Paris Saint-Germain must not lose heart in their quest for European glory, says coach Laurent Blanc.
PSG fell at the quarter-final stage of the Champions League for the fourth year in succession on Tuesday when Kevin De Bruyne scored the only goal at the Etihad Stadium to give Manchester City a 3-2 aggregate triumph.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season and the sight of fellow 34-year-old Thiago Motta limping off with an apparent hamstring injury in Manchester underlined the impression that some of Blanc’s most trusted performers are approaching the end of their careers.
However, the former France boss does not believe a radical overhaul is required and urged supporters not to lose heart of PSG’s ambitions to take their domestic dominance to the European stage.
Asked whether this team had passed up its last chance of Champions League success, Blanc told a post-match news conference: “No, you should never say that.
“Some teams thought that were never every going to win after 10 years of knocking on the door and then finally they won, so we shouldn’t say that at all.
“Certainly we’re going to have to ask ourselves a lot of questions and come up with good answers to those questions as well.
“We have to look at that but not right now because we are so disappointed and angry. We truly believed we could quality. Those were not empty words.”
Real Madrid overcame a 2-0 first-leg deficit to beat Wolfsburg in Tuesday’s other semi-final, with Barcelona and Bayern Munich favourites to join them and City in Friday’s draw.
Blanc believes this underlines the established hierarchy in European football that his team must keep trying to overturn.
“There are always three clubs who are in the semi-finals and then there is a guest club – this year the guest club is Manchester City so well done to them,” he added.
“We didn’t do enough in tonight’s game, we fell short across the board. The City players were very physical and imposed their physicality upon us.”
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