Football

Mauricio Pochettino: PSG ‘will fight to the death’ to win the Champions League

Mauricio Pochettino has been appointed as the new coach of Paris Saint-Germain.

Mauricio Pochettino has promised that Paris Saint-Germain “will fight to the death” to win the Champions League.

PSG will seek to book their place in the quarter-finals of Europe’s elite competition when they host five-time winners Barcelona in their round of 16 second-leg clash in midweek.

The French champions reached the showpiece last season, only to suffer a narrow defeat to Bayern Munich, and Pochettino is determined to help the team go one step further in May.

Pochettino said during a pre-match interview with LFP: “Clearly, it is the ambition of the club that of the win. There are a lot of other teams who want to win it, it’s not that easy. We are aware of our responsibility, and we will fight to the death to achieve it.”

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PSG were dealt a tricky draw in the group stage of the 2020-21 Champions League alongside Manchester United, RB Leipzig and Istanbul Basaksehir.

The French champions only picked up three points from their first three fixtures, losing at home to United and away to Leipzig either side of a 2-0 win against Basaksehir, but recovered to finish top of Pool H.

PSG beat Leipzig 1-0 at home before earning an impressive 3-1 victory over the Red Devils at Old Trafford and thrashing Basaksehir 5-1, with a heavyweight knockout stage encounter against Barca serving as the reward for their efforts.

Pochettino’s side then hammered home their European aspirations by dismantling the Blaugrana 4-1 at Camp Nou in the first leg of their last 16 tie, and will be expected to finish the job at Parc des Princes on Wednesday night.

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Carlo Ancelotti, Laurent Blanc and Unai Emery all failed to take PSG beyond the quarter-finals of the Champions League, but Thomas Tuchel managed to buck that trend in 2019-20.

The German head coach found a way to bring the best out of key performers such as Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria as they swept aside all comers to reach the final, but were outclassed by Bayern.

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