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PSG insist Pochettino is ‘still part of the project’ despite Champions League collapse

Paris Saint-Germain insist Mauricio Pochettino is ‘still part of the project’ despite the club’s Champions League collapse against Real Madrid.

Kylian Mbappe’s goal had provided PSG with the lead at the Bernabeu and a two-goal advantage on aggregate, but a second-half hat-trick from Karim Benzema turned the tie around for the Spaniards with a 3-1 win on the night sealing Real Madrid’s progress.

 

The defeat was another disappointing exit from the Champions League for PSG, who have been eliminated in the last 16 in three of the past five campaigns as the club’s wait for a maiden European title goes on.

Despite the manner of their elimination the club’s sporting director, Leonardo, insists the position of manager Mauricio Pochettino’s is not under threat – the former Spurs boss having been linked with the permanent position at Manchester United.

“We shouldn’t throw everything in the bin,” Leonardo told RMC Sport. “We shouldn’t start from scratch after every loss. The objective is to win the Champions League, and until half-time we were fine.

“We have to look to improve this team and maintain morale to play in Ligue 1 and to finish the season well. We should stay together.

“Pochettino is still part of the project for this season. It’s not the time to think about that.”

The tie turned on a mistake from goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, whose hesitancy on the ball led to Benzema’s first goal of the evening.

That goal instilled belief in the home side and two goals in quick succession from the Frenchman secured a dramatic win for Real Madrid.

“It’s a tough one to take. We can’t bury everything that was done. It’s hard to analyse,” Leonardo continued.

“The incident of the foul on Donnarumma was crucial, but we struggled to manage that moment. We lost control. We need to look for solutions. But it’s a shame that a referee’s decision can be so influential in that sort of moment.

“But we should stay calm. We made errors, we should change things but we shouldn’t look back on everything. It’s difficult but, up until half time we were a well-organised team.”

Read – Five of the best players to have played for Real Madrid and PSG

Read Also – Ranking the all-time top five Premier League midfielders for goal involvements

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