News Live Scores

Pochettino's fiery half-time speech 'made the difference' for PSG against Barcelona, says Marquinhos

23:09 GMT 10/03/2021
Pochettino Marquinhos GFX
The manager ripped into his players at the break, demanding improvement to deny the Liga club a Champions League comeback

Mauricio Pochettino inspired his Paris Saint-Germain players with a hot-headed talk at half-time on Wednesday, according to Marquinhos, helping ensure they wouldn't allow an embarrassing Champions League turnaround against Barcelona as they did in 2017.

Centre-back Marquinhos said the manager's speech "made the difference" in preventing a second-half collapse after the team was fortunate to finish the opening 45 minutes still ahead by three goals on aggregate - a 5-2 margin they maintained through to full-time.

Pochettino, in his first season in charge of PSG, now has his side moving into the quarter-finals of the Champions League having previously taken Tottenham to the competition's final in 2018-19.

What did Marquinhos say?

“We're not going to give away all the secrets [of the talk]," Marquinhos said to RMC Sport.

"It was hot, it reflected the difficult moments we had, we lacked a lot in the defensive phase, they took advantage with their full-backs. He asked for more engagement, with little videos. This is what made the difference."

How did Pochettino describe the performance?

“We suffered a lot in the first half," Pochettino told RMC Sport. "We struggled with the first pass. Psychologically it was a test because we talked a lot about the past. In the second half we showed a different face.

"What is clear is that we thought too much in the first half. We were thinking too much about qualifying, that's what I told the players.

"I asked them to play. Of course I was not happy, I told the players that, but sometimes it happens and we were more combative in the second half. The important thing is that we are through. We must put negative thoughts away from us."

Further reading