Kevin De Bruyne was projected to score in our preview of The Stoppage Time, and he did so in the 76th minute. However, Laurent Blanc’s Paris Saint-Germain were unable to produce, period, and were smashed to pieces by Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City 1-0 in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals. Man City advance on aggregate 3-2 and are now 180 minutes away from reaching the final of the UEFA Champions League.
“We are very disappointed with the result,” Nasser al-Khelaifi said. “But that’s football and we have to accept it. It’s the fourth time we reach the quarter-finals and are eliminated. Now we have to take a step back and analyse what has happened.”
“We didn’t play our best football in either of the two matches,” Blanc said. “We were missing players, but that’s not an excuse. Tonight we tried to do what we had to do: win. But now we have to congratulate Manchester City, who played two excellent matches of football. We are very disappointed, because we could have done much better.
“They played better than us and we weren’t able to score when we were dominating and that makes it harder to win matches. The formation? We analysed the first leg and we decided to solidify our centre of defence to prevent their attackers getting the better of us. But got ourselves in trouble. Then there was the injury to Thiago Motta, that meant we had to change again. We had big ambitions, but we fell just short.”
“It’s the same story,” said Thiago Silva. “We concede goals at home and that makes the away game more difficult. It’s always the same. We talk about it before the game, but we don’t do what we say we’ll do. Now, if I try and explain what happened, it doesn’t mean anything. The best thing now is to move on and think about next year.”
“In the first half we played with a new system and what happened, happened,” said Zlatan Ibrahimovic. “If it had gone well, nobody would say anything, and now people will say we gave it away. The second half was better, when we reverted to our normal tactics, but we gave away two games. I think we are a better team, but we lost tonight and we drew 2-2 at home, so all the best to Manchester City.”
“We were very clever and intelligent tonight,” said Fernandinho. “I don’t think they created any chances to score a goal in the first half. They scored two in the second half but both were offside. We did a very good job, especially defending their attacks. Towards the end of the game, they was more space for our attackers and that’s when we scored a goal and we’re now in the semi-finals.
“We kept our focus throughout and continued to try and win the game. We put in a good performance and I think everyone played really well tonight. I’m very happy for all of us. It’s been tough for us as we’ve had so many players injured – sometimes we’ve had to play the same players a lot of times in a month.
“Many players here have not played in a Champions League semi-final and I think it’s a historic moment for us. The most important thing is that we’re focused on the semi-final and we’ll see who we’ll play on Friday.”
“It’s not easy to get to the semi-final but we are doing the right things,” said David Silva. “We won the title for the first time in 44 years and then wanted to go further in the Champions League and that’s a reality now. Any team we may play in the semi-finals will be tough so we’ll be happy being drawn with anyone.”
It is safe to say that when it comes to the UEFA Champions League, Ligue 1 is irrelevant. Step your game up, France. We’ll provide you with a preview of the UEFA Champions League semifinal between Manchester City and their next opponent to be determined here on TST.