Jose Mourinho says rare individual defensive mistakes cost us tonight but the final result makes the required approach for the return leg an easy one.
A balanced first half ended 1-1 but after the interval PSG seized the initiative and went ahead for the second time in the game through a David Luiz own goal. It looked like we would return to London needing to overturn a one-goal deficit but that doubled in injury-time courtesy of Javier Pastore.
In his assessment of the game and the tie overall our manager focused on issues at both ends of the pitch, but he did praise certain aspects of our play…
‘From a strategic point of view the team had great discipline and they did the most difficult things to do in the game very well,’ said Mourinho.
‘They stopped Ibrahimovic, when he dropped back to play in midfield and between the lines he was completely under control. Cavani was under control, Thiago Motta and Verratti in the centre of the pitch were under control and the full-backs, who go forward a lot, were under control.
‘We recovered seven or eight balls in dangerous positions where we found them two against two or three against three, but we couldn’t transform these half-chances into goals. On top of that we made defensive mistakes, individual defensive mistakes. We paid the price.
‘The ball went to Lavezzi for the first goal. Top player, top striker – it’s like this at this level. We had the chance to go 2-1 up at the end of the first half. Then we scored an own goal and the third goal was a joke. It was not a goal, it was joke. We enjoyed the third goal with Pastore because it was Pastore and us.
‘It’s difficult for us to score goals, especially when the games are tight. When you make defensive mistakes you are in trouble, that’s simple.
‘We made individual mistakes in areas where for the whole season the guys have performed and they have the right to do that.’
Mourinho explained his selection of Andre Schurrle up front
‘I am not happy with my strikers’ performances so I have to try things. With Andre at least I know we have one more player to have the ball and to associate with the other players. Even not being dangerous because he’s not a striker he can associate and the team can have control of possession like we had.
‘Football is not just about that. It’s also about scoring goals, getting in behind and having real strikers.’
Our manager looked ahead to next week’s second leg
‘We are not out. We will try to turn it around. We have nothing to lose. We have to play thinking that it’s possible. To be fair I don’t think Paris think it’s done. They feel they are in a good position but they know it’s not over.
‘We are losing 3-1 so what can be our approach? Defend the 3-1?! It’s an easy approach. A difficult approach is when we drew 1-1 with Galatasaray and when we played at home. We could attack and try to control the game or be defensive.
‘When you are losing 3-1 there is no approach, you have to try to win 2-0, 3-1, 4-1. There is no other approach.’
Mourinho’s opposite number Laurent Blanc reported Zlatan Ibrahimovic suffered a hamstring injury that forced his withdrawal and will be assessed in the coming days. As our boss suggested the former Man United defender knows there is still plenty of work for his side to do…
‘The third goal changes many things but we don’t know how many things,’ said Blanc. ‘It will be a difficult game back at Stamford Bridge and that’s what I told the guys tonight.’