Paris Saint-Germain chief urges team to 'wake up now' after Bayern defeat
Paris Saint-Germain chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi has admitted that he is "disappointed" after the French capital outfit were soundly beaten 3-1 by Bayern Munich in their Champions League group-stage finale on Tuesday.
The Ligue 1 leaders still finished top of Group B but speaking with BeIn Sports France after the final whistle at Allianz Arena, Al-Khelaifi was left with a sense of dissatisfaction.
"It is true that we did not play during the first half," said Al-Khelaifi. "We were not on the pitch. It is also true that I am disappointed by the result and the low quality of our performance -- especially during the first 45 minutes.
"We were better in the second half but it was not enough to win or even get a draw.
"We really have a great team, some top players and our objective here was to win. We lost 3-1 and I hope that this defeat will ultimately help us in the Champions League because it is very important to us."
Al-Khelaifi does not feel that all is lost, though, and hopes that a 2-1 loss away at Strasbourg in Ligue 1 coupled with the Bayern defeat will rouse coach Unai Emery and his players.
"If we wake up now, it is not too late," the PSG boss said. "We finished first in the group but our aim was not to lose 3-1 to Bayern.
"I am very optimistic looking ahead. For me, we did not give everything we possibly could to win this match.
"We finished top but it is true that big clubs will finish second. It is possible that we come up against a top side in the next round or the quarterfinals.
"We must prepare well and the most important thing, for me, is that we learn from this lesson."
Midfielder Adrien Rabiot felt that he and his teammates did not show enough chemistry on the night and that the display was disjointed.
"We were too individualistic, I think," said the France international to BeIn Sports France postmatch. "There was not enough teamwork.
"The few occasions we played as a team and played the ball around, we were dangerous and we created opportunities. We also could have scored more -- we were not very efficient.
"However, from the moment you are being too individualistic, it gets harder. There is a team here, with good players and we can play well together collectively."
Emery's opinions did not match Rabiot's, with the Spaniard insisting that his team had done enough to merit at least a draw.
"We are unhappy because we lost," Emery told BeIn Sports France. "However, on the pitch, the team did not deserve to lose.
"We had chances to score before half-time, we also had the first chances of the second half -- especially Neymar's clear-cut opening.
"True, we could have done better defensively, but we enjoyed greater possession and created more scoring chances in the second half."
Emery also pointed out that despite the defeat, his team have finished top of Group B after an otherwise flawless group stage performance.
"The team was close to getting back to 2-2 but then Thiago [Silva] got injured and they scored to make it 3-1," said Emery. "We are still top of the group, though, and our main objective was to finish first."
Asked whether the injury sustained by PSG's captain is serious, Emery replied: "No, I think it is just a knock but the doctor will have to run some tests and then have his say."
Julian Draxler suffered as part of PSG's midfield in Munich, but the Germany international remained positive and agreed with Emery that finishing first in Group B was most important.
"If you want to win in Munich, you have to play well for 90 minutes," the former VfL Wolfsburg and Schalke man said. "Our main objective was to finish first and we have succeeded.
"However, obviously we are not satisfied with the result. Our top aim has been reached, though."
Draxler also rejected the idea that PSG fear anybody heading into the latter stages after last season's capitulation to Barcelona.
"Each team is strong," said Draxler. "We got Barcelona last season and we will see this time. We are confident that we can equal any other side in Europe, so we are simply waiting for the draw."
PSG will attempt to pick up their first win in three matches across all competitions at home to Lille in Ligue 1 on Saturday.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.