Laurent Blanc admitted the attention surrounding Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s return to boyhood club Malmo ran close to distracting Paris Saint-Germain in their Champions League encounter on Wednesday.
PSG secured an emphatic 5-0 victory in Sweden, with Ibrahimovic marking his homecoming with the team’s third goal after the interval.
Blanc’s PSG sealed progression to the last 16 of the competition with victory, and the former France coach claimed their success was not dampened by Real Madrid’s win over Shakhtar – a result which all-but secured the La Liga outfit’s spot atop Group A with one round of fixtures to play.
“The thing that we could master this evening was our own game,” Blanc stated.
“The context was a little separated. With the return of Zlatan in Malmo, we had almost forgotten that the main thing was to qualify for the quarter finals.
“Focus has driven us tonight, and in fifteen minutes we made it difficult [for Malmo]. It took determination to win this game well. We can talk about a good evening, yes.”
Blanc acknowledged the pressure he faces in the French capital and highlighted the furore after PSG’s one defeat in all competitions this season.
“It’s very good [season so far] but you know, it’s constant questioning,” he said.
“In Paris, as soon as you draw it is a disaster, and if you lose it becomes a tsunami.
“They [Real] can win all their matches – we lost one. That one hurts because there was an opportunity to finish first.”