PSG chief rues third straight Round-of-16 exit
Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League exit has left the club perplexed and searching for answers, but there will be no knee-jerk reaction to fire coach Thomas Tuchel after their latest European failure, club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said.
The French champions blew a 2-0 advantage in their last-16, second leg tie against Manchester United yesterday morning (Singapore time), crashing out on away goals after losing 3-1 at the Parc des Princes.
PSG have spent a fortune to assemble a team capable of winning Europe's elite club competition, but have failed to get past the last eight since being taken over by big-spending Qatar Sports Investments in 2011.
This is their third consecutive exit in the Round of 16.
Last year, they were knocked out by Real Madrid (lost 3-1 away, 2-1 at home). In 2017, they suffered a humiliating collapse against Barcelona (won 4-0 at home, lost 6-1 away).
"I'm very disappointed with the result and the game. I don't understand how we lost," Al-Khelaifi said.
"We won 2-0 there. Here, in Paris, we lost 3-1. We gave them everything to win. It was easy for them. I don't understand."
Al-Khelaifi was also quoted as saying by L'Equipe that the club would not make any rash decisions over the future of Tuchel.
A disappointed Tuchel, who said the late penalty decision by the video assistant referee (VAR) was 50-50, felt that fate had been cruel to them.
He said: "If it were a league game you would wipe your mouth and go on, but today it's horrible and cruel."
The defeat sparked emotions ranging from anger to despair among the PSG players.
Neymar, who was injured for both legs, lashed out at the VAR for the late penalty converted by Marcus Rashford.
His compatriots, club captain Thiago Silva and Marquinhos said the team need to reflect.
Marquinhos said: "We have to think about what's working and not working, so that we can come back stronger."
Silva added: "It's a shame. We were on a good run and yet again it ends here. That's football." - REUTERS