PSG pressing their case under Emery, says Marquinhos
PARIS (Reuters) - Paris St Germain defender Marquinhos says they are slowly adjusting to manager Unai Emery's pressing game after he replaced the possession-focused Laurent Blanc during the close season.
PSG edged closer to the Champions League's knockout stages with a 3-0 win against Basel at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday but they looked shaky in the first half before taking control after the break in an entertaining Group A game.
Brazil defender Marquinhos suggested the team needed time to adapt to Emery's approach and his emphasis on winning the ball back quickly, high up the pitch, in contrast to Blanc's more measured possession game.
"We're starting to understand our playing philosophy," said Marquinhos. "There's a balance to find between possessing the ball and being aggressive."
PSG were far from their best on Wednesday but Emery's halftime team talk seemed to put them back on track against Basel, who were undone by goals from Angel Di Maria in the first half, and by Lucas and Edinson Cavani after the break.
"Our first thirty minutes were not good," said Marquinhos. "Then we were better, we played more on the flanks."
Things could have turned sour for PSG, however, as Basel hit the woodwork twice in the first half and once after the break to the dismay of their coach Urs Fischer.
"In the end, we’ve got to accept it. We’re all very disappointed of course because it was a good performance and we created chances, and then we go and lose 3-0 -- it hurts a lot," he said.
Basel defender Michael Lang said the difference between the teams was PSG's clinical finishing.
"They took their first chance and scored and that showed the quality they’ve got," he said.
"It’s very bitter that we lost in such a way. We started really well and got good early chances. Sometimes it’s just a matter of centimetres."
The result left PSG second in Group A on seven points and behind Arsenal, who demolished Ludogorets 6-0, on goal difference. Basel are third on one point.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Davis)