Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel revelled in his team’s triumph against Borussia Dortmund as the Ligue 1 giants reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in four years.
Not since 2016 had PSG advanced to the quarters but the French champions ended their last-16 hoodoo by seeing off Dortmund 2-0 in a behind-closed-doors clash amid coronavirus fears in Paris.
Neymar and Juan Bernat scored in the first half as PSG overturned a 2-1 first-leg deficit at Parc des Princes, where Dortmund finished with 10 men following Emre Can’s late red card.
Afterwards, Tuchel told reporters: “It was really amazing in the bus [pre-game]. It was strong. It gave us an atmosphere in the bus, with a lot of confidence, a lot of joy.
“After, the team started singing, we sang together, we hit the windows, it was great to have the atmosphere before the game. It was exactly the atmosphere we needed before a big game, with a lot of pressure.
“This joy, this way of singing together… I felt a very good vibe, and I hoped to bring this vibe, this spirit on the pitch, and the team did that. I am very happy.”
On to the @ChampionsLeague quarterfinals!
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) March 11, 2020
“After the first goal, we controlled the game,” Tuchel continued. “Scoring the first one was excellent. After the goal, we lost too easily some balls. We lost a bit the possession of the ball. But we scored a second goal. There were moments, there were minutes where we suffered. But we suffered always as a team.
“For example, our two strikers, Edinson [Cavani], Pablo [Sarabia], and then Ney [Neymar], Kylian [Mbappe], they do a lot of defensive running, like some crazies! They closed some spaces. And I had the feeling that we were always together. After, we were dangerous with the t
ransitions when we attacked. It was a super, super tight game. We didn’t get the help from the fans. That was more complicated. But we did it, and now we are very happy.”
Tuchel added: “There are things more important than football, we know that. But in the last few minutes we didn’t want to lose, that was absolutely clear. I hate losing.
“It was tough after Dortmund over there. And yes, the last five minutes, every attack, every chance, every shot from [Presnel] Kimpembe. We were hoping he’d whistle, or not whistle… And then there was the red card! Everything was clear.”
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