Paris Saint-Germain crashed out of the Champions League on Tuesday night, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic bemoaning his side’s tactics.
Following on from the first-leg 2-2 draw in Paris, the Ligue 1 champions arrived at Manchester City knowing that they needed a win or a high scoring draw to progress to the semi-finals.
Instead, they delivered a bitterly disappointing performance as Ibrahimovic blamed tactics as his side were eliminated from the competition at the quarter-finals stage for the fourth consecutive season.
“In the first half we played with a new system and what happened, happened,” he said, as reported by Sky Sports. “If it had gone well, nobody would say anything, and now people will say we gave it away.
“The second half was better, when we reverted to our normal tactics, but we gave away two games. I think we are a better team, but we lost tonight and we drew 2-2 at home, so all the best to Manchester City.”
Despite being favourites over the tie and arguably possessing the stronger all-round team, the French giants were lethargic, sloppy and generally lacked urgency in their passing on Tuesday night as they dominated possession for large periods without ever really putting City under sustained pressure.
Credit is due to Pellegrini’s men for defending resolutely and taking their chance to advance, but there will be real frustration from a PSG perspective that they weren’t able to move on to the final four.
From Laurent Blanc’s questionable first-half tactics which saw his side play a different system to the one that has served them so well all season, to the absence of key players. There are various excuses that can be made, but ultimately the Parisians had enough quality on the pitch to make the difference.
Having lost possession in midfield on countless occasions through errant passes which in turn allowed City to break at their defence, they always looked vulnerable while lacking a killer instinct in the side as Joe Hart stepped up and delivered when he was eventually called upon.
Marco Verratti undoubtedly makes a big difference when in the line up, and absentees such as David Luiz and Blaise Matuidi along with Thiago Motta who picked up an injury in the first half are all influential figures in Blanc’s team.
However, they still had enough quality to overcome City, and their inability to produce over the two legs ensures that they will watch on with plenty of regrets.