Emery warns five-star PSG can only get bet­ter

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

GLAS­GOW:

Paris Saint-Ger­main (PSG) coach Unai Emery says his side have learned les­sons from the past af­ter they started their Cham­pi­ons League Group B cam­paign with a 5-0 thrash­ing of Celtic. Ney­mar, Kylian Mbappe, Edin­son Ca­vani’s dou­ble and a Mikel Lustig own goal con­signed Celtic to their record home Euro­pean de­feat and pro­pelled PSG to the top of the ta­ble on goal dif­fer­ence from Bay­ern Mu­nich, who they host on match day two.

It was a real state­ment of in­tent from this sum­mer’s big spenders who signed Brazil­ian Ney­mar and teenage sen­sa­tion Mbappe in a bid to make a real im­pres­sion on the com­pe­ti­tion. Af­ter four con­sec­u­tive sea­sons of reach­ing the quar­ter­fi­nals, PSG fell at the round of 16 last sea­son when they ca­pit­u­lated against Barcelona af­ter win­ning the first leg 4-0.

It was a re­sult that con­vinced their Qatari own­ers to break the world trans­fer record to bring Ney­mar to the French cap­i­tal. The 6-1 de­feat to the Cata­lan gi­ants in the sec­ond leg was a hum­bling for PSG but Emery says they are ap­proach­ing this sea­son’s cam­paign with a re­newed con­fi­dence.

“We did learn from the past and what hap­pened last year. We have worked re­ally hard to im­prove things within the team,” the Span­ish coach said. “I think my team showed a lot of char­ac­ter. What I was re­ally pleased with was the fact we were in con­trol with the ball and with­out the ball. “Of course we have added to the team but it is more about all the peo­ple work­ing to­gether. As far as this is con­cerned I am re­ally, re­ally happy.” The French side’s for­mi­da­ble front line ter­rorised the Celtic de­fence and Emery warned they would only get bet­ter.

The PSG coach sin­gled out Mbappe, who PSG have an op­tion to buy from Monaco for a fee that could reach 180 mil­lion Eu­ros, for praise. “This is what he needs at the moment. He wants to be a great player and he is go­ing to grow up into that role,” Emery said of the 18-yearold who scored his sec­ond goal in two games.

“They have only played a few games to­gether... but the key is that the team is go­ing to im­prove more and more.” Celtic man­ager Brendan Rodgers said his side, who con­ceded five at home for the first time since Rangers beat them 5-1 in Septem­ber 1960, said his side weren’t at the same level of the French su­per­stars. “You have to give credit to them. They are a re­ally spe­cial team and they are go­ing to be close to win­ning it for sure,” the North­ern Ir­ish­man said.

“This is a level where you have to look af­ter the ball, and you have to make the ball work for you, and in the first half we didn’t do that.” — AFP

GLAS­GOW: Paris Saint-Ger­main’s Brazil­ian striker Ney­mar (R) falls af­ter a tackle from Celtic’s Swedish de­fender Mikael Lustig dur­ing the UEFA Cham­pi­ons League Group B foot­ball match be­tween Celtic and Paris Saint-Ger­main (PSG) at Celtic Park in Glas­gow, on Tues­day. — AFP

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