Marco Verratti will no doubt be a starter when Paris Saint-Germain makes the trip to Germany to face Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.
The Italy international was only rated a 5 out of 10 by L’Equipe after PSG’s 4-2 win over Olympique Lyonnais on Sunday but he figures to be on his game under the bright lights of the Champions League.
After the match, Verratti was asked about his performance against Les Gones where PSG nearly gave up a three-goal lead and to look ahead to the clash against Dortmund via Culture PSG.
“We didn’t start the second half very well. We lost easy balls. Afterward, that’s how it is, if we give opportunities to a good team like Lyon, they have quality players who can score at any time. We have to be careful with that, it must not happen.”
When pressed on the brief spell when Lyon scored to consecutive goals and pressed for an equalizer, Verratti didn’t appear to be too concerned about PSG’s perceived fragility.
“It’s been 15 games that we play, we play and we win each time. It can happen that the opposing team creates opportunities to score for 15-20 minutes. Only, you have to improve and make sure that it doesn’t happen. We will work on that. But I think we had a very good first half, even if we didn’t start very well. We created opportunities against a very good team. We are also satisfied because it was a difficult match and we won.”
Then came the questions about Dortmund as everyone is already overlooking this week’s matches against Dijon FCO and Amiens SC.
“Yes, of course, PSG is ready [for Dortmund]. There are still about 10 days and two matches to play, especially Wednesday, a quarter-final [Coupe de France]. That is why we will do our utmost. And we will think of Dortmund next Sunday, after the match in Amiens. But we feel ready, the good times are coming, everyone is waiting for this match. I think we will arrive well in Dortmund.”
These comments echo the confidence of Leonardo, PSG’s sporting director, who also stated the team is ready for Dortmund but also added that it is not a life or death tie.
Everyone is saying the right things now, but, PSG’s biggest test of the season is next Tuesday and come kickoff, the time for talk will be over.
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