Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Tuchel: Imagine what I could have done celebrating with two legs!

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 12 Aug 2020

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Thomas Tuchel insisted Paris Saint-Germain deserved their late 2-1 victory over Atalanta and quipped his celebrations after the winner would have been even wilder had he not been on crutches.

PSG booked a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 1994-95 with a remarkable comeback win in Lisbon on Wednesday thanks to two late goals.

Marquinhos prodded home in the 90th minute before Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting completed the turnaround 149 seconds later for the French champions, who had trailed to Mario Pasalic’s strike for more than an hour.

Tuchel broke a bone in his foot during a training session last week but still clenched both fists and let out a huge roar when the winning goal hit the net, potentially saving his job at the Parc des Princes in the process.

Speaking to RMC Sport after the match, the German coach said: “Imagine what I could have done with two legs! It is our 50th birthday today and we will not forget this day. We are really happy to be in the semi-finals. 

“It is a historic season, with four titles and a Champions League semi-final.”

Neymar insisted after the match he never doubted PSG would progress, though Tuchel admits he was fearing the worst when a goal down so late. 

“I doubted after 88 minutes of play, I was realistic, but we always thought about scoring,” he said. “I told my assistants: ‘if we draw, we will make a difference soon after’. We had a great game and the qualification is deserved.

“It was a bit of luck with those late goals but if you look at the whole game, it’s deserved.”

Tuchel’s second-half changes made a major impact on the game, with Mbappe setting up fellow substitute Choupo-Moting for the winner.

PSG also overturned a 2-1 first-leg deficit in their last-16 win over Borussia Dortmund and Tuchel praised the spirit of his players to once again hit back when the pressure was on.

“The bench players were exceptional today, with a good frame of mind,” he said. “The mentality has always been good, the players are together. 

“We have already had a comeback against Dortmund. In this competition, we must have a little luck, and now we are here. 

“Congratulations to the players. Today was about Choupo-Moting – he was exceptional.”

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