Unai Emery, former PSG coach (2016-2018) now on the Villarreal bench challenging Bayern this Wednesday (9pm), notes the mental flaws that have caused Paris’ elimination from the Champions League again this season.
Almost four years after his departure from PSG (2016-2018), Unai Emery has fond memories of his time in the capital, yet marked by the comeback against FC Barcelona in the knockout stages of the Champions League in 2017 (victory 4-0 first leg, 6-1 loss). An event he used to build for the rest of his career, which now takes place on Villarreal’s bench, as opposed to Bayern Munich in the first round of 16 of the Champions League, this Wednesday (9pm).
Emery predicted to Al-Khelaïfi that he will win the Champions League
“I did a good job at PSG. We should have done very well, he confides in an interview with The team† The first year Barcelona eliminated us, but the referee was wrong, more than we were. It would have been different with the VAR. I have accepted all of that. I had the opportunity to do something in the Champions League and I didn’t take it.”
Relaunched on the success of former PSG coaches (he, Thomas Tuchel and Carlo Ancelotti are in the quarter-finals), Unai Emery predicts an upcoming success for his former club in the Premier League.
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“It means they are all really good coaches, he explains. If they didn’t pass at PSG, it’s because there’s something else because PSG… (he doesn’t finish his sentence). This year it’s a step back, but I said it to Nasser (Al-Khelaifi): “You are going to win the Champions League. In the long run you will win. “Someone has to break the ceiling. PSG are on the right track because there is some consistency in the results and they keep looking for progress.”
“They didn’t know how to react because they were overcome with frustration”
PSG ran into this ceiling again this season when they fell to Real Madrid when the team led 2-0 over the two games with 30 minutes left in the round of the second leg of 16. Emery saw it as a perpetual restart in the mental defects. “One day Guardiola told me that because they have already won the event, teams like Barca or Real respond better to difficult situations, he concludes. The key is to manage the frustration. When Barca scored four times, then five and the referee made mistakes we didn’t know what to do against Real Madrid it was the same when Benzema equalized and then scored the second goal I saw players I know well like Kimpembe or Marquinhos they didn’t know how to react because they were overwhelmed with frustration.”