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Dortmund boss piles pressure on PSG after Champions League victory

Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke claims that Paris Saint-Germain will struggle with the pressure to advance past the last 16.
Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke claims that Paris Saint-Germain will struggle with the pressure to advance past the last 16. Reuters

Dortmund supremo Hans-Joachim Watzke on Wednesday upped the ante on Paris Saint-Germain following their 2-1 defeat in the first leg of the Champions League last 16.

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Watzke, taunted the big spending Ligue 1 leaders after Dortmund's victory claiming the French outfit would start reliving memories of their recent nightmarish exits in the last 16.

In 2017, PSG thrashed Barcelona 4-0 in the last 16 first leg at the Parc des Princes. A few weeks later they went down 6-1 at the Nou Camp.

In 2019, after beating Manchester United 2-0 at Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men won 3-1 at the Parc des Princes to progress on the away goals rule with the aggregate score tied at 3-3.

"For PSG, the world is going to collapse if they are eliminated," said Watzke. "They'll be carrying the trauma from the match against Manchester United from last year. I believe Dortmund will have the psychological advantage."

Consistency

Dortmund have been a regular fixture in the Champions League under Watzke's watch as chief executive. The side were beaten finalists in 2013.

Champions League glory has been the primary target of Qatar Sports Investment since its takeover of PSG in 2011.

PSG have monopolised the domestic trophies in that time but despite the presence of Kylian Mbappé and Neymar in the forward line, the team has failed to dazzle in the latter stages of European club football's most prestigious tournament.

Coach Laurent Blanc was dispatched in 2016 after his sides had failed to progress past the last eight in consecutive seasons.

His replacement, Unai Emery, who had led Sevilla to Europa League success, was unable to get PSG past the last 16 in 2017 and 2018 and was sacked.

Chance

Thomas Tuchel - drafted in from Dortmund - has also slumped. But despite that poor record and an increasing air of desperation around PSG, Dortmund striker Erling Haaland said he and his teammates were aware that they faced a tough second leg.

"We want to go through," said the 19-year-old who scored either side of Neymar's strike for PSG.

"It's going to be a hard game. The result is quite a dangerous one as Paris has a very strong team and can still go through in the return leg."

Dortmund midfielder, Emre Can, added: "It was a big statement from the team in the way we defended. But we know it's not over ... it's just half-time."

PSG defender Marquinhos said Neymar's away goal could prove crucial in the home leg. "We weren't intense enough with or without the ball," said Marquinhos. "We did a lot of things badly. However the goal we've got is important for the second leg."

 

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