Unai Emery happy with PSG's effort despite shock defeat
Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery declared himself pleased with his players' efforts despite a 2-1 defeat away at Strasbourg on Saturday.
The Spaniard made a number of changes to his starting XI and despite a Kylian Mbappe equaliser shortly before half-time, lost out to Nuno Da Costa and Stephane Bahoken goals at Stade de la Meinau.
Speaking after the final whistle, Emery tried to remain positive after a first defeat of the season across all competitions.
"The team took 23 shots and managed to win 13 corners," said the Basque tactician. "We had chances to score. We were perhaps not that settled in attack and when it came to the final touches in the opposing penalty area. However, it is normal to be disappointed.
"Our objective and our motivation is always to win every single game. When you look at the result and the match, you can see that we did not handle some moments as well as we could have done.
"I am happy, though, because at least the team showed the right attitude in trying to win.
"It is true that there are things to improve because our opponents managed to score their two only chances. Strasbourg deserve congratulations though."
Marquinhos stood in as captain with Thiago Silva resting in Paris ahead of next week's Champions League clash at Bayern Munich The Brazil international felt that despite the disappointing nature of the result, it will benefit the Ligue 1 leaders in the long-term.
"This evening, we stepped to one side," Marquinhos said. "We created some chances but we did not manage to score.
"We conceded two silly goals and we lacked a bit of concentration on both. Strasbourg produced a great performance but this result will ultimately do us good."
"We had the right intensity but we conceded a bad goal early on. After that, things got complicated and we were behind against a team able to defend well.
"We created openings but nothing materialised. We were not as effective as we could have been today. We need to work. It is a very important match coming up and we must switch our thoughts to it immediately."
Javier Pastore was one of the fringe stars trying to catch Emery's eye but was unable to impress and admitted that lapses in concentration cost him and his teammates.
"Our opponents had two chances and took them both," said the Argentina international. "We were not 100 percent concentrated. They also defended very well.
"We tried to win this match but we were unable to get the second and ultimately lost. However, the team played well and wanted to win.
"Each opponent wants to play well and beat us. Today we did not get the second goal and it happened. It is normal that we regularly come up against highly motivated sides."
Pastore denied that remaining unbeaten in Ligue 1 was an objective before the loss and insisted that winning the league title is all that matters.
"No, we were not thinking about staying unbeaten," El Flaco said. "There are a lot of good teams in Ligue 1. You always get difficult matches in this league, it is the same every year, that is normal.
"This is not an objective for us. Our goal is to finish first at the end of the season and win. We have taken a blow but it will help us in the future to always be 100 percent concentrated, for every kick. We paid the price for two lapses here."
Pastore felt that the Stade de la Meinau pitch and wintery weather conditions played a role in the result.
"I think we played well but that is only my opinion," said the former Palermo man. "We tried a lot. During the last 10 minutes, we wanted to score and played a lot of long balls but they did not work.
"The team was motivated but when we got here, it was cold and the pitch was not great. That said, these are not excuses. Our opponents played in the same conditions and won."
Pastore, like Marquinhos, felt that defeat in Strasbourg could aid a strong performance in Germany against Bayern next week with top spot in Champions League Group B at stake.
"It is good because we now have a huge match against Bayern and we cannot do what we did here," Les Parisiens' No. 27 said. "This will spur us on to perform well and finish top of the group."
Next up for PSG in Ligue 1 are Lille OSC at home next week and Neymar will be suspended for that clash at Parc des Princes.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.