kylian Mbappe functions better for Paris Saint-Germain when Neymar is absent.

Neymar has not featured for PSG since February 10 on account of a leg injury, and Mbappe took centre stage within the Brazilian’s absence when tormenting Barcelona within the Champions League six days later.

Mbappe produced one among the performances of his career so far in netting a hat-trick within the 4-1 win for PSG at Camp Nou , but Marquinhos feels the Frenchman is even better alongside Neymar. When asked by RTL if Mbappe may be a better player without Neymar within the side, Marquinhos said: “No, we will not enter these stories.

“I see people talking, but we’ve to prevent with nonsense like that. We always want to possess the simplest players with us. If you ask Kylian, i feel he also prefers when he has Ney next to him. Kylian was there and did the proper thing [against Barcelona], but other players also had importance during this game.”

“When the team is playing well, that’s when the individuals begin even more. “It (the performance against Barca) boosted his confidence. Scoring three goals at Camp Nou are some things vital for him and for us. Everyone has understood what he’s capable of. We are here to assist him the maximum amount as possible. he’s a pacesetter on the sector together with his personality and his qualities. He had an exceptional match.”

The Brazil superstar was extremely low after learning an injury against Caen within the Coupe de France, taking to Instagram to invite protection from opposition players. He has worked hard on his fitness over the past month and PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino said on Friday that there was an opportunity Neymar might be within the squad to face Barcelona on Wednesday.

Neymar is keen to face his former club, and an area on the bench might be the likely option provided the 29-year-old trains overflow subsequent few days.

Leonardo: “This should be forbidden!”

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo declared war on Premier League and Bundesliga clubs last week for poaching PSG’s young players.

Bayern Munich came certain particular criticism because the Brazilian cited the case of Tanguy Nianzou, who featured regularly for PSG last term only to depart on a free transfer to hitch up with the side who defeated the Parisians in August’s Champions League final, courtesy of a goal by one among their own academy graduates in Kingsley Coman.

Since moving to Germany, Nianzou, who was referred to as Kouassi in France, has played only 21 minutes, albeit largely due to physical problems. Referencing German and English clubs specifically, Leonardo told France Bleu: “They ask the families of the young players, they struggle to convince them by making grand promises once they are only 15. It should be forbidden!”

Brexit has essentially solved the difficulty of Premier League clubs taking over players so young, but the issues presented by Bundesliga sides remain.

PSG have certainly lost a plethora of players to Germany, with Dan-Axel Zagadou (Borussia Dortmund), Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen) and Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig) three of their other more notable names to form the move in recent years.

“The problem is that they think elsewhere it’s paradise,” Leonardo said. “We say: ‘PSG have lost a youngster’ but sometimes i feel that it’s not PSG that loses, but the children who lose PSG. There are many young players who want to return back.”

In truth, first-team opportunities for PSG’s current academy players are still limited. Diaby, Nkunku and Nianzou had a couple of chances in Paris, but none had guarantees of continued involvement, even after bright displays within the varsity .
Obviously, Leonardo would be advised to urge his own house so as before pointing fingers at others but he did make a crucial point about the movement of young players within the game today and his anger is unlikely to subside any time soon.

Bild are now reporting that PSG’s 17-year-old centre-back Soumaila Coulibaly will join Dortmund within the summer.

Dijon 1 – 6 PSG

Kylian Mbappe and Sarabia shined as Paris Saint-Germain easily crushed Dijon 6 – 1 in the Coupe de France quarter-finals.

An own goal from Wesley Lautoa opened the scoring for PSG after just 48 seconds, but Thomas Tuchel’s team were answered back by Mounir Chouiar in the 13th minute. Mbappe made it 2 – 1 before half-time. Later on, Thiago Silva and Sarabia made sure of progression to the last four.

PSG’s fifth goal came as Coulibaly inadvertently diverted Mbappe’s shot into the net before the French wonderkid laid an injury-time second on a plate for Sarabia to round off a rout.

Mitchel Bakker, making his full debut after coming off the bench in the previous round, supplied the cross that broke the lock inside the first minute, Lautoa inexplicably sending his low delivery beyond Runar Alex Runarsson.

However, Dijon responded by capitalising on a PSG error, Ander Herrera losing possession in midfield and Chouiar roaming to the edge of the area before finding the bottom-right corner with a precise shot.

Silva presented Jhonder Cadiz with a huge chance to put Dijon ahead before half-time, but the Venezuelan international shot wide when  he was clean through on goal.

Mbappe then showed him how it should be done, confidently giving PSG an advantage after being played down the right side by Draxler. Silva increased PSG’s lead with a decent header from Sarabia’s corner after.

Sarabia also scored by converting on the rebound following an effort from Mbappe, who atoned for a horrible miss with a deflected lob over Runarsson and then presented the former Sevilla player with a 91st-minute goal.

PSG will visit Amiens on Saturday before the away match against Dortmund three days later.

Meunier: “I don’t fear Haaland”

The Belgian international says that while the Bundesliga team is quite dangerous going forward, they can be definitely be exploited defensively.

PSG’s full-back, Thomas Meunier, said that he does not fear the challenge posed to his team by Borussia Dortmund’s wonderkid striker Erling Haaland.

Since moving to Borussia in the January transfer window from Red Bull Salzburg, the 19-year-old has been in astonishing form, scoring seven times in just three matches and adding another for good measure in a 3 – 2 DFB Pokal loss over Werder Bremen on Tuesday.

The teenager has scored in each game he has played for Dortmund, despite playing less than 200 minutes of football for his new team, and with a Champions League meeting against PSG coming at the end of the month, he will have the opportunity to prove himself on further stages after scoring eight goals for Salzburg in the group phase.

Meunier, who has been in PSG since moving from Club Brugge in the summer of 2016 and has experienced the disappointment of falling out at the last-16 stage of the competition in every season, says that Haaland is not a player who is particularly worry for the Ligue 1 leaders.

“Fear him? I don’t know him especially. He’s got very good numbers, which underline that Dortmund score an enormous number of goals, but they’re also a team that concedes a lot of goals.”

“On paper, PSG can beat any team. It’s up to us to ensure that we qualify.”

Before the encounter with the Germans, PSG have a Sunday derby match-up with Lyon to negotiate then a Coupe de France quarter-final away to Dijon. They will then travel to Amiens and finally face Dortmund on February 18.

PSG are hoping to avoid a repeat of last season’s loss to Manchester United, when they won 2 – 0 at Old Trafford before choking to a 3 – 1 defeat at home.