Paris - Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery acknowledged
that his team are not yet up to the standard expected of serious Champions
League contenders despite their 3-0 win over Basel on Wednesday.
Goals from Angel Di Maria, Lucas and Edinson Cavani, with a
late penalty, gave PSG an ultimately comfortable victory that keeps them on
course to qualify for the last 16 from Group A.
Quarter-finalists in each of the last four seasons, the
French champions will likely secure their place in the next round if they pick
up a point when they face Basel again in Switzerland next month.
However, Emery knows they must improve upon what was a
patchy performance against unlucky opponents who were denied three times by the
woodwork at the Parc des Princes.
"It is an important three points but I am not as happy
as I'd like to be," the Spaniard said after seeing his side struggle in
the first half and then improve as the game went on.
"The first half was not good. That's true. We were
saved by the posts but we scored, and at 1-0 the match opened up for us and we
Also read: Ben Arfa again stranded on PSG sidelines
PSG missed the injured Thiago Motta but in the veteran
Italian's absence Adrien Rabiot performed well alongside Marco Verratti and
"In the second half, after Rabiot and Verratti changed
positions, and with a bit of patience, we started to play better," Emery
"Rabiot had a good game. He is a good player who is
capable of becoming a top player."
The PSG players celebrated exuberantly with their supporters
at the end of the game after Cavani's penalty, his 17th goal of the season for
club and country, added gloss to the score-line.
But Emery admitted his team "need to work to
improve" and he will hope former Real Madrid and Manchester United star Di
Maria can start to have more influence on the side after he scored his first
goal of the season late in the first period.
The Argentine came off towards the end after asking to be
replaced because of a minor injury, but Emery said he did not expect the
problem to be serious ahead of this weekend's meeting with bitter rivals
PSG and Arsenal are now level on seven points at the top of
Group A, with the Gunners continuing their fine recent form by hammering
Ludogorets 6-0 in London.
The two group favourites look certain to progress, leaving
Basel to fight it out for third spot and a Europa League place with the Bulgarian
"Paris were clinical and we lacked luck when we hit the
woodwork three times," said the Swiss club's coach Urs Fischer after
seeing Michael Lang, Seydou Doumbia and Marek Suchy all strike the frame of the
Renato Steffen was also denied by Alphonse Areola when clean
through with the game still goalless.
"Football is not fair. I am very disappointed but I
think when we look back on this game there will be a lot of positives," he
"The team played well, but we leave empty-handed and that
the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us
on Twitter and like our Facebook page.