After drawing Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, Laurent Blanc knew his side was facing an uphill battle.
Paris Saint-Germain came from behind to stun Chelsea in the round of 16, but could not erase a first-leg deficit against the Catalans, falling 2-0 today and 5-1 on aggregate.
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Blanc, who is in his second year in charge at PSG, admitted that Barcelona was the better side and deserved to go through to the semifinals. However, he said fans must be patient if they want results, which the manager believes are coming.
We’d hoped to play better but Barcelona didn’t let us, just as they didn’t let us in the first leg. Barcelona deserve to go through. We didn’t do enough to earn that ticket to the semis.
I can analyze why we haven’t qualified: because Barcelona scored five goals [on aggregate]. We beat Chelsea and that was amazing but not enough to stay in the competition.
We had more experience than our opponents then, but tonight we lacked experience compared with Barcelona. Everyone wants fast results, but Paris will move forward given a positive mentality and time.
If you follow Barcelona you know how patient you have to be to win the Champions League. How long did it take them? They won in 1992 when the club were in their centenary. I am not saying PSG will need to wait that long, but we have to be patient.”
After years of Ligue 1 domination by Lyon (winners of seven straight league titles from 2002-2008), Paris Saint-Germain was taken over by a Qatari investment group in 2011. The group’s goal wasn’t just to become the best team in France, but to become the best team in the world.
Since the takeover, PSG has spent over $350 million on bringing players to the Parc des Princes, the most of any club in the world.
PSG has won back-to-back Ligue 1 titles as well as consecutive French League Cup trophies, but has been knocked out in the quarterfinals of the Champions League three years running.
Blanc did not have his full squad for either of the legs in this year’s quarters, but Barcelona was simply the better side in both matches. Patience will be key for PSG supporters, as Blanc has Paris in the hunt for a third straight Ligue 1 title, and almost certainly has his eyes on the 2016 Champions League final in Milan.