LONDON -- Paris Saint-Germain boss Laurent Blanc has urged his players to go on the front foot and show their Champions League credentials as they take a 3-1 quarterfinal lead to Chelsea on Tuesday.
Javier Pastore’s last-minute goal in the first leg in Paris last week handed PSG a potentially decisive advantage against Jose Mourinho’s men, yet Blanc does not want his team to simply defend their advantage at Stamford Bridge.
“We can’t just be content with sitting back and letting Chelsea come on to us,” Blanc stated at his prematch news conference. “Our ambition is to go out and try to cause them problems. We’re used to taking the game to the opposition.
“Look at our statistics in the Champions League. We’ve always scored. That’s a significant statistic. Chelsea are going to try to score, but Paris Saint-Germain will as well. That’s our mentality. We’ve not come here to suffer, we’ve not come here to have Chelsea just dictate the game to us and to dominate us. We know that the best approach to take is to have the ball and to create chances.
“That’s the role of a top team, to be able to dominate the game away from home. Ultimately the game will come down to who has the ball and how well they’re able to use it. We believe in certain things and I’ve always believed in this particularly philosophy, that taking the game to the opposition is the best way of winning trophies.
“Our philosophy is an attacking one. We like to keep the ball and we try and pose problems to our opposition.”
Blanc’s positive sentiments are clearly designed to encourage his players to play with their natural flair at Stamford Bridge, as he believes his side can make a statement to the rest of Europe as they look to seal a semifinal berth.
“If we really want to be a top-level European side then we need to be able put this philosophy into practice at the Parc des Princes and away from home,” Blanc said. “When it comes to Europe, yes, of course, the club wants to win the Champions League. That’s clear. This is a competition that is very tough to win. One day we’ll, certainly, be able to win it.
“Last season we were able to get through to the quarter-finals, tomorrow we have the opportunity to go one step further than that. There is real ambition within this club to win the Champions League as quickly as possible. This can often take time. We’ve seen examples of that in England, with Chelsea, who despite investing an enormous amount of money, still took a long time to win the trophy.
“Chelsea are going to be very aggressive and come out to try to score. It’s up to us to try to be very calm and even try to counter-act Chelsea’s play.
“We try to enact our philosophy as often as possible regardless of the opposition and Chelsea are clearly a very good side, but it would be wonderful to be able to qualify by putting this philosophy into action tomorrow.”