Hart, Pellegrini and Blanc rue errors after thriller

Date published: Thursday 7th April 2016 8:01

Joe Hart: Celebrates after Manchester City's draw at PSG

Joe Hart, Manuel Pellegrini and Laurent Blanc all spoke about mistakes after Manchester City drew 2-2 with Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final in France.

Fernandinho pounced on poor home defending at the Parc des Princes to keep the tie level after PSG had fought back to lead following Kevin De Bruyne’s opener.

The result gives City the edge heading into next week’s return at the Etihad Stadium and Hart, who saved an early penalty from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, recognised the magnitude of the achievement.

The England goalkeeper told TV reporters: “It was a crazy game that we were fully involved in. It was a good game of football and we will wait and see how good a result that is.

“Two away goals is great, hopefully we make them count. We are making history for this club and we don’t want it to end. I am proud of the back four tonight.”

City took advantage of the penalty miss to go ahead through De Bruyne but immediately gifted an equaliser as Fernando miscontrolled a Hart pass and Ibrahimovic pounced.

Hart said: “It was a terrible first goal for us to concede after being 1-0 up.

“I’ve given Fernando the ball and he obviously thought there was an option to pass inside and the big man put his size 15s on it and it went in.”

Pellegrini: Second PSG goal offside

PSG grabbed a second through Adrien Rabiot and Ibrahimovic then hit the bar in what seemed like being a long final 30 minutes for City but Fernandinho eased nerves on 72 minutes.

Pellegrini said: “In the first half we made important mistakes that we cannot make if we want to continue in the Champions League.

“And unfortunately for us in the second half, the second goal of Paris Saint-Germain was absolutely offside – it was a mistake of the linesman.

“It’s not easy for a team to recover but I think this team has the personality and they believe in what we do. We always try to play attacking and try to score. That way we scored the second goal.

“But we must not talk about the semi-final. It’s very important now to play the second leg at home not thinking we have already qualified.

“They are a very good team with very good players. I don’t think that we are favourites – not before the game and not after this game.

“We have a difficult 90 minutes in Manchester but I’m happy about the result tonight.”

Blanc also rues errors

Blanc felt his team were made to pay for their errors.

Blanc said: “I don’t know if we were weak but there were many mistakes in terms of building up our play and in two of these mistakes it allowed Man City to score important away goals.

“This is our main regret. We made mistakes we’re not used to but maybe it’s the quality of this City team and the way they pressed us.

“We conceded first and things could have gone differently but I was satisfied by the way we came back, although we couldn’t manage to score the third goal.

“What I will take from this game – it’s not the first time we’ve conceded at home. We always concede at home but in the past we’ve proven that we can score away.”

As for the performance of star man Ibrahimovic, Blanc admitted it had been a mixed one.

He said: “Zlatan tonight was really on a rollercoaster – he missed a penalty and then had a really clear chance and didn’t score. We thought it wasn’t his evening but he kept on believing and scored.”

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