Pochettino impressed by PSG youth as Lionel Messi and Neymar miss out
PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino was happy to see his side progress to the next round of the Coupe de France after a win at Vannes.
The Parisians travelled to the fourth-tier club on Monday and made light work of the tie. Kylian Mbappe netted a second-half hattrick in a 4-0 win as he reached 150 goals for PSG. Presnel Kimpembe scored the opener in a game where Lionel Messi and Neymar were both absent.
Pochettino told Eurosport in his post-match interview: “Respect is always the most important thing, that’s what I told the players.
“We were very professional, I am very happy with this performance of the team. The goal was to qualify for the next round, it’s done. The game against Lyon is a big game. We’ll be ready to compete at our best.”
With Xavi Simons starting down the right wing and Edouard Michut selected in midfield, the coach was happy to include some youth:
“We have an incredible academy, it’s important that they are on the pitch and that they can participate in this adventure of the first team.
“We have very, very good players, it’s important for the club to have this pool. We’ll try to believe in them, to give them the opportunity to play.”
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Mbappe hits 150-goal mark for PSG
After a hat-trick at lower league Vannes on Monday night, Kylian Mbappe has reached the 150-goal mark in PSG colours.
Despite talk of a summer free transfer to Real Madrid, the forward has shown no signs of distraction or complacency.
Speaking post-match, the 23-year-old forward said: “It’s an honour. Scoring so many goals for such a big club is always nice.
“There are only three of us, and the gap between us is closing more and more. I’m lucky enough to play alongside two great players.
“I know that Ibrahimović isn’t far off, but the most important thing is that we’re through and that we keep preparing well for the matches coming up. It’s important because in the cup, if you lose, you’re out, but we stayed focused from start to finish.
‘We were always trying to play with enough intensity to show them and ourselves respect. We won 4-0, we kept a clean sheet, we weren’t put in any danger, and we scored some great goals.
“We’re through to the next round, and we’ll carry on preparing to get going again in the league.”
Lionel Messi has tested positive for COVID-19 and set to miss Sunday’s trip to Lyon in Ligue 1. Neymar remains out injured but both Angel Di Maria and Mauro Icardi should be back to play alongside Mbappe.
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