Paris Saint-Germain chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi has given manager Thomas Tuchel his backing despite their humiliating Champions League round-of-16 elimination at the hands of Manchester United.
Despite winning 2-0 at Old Trafford in the first leg, PSG crashed out after slipping to a 3-1 home defeat against the Premier League side following a late video assistant referee (VAR) assisted penalty scored by Marcus Rashford.
It means the Ligue 1 leaders bow out of the competition at this stage for the third consecutive season, but Al-Khelaifi has said Tuchel’s position as manager is not under threat.
“I trust Thomas,” he said. “This is not the time for decisions. Decisions require a cool head. We trust him.
“We need to calm down right now and see what the coach wants — that is very important. We are very disappointed with the result and performance. I do not understand.
“We played great at Old Trafford, then we return home and gift them two goals. Honestly, I do not understand that performance in front of our own fans.
“The season is not over. It is a big disappointment, but we still have Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France — we cannot say that this season is now over.”
Al-Khelaifi also said he felt United’s opener after two minutes through Romelu Lukaku – who scored two on the night — shook up the PSG players.
“It is a shock for everyone,” he said. “It is serious. Football is not maths — it is not one plus one equals two. After we conceded the first goal, I felt doubt creeping in.”
PSG captain Thiago Silva was emotional when he spoke after the final whistle and asked supporters for forgiveness.
“It is hard to talk,” the Brazil international said. “It is a shame. We did not do things as we planned.
“Again, we fall in the round of 16. I want to apologise to the fans and ask that they excuse us. Nothing worked here. I can only apologise to the fans — there is a feeling of sadness.”
Tuchel, however, was not happy with his side after two first half errors allowed United to score twice.
“It is easy to explain: we gifted them two goals,” Tuchel said. “At this level, two gifts in 45 minutes — impossible.
“I do not know if the season is ruined. I do not know how to raise the players either — the match finished 20 minutes ago, do you think I already have the answer?
“It is time to defend my players and stay calm. I feel the same way that I did after the Guingamp Coupe de la Ligue defeat — it was impossible to lose, but we did so on three penalties.”
Marquinhos, who was again deployed in midfield, said the players were “disgusted” and was critical of PSG’s continued failure to get over their mental block in the Champions League latter stages.
“Our performance was unacceptable,” he said. “We understand our fans’ anger. Again, at this stage of the season, we make the same mistakes and pay the price.
“For years now, it is the same — this is unacceptable. We must think and speak like men in the dressing room. It is a tough time — there is a lot of anger.
“We are disgusted. We believe in this project. I have seen positive changes this year, but we missed another chance.”