Mauricio Pochettino insisted the best team lost in the Trophee des Champions as Jocelyn Gourvennec dealt the first psychological blow of the 2021-22 campaign to collect Lille’s first ever triumph in the competition.
Pochettino’s men failed to secure a third domestic trophy of his tenure as they succumbed to a second straight 1-0 defeat against Lille, a result which ended PSG’s eight-year reign in the Trophee des Champions.
PSG have enjoyed a productive transfer window, bringing in Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos, Achraf Hakimi and Georginio Wijnaldum, though only the latter two were able to feature on Sunday.
“I think we were the best team on the pitch tonight,” Pochettino said after the final loss. “But we failed to realize our opportunities, and to win in football, you just have to score.
“It’s a new season, I’m happy with the attitude of my players, and we’ll be better when we have the full squad available. I have never doubted the involvement of my players. We wanted to win tonight, we did everything to win, we played the players who could.”
Without Neymar or Kylian Mbappe, who scored 42 goals in 47 games in all competitions last term, to call upon, PSG’s attack looked impotent as they blanked against Leo Jardim.
The attacking pair headed a host of big-name absentees, with other stars such as Donnarumma and Ramos unavailable due to late returns from Euro 2020 and injury problems respectively.
7 – Lille are the seventh club to lift the Champions’ Trophy after Paris (10), Lyon (7), Bordeaux, Marseille, Monaco and Nantes (each 2). It is the first time another club than PSG won the trophy since 2012 (Lyon v Montpellier). Dogues. #LOSCPSG pic.twitter.com/CLJ2iaWoXn
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) August 1, 2021
Wijnaldum and Julian Draxler were the only players to test Jardim, while Mauro Icardi also had a goal ruled out for offside, yet Presnel Kimpembe found positives in the defeat.
“It’s obviously disappointing, it’s a final and there’s a trophy at stake,” the centre-back said after the game. “It hurts but it’s the beginning of the season, we have to find our rhythm.
“We had a lot of young players in this team, we need to be better at creating chances and working together so congratulations to Lille but it’s only the beginning of the season, and we’ll have to prepare ourselves for the future.
“We had the ball, but having the ball is not enough, we have to create chances, but football is like that, we have to keep our heads held high for the next game. We have to get ready for this game in Troyes and we have to forget about this and move on.”
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