Overcoming the mental scars of defeat at Real Madrid was not easy for PSG, but the club’s manager was happy with their showing on Saturday
Unai Emery conceded Paris Saint-Germain’s return to Ligue 1 action against Strasbourg was mentally tough on the back of Wednesday’s sapping Champions League loss at Real Madrid.
PSG fell behind to Jean-Eudes Aholou’s sixth-minute opener but Julian Draxler, Neymar and Angel Di Maria made it 3-1 by the midway point of the first half.
Edinson Cavani’s brace secured a 5-2 victory after Stephane Bahoken pulled a goal back as Emery’s men partially banished the memories of the 3-1 midweek reverse at the Santiago Bernabeu in the first leg of the teams’ Champions League last-16 tie.
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“The win is important after we lost to Madrid. We kept our rhythm, we keep winning all the games in Paris,” said head coach Emery, who was booed by a section of the home support at the Parc des Princes when his name was announced before kick-off.
“We want to keep giving confidence to our fans before playing Marseille twice and Madrid at home. We want to prove we are able to maintain this level.
“We will try to do it against big teams like Marseille or Madrid, with all the respect we owe to Strasbourg.
“It’s true that we conceded some opportunities today, fair enough considering the game we have played at Madrid.
“Mentally it was not easy. But we did well and we managed to win, keep confidence and keep our level here.”
Thiago Silva was a surprise omission in Madrid – a move that invited scorn from Emery’s critics – as Marquinhos partnered youngster Presnel Kimpembe.
The experienced Brazil centre-back was restored against Strasbourg and drew praise from the man in the dugout.
“I think Thiago Silva was focused and played a good game,” Emery added.
“I’ve spoken with the three central backs individually and collectively to let them know they are very important. I am happy with them.
“After I make my own choices for every games but I am very happy with all three.”
PSG face Marseille once in the league and once in the cup over the next 11 days, with the club set to host Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League tie on March 6.