Friday, October 20, 2017

Blanc: City were clinical and deserved to win

Laurent Blanc conceded Manchester City were more clinical than his Paris Saint-Germain and felt the Premier League team were worthy of a place in the Champions League semi-finals.

Kevin De Bruyne scored to settle the tie with 14 minutes remaining at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, securing a 1-0 victory to sit alongside last week’s 2-2 draw at the Parc des Princes.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, Blanc felt the Belgium star’s strike was an example of greater ruthlessness displayed by City over the course of an absorbing quarter-final.

“Here and in Paris we weren’t clinical enough or efficient enough,” Blanc said.

“We should have scored more than two goals in Paris but we didn’t. That really has an impact on the return game because City had an advantage.

“We lost a couple of players to suspension, we’re not going to blame that, but that was a factor as well.

“City were a lot more clinical and a lot more efficient and that’s why they earned the qualification.

“They are a good team, not a particularly spectacular team, but they get the job done.

Blanc headed into the match without suspended duo David Luiz and Blaise Matuidi, while Italy midfielder Marco Verratti remained sidelined with a groin problem.

The coach responded by reshuffling PSG into an unfamiliar 3-4-3 formation, with mixed
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results, and he accepted responsibility for the loss.

“Of course I’m responsible. I put the team together, I selected the team and I selected the strategy that was on the pitch,” the former France captain added.

“When you win, it is down to the players but I can assume responsibility for the defeat.

“Over the course of the two matches, even though we made a few mistakes in the first match, that didn’t meant that we didn’t think we could get through. 

“City surprised me defence more than they did in Paris. They were very solid in the middle of defence.

“Ultimately, the buck stops with me. I’m the coach so it is my responsibility.”

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