David Luiz wasn’t 100% fit, admits Blanc

The French champions' challenge started to go downhill when Thiago Silva was forced off injured, the coach has said

Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc admitted that he used David Luiz in Wednesday’s 3-1 Champions League quarter-final defeat to Barcelona, despite the defender not being short.

The former Chelsea man sustained a hamstring injury that was expected to keep him out for a month in the win over Marseille only 10 days ago, yet made a shock appearance in the PSG squad to face the Catalans. When Thiago Silva was injured after only 20 minutes, the Brazil international was called off the bench.

He endured a difficult match and struggled to contain Luis Suarez as the Uruguayan scored two second-half goals to leave the French champions a mountain to climb in the second leg, but Blanc has eased the pressure on a player who has often attracted criticism.

“The injury to Thiago Silva was the start of our problems. We had to replace him with a player who was not 100 per cent fit,” Blanc admitted.

The coach went into the game without a number of starting players available, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marco Verratti, but refused to contemplate another outcome had they played.

“We can’t think what might have happened had other players been there,” the coach said. “I don’t want to talk about the absent players, but it's bad when your gameplan is based around possession and you can’t get the ball.

“I have some regrets about some chances we had. We weren’t sufficiently effective on the counterattack.”

Wednesday’s was PSG’s first European home defeat in 33 games when Hapoel Tel Aviv won at Parc des Princes in 2006.