Champions League

PSG boss Pochettino plays down Champions League favourites tag after Bayern win

Angel Di Maria (left) and Neymar were two of Paris Saint-Germain's star players during the quarter-final victory over Bayern Munich.
Angel Di Maria (left) and Neymar were two of Paris Saint-Germain's star players during the quarter-final victory over Bayern Munich. © David Ramos/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino on Wednesday rejected the favourites tag slapped on his star-studded squad after eliminating holders Bayern Munich from the Champions League.

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PSG, holding a 3-2 advantage from the first leg in Munich, lost the return match on Tuesday night at the Parc des Princes 1-0.

But with the aggregate score 3-3, they advanced to the semis for the second consecutive year because they scored more goals in the away match.

"I don't think we can be classed as favourites,” said Pochettino who took over as PSG boss from Thomas Tuchel in January.

“We eliminated Barcelona in the last 16 in two matches. And now, in two matches we've eliminated Bayern Munich.

"I think we deserved both the wins. But that does not mean we will win the Champions League. Chelsea have qualified. And we will see who qualifies between Manchester City and Dortmund as well as between Liverpool and Real Madrid.

“I think whichever of the teams that move on to the semi-finals will have the same chances of winning."

 

PSG will take on whoever emerges from the City and Dortmund tie on Wednesday night. Dortmund host Pep Guardiola’s men who won the first leg 2-1 at the Etihad.

“I think we played a very good game seven days ago against City,” said Dortmund coach Edin Terzic.

“And I think we showed that we can be a top team and that we can make them suffer a bit. 

"We know we need a win. We have to score a goal for that so it won't be enough to focus exclusively on defence. We also have to attack."

Dortmund will be without the England international striker Jadon Sancho who is returning from the ankle injury that has kept him on the sidelines since early March. Marco Reus and Matt Hummels are also doubts for the game.

“It will be an amazingly difficult task, that is for sure,” added Terzic. “Belief is big, but belief alone will not be enough, we need hard work and courage. That is what can make the difference."

Progress

City go into the clash at the Signal Iduna Park on the back of Saturday's 2-1 defeat at home to Leeds United in the Premier League. The loss is unlikely to derail their procession to the third Premier League title during Guardiola’s five-year reign.

The Spaniard though has been unable to replicate similar success in Europe. City have not moved past the quarter-final stage of European club football's most prestigious tournament during Guardiola’s tenure.

"Our idea is to go and let Dortmund feel that we are not going to defend what we got in Manchester. We want to impose our game to win the game," said Guardiola.

"The players were sad when we didn't get to the semi-finals last season But nobody will give it to us, we have to do it.”

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