• France's news in English

PSG will play to win against Barcelona: Blanc

AFP · 30 Sep 2014, 10:39

Published: 30 Sep 2014 10:39 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc says there is no question of his side giving up their footballing philosophy in Tuesday's Champions League Group F encounter with Barcelona.

Blanc's team won many plaudits for their attractive brand of possession football last season as they romped to the Ligue 1 title and reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the second season running, losing on away goals to Chelsea.

But putting the emphasis on keeping possession means they will be taking on Barcelona - the masters at the art of keeping the ball - at their own game, and the PSG coach believes that is a risk worth taking.

"In my view we need to prepare to play the way the players are used to playing. If we start doing things that we are not used to, that is when we will put ourselves in danger," said Blanc at a press conference on the eve of the match at the Parc des Princes.

A style of football that produced spectacular results at times last season has not prevented Paris from enduring a sluggish start to this campaign.

'I have prepared a PSG team to beat Barcelona'

The French champions are yet to lose but three draws in their last four Ligue 1 games have left them five points behind leaders Marseille while a 1-1 draw at Ajax two weeks ago means there is added pressure on them to get a result on Tuesday.

But their way of playing is one that the former France defender has advocated since spending a season on the books at the Camp Nou in 1996-97 alongside the likes of former coach Pep Guardiola and current Barca coach Luis Enrique, and now Blanc is ready to take them on at their own game.

"Barcelona have always been one of my favourite teams, above all for their style of play," he said. "I know some people like them and others don't, but they always play good football and score goals.

"I only played there for one year but I was very proud to wear their colours. But I have prepared a PSG team to beat Barcelona. We need to have that mentality.

"I think Paris Saint-Germain will rediscover their level and performances of last season by playing football, sticking to the philosophy we used last year.

'Barcelona are Difficult to stop'

"You can see where Barcelona have got by sticking to a system for 40 years. It will be an extraordinary game. We will put in a great performance tomorrow if we stick to our philosophy but add a bit more aggression, especially when we don't have the ball.

"And that is all the more important because we know that Barca, when they have the ball, are very difficult to stop."

Story continues below…

Blanc is also confident his side will create chances against opponents who are yet to concede a single goal in seven matches in all competitions this season, including a 1-0 victory over APOEL of Cyprus on matchday one and a 6-0 trouncing of Granada in La Liga at the weekend.

"I've seen all Barca's games this season and in every match their opponents have had chances," he said, with Edinson Cavani charged with the task of leading the attack in the absence of former Barca star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has a heel problem.

Brazilian full-back Maxwell, another member of the PSG squad to have enjoyed a spell at the Camp Nou, insisted that his old team's run without conceding cannot last much longer.

"They have got back their intensity at winning the ball back," he said. "It is the philosophy that Guardiola had too. But it's not impossible (to score against them). Some day they need to concede and I hope it will be tomorrow."

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available