Sunday, May 26, 2024

PSG boss Luis Enrique expects entertainment in Champions League semi-final with Dortmund

SoccerNews in Ligue 1, UEFA Champions League 30 Apr 2024


Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund served up plenty of entertainment in the Champions League quarter-finals, and their last-eight meeting promises more of the same, says Luis Enrique.

Both sides came back from first-leg defeats to reach the semi-finals, PSG winning 4-1 in Barcelona after a 3-2 loss in the French capital and Dortmund downing Atletico Madrid 4-2 to recover from their loss in Spain.

“I think that is the way it went in the quarter-finals based on the playing style of Dortmund and the way that we play,” PSG head coach Luis Enrique told a press conference.

“I think it could be a wonderful spectacle, not just for the two fan bases, but for everybody who loves football. I think there will be goals, given the quality and the ability to reach the opposition goal on both teams.”

PSG had never before overturned a first-leg defeat at home in the Champions League, and while the Spaniard believes it can help his players, he also knows that history counts for little at this stage.

“I do hope it liberates us because this is something that we haven’t done before after losing the first leg. I also have experience that shows how important it is to be competitive tomorrow,” Luis Enrique said.

“What we achieved previously doesn’t matter. History is great, but our goal is to win tomorrow. We don’t want to leave it to chance and think about the second leg at the Parc des Princes.”

History may weigh on the minds of PSG, too, given they have lost all four games of their previous two-legged Champions League semi-final ties – against Milan in 1994-95 and Manchester City in 2020-21.

The Parisians did win their one-legged last-four meeting with RB Leipzig in the disrupted 2019-20 season, though, while Dortmund have reached the final on two of their three semi-final appearances.

Dortmund and PSG have already met in this season’s competition as well, with the German side topping their group, but PSG beat them at Parc des Princes and managed a 1-1 draw in the away meeting.

Luis Enrique thinks his team, who secured their third consecutive Ligue 1 title on Sunday, have improved since then – and suggested there is even more to come.

“We have improved in all areas. We are better defensively, better going forward,” the former Barcelona boss continued.

“We can keep improving for sure. And that is one of the characteristics of our way of managing the club and the team, by trying to be demanding, not thinking that everything is done.”

PSG appear favourites to go through given Dortmund have only won one of their six meetings with the French side in all competitions (D3 L2).

Dortmund overcame PSG 2-1 in the first leg of the 2019-20 Champions League round of 16 before being eliminated 3-2 on aggregate, and Luis Enrique expects another difficult task on Wednesday.

“That shows that the press doesn’t know much about football,” he joked ahead of the first meeting at Signal Iduna Park.

“I have said that for a long time. What is great about being here is enjoying a really special game at a unique stadium in Europe and having the chance to make our fans really happy by reaching the final.”

A tough challenge awaits for PSG, however, considering Dortmund are unbeaten in their last 10 Champions League home games (W6 D4), their longest-ever such run in the competition.


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