PARIS: Although Paris St Germain have knocked out Barcelona and holders Bayern Munich, coach Mauricio Pochettino said his team would keep their feet on the ground when they face Manchester City in their Champions League semi-final first leg tonight.
With all his best players at his disposal after Marquinhos and Marco Verratti made their return after missing most of the quarter-final clash against Bayern, PSG enter the tie full of confidence, but also with caution.
“I think City are one of the greatest teams in the world with the best coach and it will be as tough as against Bayern at least,” Pochettino told a news conference yesterday.
“Tougher? We’ll see. We’re confident but despite all the theories the most important things will be the 180 minutes on the pitch.”
“For me it’s a battle between two big clubs, PSG and City,” said Pochettino, who added he had ‘nothing’ to take from 2019, when he led Tottenham Hotspur past City in the quarter-finals.
PSG had a reputation of chokers after memorable meltdowns in recent years, but they are now in the semi-finals for the second year in a row, having also reached the final against Bayern last year.
“The club has grown, we are now among the top four, five or six teams across the leagues,” said Neymar, who despite not scoring produced a sterling performance in the return leg against Bayern.
“PSG now get the respect they deserve. We have all the qualities to put hour hands on the trophy.”