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Celtic blowout was 'ideal scenario' for Champions League start - PSG chief

GLASGOW, Scotland -- Paris Saint-Germain chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi hailed his team's 5-0 Champions League Group B opening win away at Celtic as "the ideal scenario."

Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani scored in addition to a Mikael Lustig own goal did the damage for coach Unai Emery's men at Celtic Park on Tuesday as the French capital outfit debuted with a comprehensive victory.

Paris Saint-Germain Paris Saint-Germain
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"We put in a very good display tonight, especially in the first half," Al-Khelaifi told journalists in the mixed zone after the final whistle. "To win 5-0 away from home is a great start to the Champions League, the ideal scenario.

"The players have worked well, it is the perfect result for their motivation. I am very happy this evening. The team had one objective coming here -- winning and taking advantage of every opportunity to score.

"The atmosphere this evening was absolutely magnificent. It was an honour for us to play on this iconic pitch. It was superb to play here."

Cavani scored a first half penalty and a superb diving header late on and the Uruguay international is now PSG's leading scorer in European competitions with 22 goals.

Speaking with BeIn Sports France, Cavani said he was happy that the whole team remained focused over the 90 minutes in Scotland.

"I think we played really well, stayed focussed for 90 minutes and not only up front," said Cavani. "The whole team played well. We are really happy to have taken the three points.

"We are going to keep working to improve still more."

Mbappe celeb vs Celtic 170912
Kylian Mbappe celebrates after opening his Champions League account for PSG.

Coach Unai Emery was delighted with his players after their win and particularly the way they took the sting out of a Celtic side roared on by a raucous Celtic Park atmosphere early on.

"We are happy with the win," the Spaniard said in his postmatch news conference. "The hardest thing to do was to manage the pace and intensity. We showed our true character. We mastered the ball and we knew how to win because of that.

"My attackers? They look for each other, they swap positions well. They will progress even more."

Emery singled out midfielder Adrien Rabiot for praise, despite his attackers' scoring exploits and praised the France international's performance.

"He is one of this team's strong points, one of many," said the Basque tactician. "We need balance. Our midfield can and enjoys dominating possession.

"Without the ball, when needing to recover possession, I also thought my team was very effective. They worked very well.

"Adrien has progressed well and he can still grow further. He has the necessary humility to improve and a match like this will aid his development."

Rabiot himself was happy with his showing and thanked his teammates for helping him to reach his current level of performance.

"I feel better and better as the years go by," the Frenchman told BeIn Sports France. "This is a great squad and all of these great players enable me to keep progressing and getting better.

"We had prepared for a difficult game and it was. We had worked hard to arrive here in the best possible condition. Everything went to plan and we are very happy with the result."

Next up for PSG is the Ligue 1 visit of Lyon to Parc des Princes this Sunday.

Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.


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