BORDEAUX — Paris Saint-Germain chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi has played down speculation linking the French capital outfit with former Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel and given current boss Unai Emery his full backing.
Asked about the Tuchel speculation by Canal+ after watching his team beat Monaco 3-0 for a fifth consecutive Coupe de la Ligue trophy, Al-Khelaifi chose to back Emery.
“Unai is our coach,” said Al-Khelaifi. “We support Unai. Each day, I see the names written behind Unai. However, it is he who is our coach and the whole club is behind him.”
Al-Khelaifi went on to express his happiness at the result and hopes that the squad can sew up the Ligue 1 and Coupe de France titles over the next few weeks.
“I think it was a good match, a good advert for French football,” he said. “We were very good. We could have scored more, but we are very happy with the win.
“We are very proud of this new trophy. It is very important for the club, the fans, the players and the staff, of course.
“We played well. We still have two trophies to win this season, Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France, and we will be able to focus on other objectives next season. But we want to win what we can still win this season.”
Emery was happy with what he saw and the success at the end of the day, pointing to his players’ consistency in their strong quality of performance.
“Monaco played really well, but we were able to impose our style of play and keep our philosophy,” said Emery. “We were on top of things, especially in the first half.
“We did not give them a lot of chances and we managed to create a lot for ourselves. We were able to control the match and the score without putting ourselves in danger.”
Goalkeeper Kevin Trapp was also happy with another trophy win and also to end the final with a clean sheet.
“It is always good to win a trophy,” the Germany international said. “We are very happy to have won against a good Monaco team.
“We prepared well, we knew the kind of match we would get. We celebrated well in the dressing room, we are here to win trophies, that is why we are footballers. We are really delighted with this.”
Captain Thiago Silva was also satisfied and he is now looking forward to Monaco’s visit to Parc des Princes in Ligue 1.
“It was not an easy game against a very good Monaco team,” said the skipper to Canal+. “It is another trophy for us, an important one for the club, the fans and all the players.
We are really very happy. When we play like that, it is not easy for our opponents, even if Monaco played well this evening. They showed quite a lot of quality. We play them again in the league in 10 days’ time, we will have to be ready.”
Marco Verratti was also pleased and feels that PSG’s success was merited against a good Monaco side.
“It was a good final against a good team, but we have had a good run, we deserve this trophy,” the Italy international told Canal+. “We scored early, which meant we dominated early on. It is a good result and another trophy for us. We are happy to have won here.”
One person who was not happy after the game was Monaco striker Radamel Falcao, who called the performance of referee Clement Turpin “a disgrace.”
Edinson Cavani’s opener came after a long review from VAR, while Falcao also had a goal ruled out for offside.
“Paris were more efficient,” he told Canal+. “After that, there was the referee. For the sake of French football, what the referee did tonight was a disgrace.”
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.