PSG coach Laurent Blanc said his side’s inexperience in the UEFA Champions League ultimately cost them a semi-final spot on Tuesday.
The Ligue 1 powerhouses were overhauled by Chelsea 2-0 in the quarter-final second leg at Stamford Bridge, seeing Jose Mourinho’s men through on away goals after the aggregate score finished 3-3.
Blanc’s PSG had only one recent trip to the European last eight in 2012-13 season, and he lamented their lack of experience in the continental competition – compared to 2011-12 champions Chelsea.
“Over the two matches there was very little between the two sides – ultimately, though, I think Chelsea’s experience of playing at this level of the competition made the very small difference,” Blanc said post-match.
“We played with three forwards and a midfielder who tried to keep the ball and I don’t think we did particularly badly.
“We just weren’t able to break through.
“In the second half, Chelsea were able to put us under a bit more pressure.”
Demba Ba scored the decisive goal in the 87th minute, tapping in from close range.
But Blanc said his side should have found the back of the net themselves, to avoid being under pressure from the hosts late.
“Ironically, we started better in the second leg than the first. In the first 25 minutes we were fine,” he said.
“We conceded a key goal from a throw-in and that put us in big trouble, giving confidence to Chelsea. Then, in the second period, they tried to pile pressure on us, make us suffer.
“Unfortunately we did not take our chances.”
Blanc rued his side’s wasted opportunity, with a final-four spot beckoning before Ba’s late intervention.
“We knew that, whatever the outcome of the game, we had to finish the competitions that we are still involved in (Ligue 1, Coupe de la Ligue) really well and we hope to do that,” he said.
“But allow me, on behalf of the squad and all the technical staff, to be really disappointed tonight. We were so close to the semi-finals.”
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