Club coach Philippe Clement saw how his message reached his players:

« Balls », « balls », « des couilles ». In three languages, and with clenched fists, Philippe Clement made clear what his players had shown against Paris Saint-Germain. And what the difference was from the glorified stars of the Qatari house. “It is precisely by dreaming that you can break down boundaries and go further than you think,” said Clement. “That was the message to my players and they have done it brilliantly.”

Only in the first five-six minutes did Club struggle, said Clement. “PSG has a lot of quality. But after that we became more comfortable with the ball and after the goal we have a good reaction. Mentally, physically, tactically we were strong. We have had a historic evening. The players have enforced that, in the duels but also in football. That pleased me. That my players have dared to play football.”

Even when PSG increased the pressure in the final phase, Club remained intact. “The synergy with the fans gave a lot of energy,” said Clement. “We have shown that we are physically strong. We always play until the end for the three points. Winning the match would have been perfect, now it was almost perfect.”

“It’s hard to pick out a star,” said Clement. “You can mention Charles De Ketelaere, but I also thought Hans Vanaken was fantastic, Noa Lang, Kamal Sowah you name it. There was no reason to switch and that’s why I didn’t, until the very end.”

The question now is whether the European targets may be adjusted. “We have to be realistic. You always have to set the bar higher but at a realistic level,” said Clement. “There are still five finals. Historic evenings are beautiful, but now we need to confirm. Those other teams will now be notified as well.”

Photo: BELGA

Pochettino: “As said: Club Brugge has a lot of quality”

Maurico Pochettino wasn’t sure what attitude to take. The PSG trainer had clearly counted on more. “Obviously we had come for the three points. We started well and scored ourselves. But we let it go for a while and made sure that Club Brugge started to believe in it. They even got some chances. Club Brugge did not surprise me at all. Which players will I remember in two months? I’ve seen a few, but I won’t name names of course. Then you know what happens.”

The Argentinian is wary of players being associated with PSG. But he did have praise for Club Brugge. “It’s a good team. The motivation of the opponent was very high, but that is normal when they play against PSG.” (lvdw)

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