Wenger tears into Pochettino’s ‘stupid’ PSG after CL collapse

Arsene Wenger, former Arsenal manager, accuses Liverpool man of conning referee

Arsene Wenger has slammed Paris Saint-Germain’s second-half performance and says they “collapsed completely” in their 2-1 defeat to Manchester City on Wednesday night.

PSG were leading 1-0 through Marquinhos’ header, but City improved after the break and the French side crumbled. Firstly Kevin De Bruyne’s cross eluded everyone to equalise. And then De Bruyne allowed Riyad Mahrez to take a free-kick which squeezed through the wall to give City a 2-1 lead heading into the second leg of their Champions League semi-final next week.

Speaking to BT Sport post-match, De Bruyne said he agreed to let Mahrez take the crucial free-kick.

He said: “He asked me if he could take it and I said: ‘If you believe in yourself, take it’.

“I have full confidence in my team, and he scored the goal, so who am I to say something about that?”

Wenger was highly critical of Mauricio Pochettino’s side and labelled them “emotional and aggressive in a stupid way”.

They were even reduced to 10 men in the second half as Idrissa Gueye was given a straight red card for a naughty tackle on Ilkay Gundogan.

“From the defenders turning their back, it’s between Paredes and Kimpembe. Why do you lie a guy on the ground if the guys in the wall open the wall?” Wenger told beIN Sports.

“I personally believe that the second goal is not acceptable for that level.

“It’s not the first time you see players turning their back. City took advantage of that. In the second half, Paris Saint-Germain was protective, not progressive any more. Is it because they were not physically capable?

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PSG mentally not right

“They did not have the same availability. After the 1-1 they collapsed completely. They became emotional and aggressive in a stupid way.

“What was very interesting tonight is that you could see that when it was 1-1, PSG mentally collapsed.

“This is as well the consequence of this team losing eight games in the league. This has an impact in this kind of situation.

“When it’s 1-1 the team knows they have lost many games, they carry that.

“It’s not like the season before when they were unbeatable in the league. You could see the confidence drop considerably.

“The mental impact when Man City equalised in the semi-final of a Champions League was too big.”

READ MORE: Pochettino sends PSG signal of intent after first-leg loss to Man City