PARIS: Paris Saint-Germain want to avenge their defeat in last season’s final when they return to face Bayern Munich in the last eight of the Champions League this week, but the French giants seem to be retreating since the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino as coach.
News of Robert Lewandowski’s absence for the first round at the Allianz Arena early Thursday morning was received with little joy in Paris, especially as Neymar is undergoing rehabilitation to regain his fitness.
However, PSG did not need Neymar when they put in their best performance in the campaign so far when they beat Barcelona 4-1 away in the previous round.
Marco Verratti was playing at the time and the Italian midfielder’s absence in Munich due to a COVID-19 positive could pose a big problem for Pochettino.
Now the pressure is felt by PSG more than the 1-0 defeat at the hands of Bayern near Lisbon last August.
Advancing to the final of the European elite tournament is a big step but being knocked out in the quarter -finals will be a painful thing for PSG and Pochettino, especially after falling behind in Ligue 1.
The former Tottenham Hotspur boss told AFP last month that he needed time to show real ability at the Parc des Princes and he could not make the desired changes until pre -next season.
The 49-year-old saw a 7-2 defeat at home to Bayern in one of his last games with Spurs, telling Le Parisien: “You can make an assessment of me next season.”
Meanwhile he added: “If we win the Champions League, the French Cup or Ligue 1, our influence will be minimal. The same goes if we don’t win anything. It all depends on the players.”