Ancelotti happy to see PSG join European giants in Champions League quarterfinals
Paris Saint-Germain manager Carlo Ancelotti hailed the efforts of his men as they ousted Valencia to join the best teams in Europe in the quarterfinals of the Champions League. The quarterfinal qualification ended Paris Saint-Germain’s 18-year curse to get past the Group Stages of the tournament.
A 2-1 lead from the first-leg of Round of 16 made Paris Saint-Germain favorites to qualify for the quarterfinals, but a goal from Jonas put Valencia in front. It took an equalizer from Ezequiel Lavezzi to ensure Paris Saint-Germain were the ones who the victor’s at Parc des Princes on Wednesday night.
Paris Saint-Germain will now have to test their metal against the heavyweights of Europe; such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, AC Milan, Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund.
Carlo Ancelotti has won the Champions League three times with AC Milan, twice as a manager and once as player, therefore the Italian knows what it takes to win the coveted trophy. The former Chelsea manager admits he might not have a squad like he used to at AC Milan, but he is pleased with the performance of his newly-strung team.
“Nobody knows how far we can go,” Carlo Ancelotti said refusing to put bars on Paris Saint-Germain’s progress in the Champions League. “Up to this point we have done very well but this is our first year in the competition for a lot of the players.
“They have been fantastic so far, and now we will need to see what the draw brings.”
The Ligue 1 leaders, who are through to the quarterfinals of the French Cup, are among just a couple of European clubs still left with the chance of recording a treble. Carlo Ancelotti has his fingers crossed for the three major trophies. The Italian admits he is pleased at his team’s performance, although it has attracted its fair share of criticism as well.
“We can't put all of our energy into Europe, because we are still fighting on three fronts,” Carlo Ancelotti said. “Porto, Juventus and Bayern Munich are the only other teams in Europe still fighting on three fronts, so I am very happy with the team and I want to say thanks to all of the players.”
Paris Saint-Germain needed a hero at home on Wednesday night. With striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic benched due to suspension and David Beckham placed permanently on the bench, Carlo Ancelotti put his faith in Kevin Gameiro. The midfielder reignited Paris Saint-Germain and setup Ezequiel Lavezzi for the crucial equalizer.
“Gameiro did very well,” Carlo Ancelotti continued. “I wanted an extra midfielder initially, which is why he didn't start, but when he came on he did well and was the key to getting the equalizer.”
“He played very well. To replace Motta I had to choose between Gameiro and Beckham and I thought he could bring more attacking energy.”