PSG visited Chateauroux on Friday, Jan. 6 for their Round of 64 matchup in the French Cup and sweated a late 1-3 victory away from home in which Paris Saint-Germain couldn't count on many (if any) of their top-tier players because of different reasons.
The coach of PSG, Christophe Galtier, addressed the media after the match between the teams facing each other yesterday in the Round of 64 of the French Cup in his post-game press conference. Here are the most interesting thoughts he shared.
Asked about whether defeating Chateauroux was a relief when all was said and done...
"Imagine if there had been no qualification..."
"There is the satisfaction of being qualified. We know that these rounds are always difficult."
"We played on a good field, in a good atmosphere. It was important to open the score but afterward, it was big trouble. For 20 minutes my team was split into two separated halves."
"Did we think that things were going to be easy? Maybe, but we had to quickly refocus everyone during the break. In that sense, I'm satisfied with the second half."
About playing three titis from the start, and one more off the pine...
"I was satisfied with them. Even if El Chadaille Bitshiabu was unfortunate with the goal."
"They were serious and got into the rhythm of the game quickly."
"I liked how Ismael Gharbi expressed himself throughout the game."
"Warren Zaire-Emery played a complete game at a good level."
"I had the idea to start them. I'm pleased with how they performed."
About the possibility of getting into a penalty shootout...
"Yes (I was afraid of reaching that point), because afterward, it's a lottery."
"This new formula without extra time gives more hope and chances to a team from a lower division."
About the plan for the players returning from the World Cup at their latest stages...
"I was expecting a complex situation in terms of the fitness levels of some players."
"Many players were left off the group for five, six, seven weeks. They were going to take time to recover and integrate back into the club."
"We had many absentees. We will see who we will get back against Angers."
"We realize that teams who had a lot of players at the World Cup have experienced difficulties after coming back from the break."
"We'll have to refocus on the team, our game, and the goals and challenges we've set for ourselves.
About another struggling performance by Carlos Soler, who ultimately scored the game-deciding goal...
"These are players who have not played much, and Carlos is used in different roles (at PSG)."
"From a young age he has only played in one club, Valencia, and the adaptation is perhaps going to be longer for him."
"Soler was the captain, an important player (at Valencia). The fact that he does not play regularly (at PSG) does not help him."
"I believe in his qualities and ability. He and Pablo Sarabia are coming back from the World Cup as well (which doesn't help them this soon after having returned from the break)."
About Pablo Sarabia in particular...
"We have a very impressive offensive line when everyone is available."
"Sarabia doesn't get much playing time, and there must be some frustration."
"I liked how he expressed himself at the beginning of the game. It was more difficult after that."
"Most players don't get much playing time (at PSG). I know it's hard for them, sometimes it's hard mentally."
" We'll see who plays in the games to come. But I think they'll get some playing time and in this very busy second half of the season, they'll probably get more than they did in the first half."
About the home fans' disappointment with PSG's decision of leaving the trio of Mbappe, Messi, and Neymar out of Friday's game...
"There were a lot of children and families. Unfortunately the players of the World Cup (played in Qatar)... to the end of the World Cup."
"Neymar, it was the only time (available in the schedule for him) to heal his ankle. Messi returned 48 hours ago. Kylian is on vacation."
"It's a shame for the fans here in Chateauroux."