Emery 'very convinced' PSG can reach Champions League last eight ahead of Real Madrid

The Spaniard believes his side can still progress in Europe’s premier club competition despite suffering a 3-1 loss in the first leg

Unai Emery is “very convinced” Paris Saint-Germain can qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals, although the Ligue 1 leaders have a two-goal deficit to overturn against Real Madrid.

Adrien Rabiot gave PSG the lead at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday, but a Cristiano Ronaldo brace and Marcelo’s late goal turned the tie around for the holders.

PSG’s away goal means a 2-0 victory in Paris on March 6 would be enough to send them into the next round, with Emery remaining positive despite his side’s setback.

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“An error on my part? The team had a good game, football is like that,” Emery told reporters on Friday. “We did not want this result, but on the pitch that’s what I wanted.

“I am very convinced that we can qualify. It will take more efficiency to score. My coaching? These are things we have worked on beforehand in the season. It could have been better.

“We had control. It’s football. It’s the competition. They may be angry but they respect their team-mates. I’m sure we’ll go, there’s a game left. I take on all the responsibilities.”

After Wednesday’s defeat Emery was critical of the match officials and the Spaniard remains insistent they had an impact on the result in the first leg.

“I would like to have the same referee back with the same criteria,” Emery said. “I watched Lyon-Villarreal [in the Europa League on Thursday], the refereeing was balanced.

“I want to find this referee with the same criteria for us! Before the penalty, there was an offside, for example.”

Emery left out Angel Di Maria and captain Thiago Silva for the Madrid match, but the PSG coach has defended his decisions.

“We have a working process, I’m happy with the three central defenders,” Emery said. “When I decide to play [Presnel] Kimpembe, it’s for tactical reasons.

“I spoke individually with the three men. Things have not changed in one match. He [Thiago Silva] remains the captain. As Di Maria is an important player. It’s the Angel we want.”

PSG will aim to bounce back when they take on Strasbourg in Ligue 1 on Saturday, although Kylian Mbappe, Marco Verratti and Kevin Trapp are suspended.

“The most important thing is to prepare well for this match,” Emery added. 

“We must continue our process, recover the victory, keep away the opponents.

“With respect for Strasbourg, we lost there.”

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