Saturday, 8 August 2015

Laurent Blanc says Paris Saint-Germain need the likes of Angel Di Maria if they are to thrive in the Champions League this season.

Les Parisiens kicked off their Ligue 1 campaign with a 1-0 win at Lille - despite being a man down for most of the match - thanks to Lucas Moura's second-half strike.
Blanc hopes Di Maria, who watched his new team-mates from the Stade Pierre-Mauroy stands on Friday, can bring more quality to a team which started 2015-16 with a battling away performance.
"We mastered the game and this is reassuring, but we must to be careful because we cannot always win with 10 men," he told beIN Sports. "Our goal is to shine in Ligue 1, but also in Europe.
"I am a lucky coach because I already have very good players and now we have Di Maria. We really wanted Angel and now he's here, though it was a complicated deal which required patience.
"He wanted to join us and I'm glad to see this club can recruit players of his quality. I hope he will bring quality that raises the level of the team; he is needed in European matches."
Adrien Rabiot's red card 29 minutes into the match could have proven costly for PSG and Blanc blames the midfielder's inexperience for blundering his way to two bookings in the space of a few minutes.
"Rabiot's first yellow card is a little bit harsh," the head coach continued in the post-match press conference. "He take the ball first but he is young and he made a mistake.
"After the first yellow, he shouldn’t have made the tackle which got him the second one. It was hard for the team after that."
With PSG getting an eight-day gap before next playing – against newly promoted Gazelec Ajaccio – Blanc revelled in the chance to work on his players' fitness before European matches and cup clashes begin.
"We had many opportunities when we had both 11 men and 10 men on the pitch," he added. "It’s a good sign for the next games. We are playing more and more as a team, we had shorter passes and distributed the ball in the easiest and fastest way.
"Physically, we need to improve. Next week will be very important for this aspect of our game. We will organise double training sessions for the whole week as we play again next Sunday.
"There were no injuries so it’s a perfect evening for us. I wanted to give [half-time substitute] Thiago Motta some minutes today, even before Rabiot's red card. He came on for Pastore as he isn't fit to play 70 minutes yet."


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