PSG skipper hails exceptional coach Pochettino

Paris Saint-Germain captain Marquinhos hailed Mauricio Pochettino as “an exceptional coach” after the Argentine won the first trophy of his managerial career.

Just three games into his tenure as PSG boss, the former Tottenham, Southampton and Espanyol manager won his first piece of silverware as his side beat rivals Marseille in the Trophee des Champions.

Mauro Icardi opened the scoring just before half-time before Neymar capped his return from injury with a late goal from the penalty spot, with Dimitri Payet’s effort only a consolation.

The game was Marquinhos’ 300th in a PSG shirt, and he was delighted to cap the occasion with a win and another trophy.

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“It’s a pleasure to be on the pitch, to be able to give you all so that you can win matches and trophies. That’s why I came to PSG,” the Brazilian told Canal+. “There is a new coach with a new philosophy; it’s not always easy to change during the season but Pochettino is an exceptional coach. He talks a lot with the players and explains well what he wants.

“We thank [Thomas] Tuchel for what he did here, for me because I progressed well under him and he showed me a new level of football that I never expected to reach.”

Wednesday’s game was keenly anticipated following the full-blooded meeting between the teams in Ligue 1 back in September. Marseille’s 1-0 win on that day saw five players sent off in stoppage time following accusations of racism and an on-pitch brawl.

“Against Marseille, we know it’s not always easy,” Marquinhos noted. “They are a team with a lot of commitment, but we like to play this kind of game.

“Overall, we had a very good game. We had some difficult times but we are progressing and that is the most important thing. Both teams had great players to put on a good game and left what happened in the league game behind.”

PSG will now turn their attentions back to Ligue 1, with the reigning French champions one point behind leaders Lyon at the midway point of the season. They travel to Angers on Saturday before finishing January with fixtures against Montpellier and Lorient.



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