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PSG optimistic about Champions League chances despite Dortmund defeat

Luis Enrique © Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain coach Luis Enrique was hopeful his team could still reach the Champions League final despite a 1-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of the quarterfinals. final on Wednesday.

“It’s football. Many times it’s wonderful and other times it’s like that. We would have preferred to be in a different situation, but I think when you look at it it was a very close match,” the Spaniard told the Canal Plus channel. after his team was defeated by a solitary goal from Niclas Fuellkrug in the first half.

The French champions had more possession and more attempts on goal, but were hampered by wayward shots and perhaps a lack of luck: Kylian Mbappé and Achraf Hakimi hit separate posts on the same play at one point in the second half.

“No one ever said that the Champions League semi-finals were going to be easy. The guys in the locker room are a little depressed. We had an opportunity in which we hit both ends,” added Luis Enrique.

“It must be said that this is an exceptional stadium, but I am sure that we will be very strong in Paris and we have nothing to lose.”

It is only the fifth game that PSG has lost all season, and the first time they have lost with Luis Enrique without scoring.

However, they can take heart from the fact that they have already beaten Dortmund at home in the current campaign, winning 2-0 at the Parc des Princes when the teams met there in the group stage in September.

They also overturned a 3-2 deficit in the first leg to eliminate Barcelona in the quarterfinals by winning 4-1 in the second leg.

Going further back, PSG eliminated the German club from the Champions League in the round of 16 in 2020 with a 2-0 home win after losing 2-1 in the first leg.

HERNÁNDEZ INJURY FEARS

“We are two teams that like to attack, that like to have the ball, that press. It was a very physical match,” PSG captain Marquinhos, who made a crucial lunge to deny Julian, told Canal Plus. Brandt at the last moment.

“As for the result, it is true that we had many good chances, especially in the second half, clear chances that we cannot miss if we want to reach the final.

“At home we will have to make sure we take advantage of opportunities like this.”

The Brazilian added: “It’s always very difficult to play here. We wanted to come here and win. We didn’t achieve it, but it was only 1-0.”

“We have done it in the past. We have shown that we can do it, especially at home with the energy of our fans. You can be sure that it will be a different scenario there.”

For his part, Luis Enrique said he had no news about the injury that forced defender Lucas Hernández to leave at the end of the first half, but admitted that “it doesn’t seem positive at all.”

Hernandez appeared to hurt his knee while trying to stop Fuelkrug’s goal and attempted to continue before falling to the ground and having to be replaced by Lucas Beraldo.