Pochettino praises PSG fighting spirit in triumph over confident Bayern


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - French Cup - Round of 32 - Brest v Paris St Germain - Stade Francis-Le Ble, Brest, France - March 6, 2021 Paris St Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo

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PARIS (Reuters) - Bayern Munich felt the best team did not reach the Champions League semi-finals on Tuesday after they went out on away goals but Paris St Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino reminded them that as well as a beautiful game football was a fight.

PSG had struggled in the quarter-final first leg in Munich but won 3-2 thanks to their ruthless efficiency in front of goal and Bayern's Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Mueller were confident the German champions would go through at the Parc des Princes.

The visitors won 1-0 despite suffering on the break throughout the match, with PSG's Neymar hitting the woodwork twice, but it was not enough for them to progress.

"Over both games I think we were the better team," said Bayern coach Hansi Flick, who had to cope without injured striker Robert Lewandowski for both games.

"We've had some back luck, we were missing some players but we have to accept it."

Pochettino, who said he "missed this adrenaline when I was at home" after being sacked by Tottenham Hotspur in November 2019 despite taking them to the final, will not get carried away after PSG reached the semis for the second time in a row.

"Even if we knocked out Barcelona (in the last 16) and Bayern all the teams in the last four will have the same chances to win the title," he said.

Responding to Flick, he said the German players' pre-game comments were fair.

"It is normal that they were confident, they're a team who have won everything and they thought they were the favourites," said Pochettino.

"Football is such a beautiful game but it's also a game in which you never give up and you have to fight. But I understand why they said they were confident, it's normal to play mind games."

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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