Paris Saint-Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino admitted that his star-studded team did not perform as they should have in their Champions League opener against Club Brugge.
PSG lined up with Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar in attack but the only goal they scored came from Ander Herrera in the first 15 minutes. Brugge equalised not long after and PSG, despite dominating possession, had fewer shots and shots on target than the Belgians.
With the arrival of Messi along with Georginio Wijnaldum, Achraf Hakimi, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Sergio Ramos – Donnarumma was on the bench for this one and Ramos was injured – PSG were widely expected to finally conquer Europe after almost a decade of trying.
But a lacklustre 1-1 draw against the weakest team in their group was not the way to start.
“I'm happy with the defensive effort of the attackers. We have to be stronger in other areas of the game,” a rueful Pochettino said to reporters after the game. “[We] need to compete, to know each other, to understand each other, to play together to succeed [in] all three but that was not the problem tonight.
“We weren't strong enough in a Champions League match. We are not happy with the result and the performance, we know we have to do better.
“We need time to work for them to build an understanding. That’s been clear and we’ve said that in recent days. We still have to create a team.”
PSG have made a perfect start in Ligue 1, winning all five of their opening games and scoring 16 goals in the process. Messi has only played 24 minutes in the league since his arrival from Barcelona and is yet to get off the mark in terms of goals or assists.
Next up is a home clash with Lyon at Parc des Princes on Sunday.