PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino gave his thoughts on the 1-0 victory over Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 in a post-match interview via MARCA.
“I’m very happy for the players, who deserve it. I think the result is a bit short, but it gives us hope for Madrid knowing that it’s going to be very complicated.”
“We cut the Madrid circuit with good pressure, their collective play with incredible players in midfield. We have recovered a lot in the opposite field to Madrid and we have forced them to play in the opposite field. We lacked perhaps a little aggressiveness in the last third. We have made a great effort and the commitment of the team is very good. We took risks but we were very vigilant.”’
“It’s PSG’s merit. This has happened to us at some point, for example against [Manchester] City. With the talent we have, we have also controlled the game.”
Pochettino gave some brief insight into how the 1-0 aggregate has him feeling for the return leg in Madrid. He noted his optimism, but that PSG cannot let the feet off the gas when it comes to a tough team like Real Madrid.
“Coaches are optimistic by nature. You have to respect Madrid and there it will be a complicated game. I am also optimistic, but we cannot go down. This has to be the starting point. Hopefully we’ll show these kinds of performances, and you have to find that internal motivation to show more of that kind of performance.”
He finished by giving his thoughts on Kylian Mbappe’s go-ahead goal in stoppage time and his overall strong performance throughout the match.
“I have been saying that he has an incredible maturity despite his youth and is one of the best in the world. I’ve been working with him for almost a year and a few months, and you see him every day, it’s a top [level].
“I felt joy [for Mbappe’s goal] but after a while pain in my nose because [Leandro] Paredes came and hit me in the face when he came to celebrate. I thought I had broken my nose.”