Paris Saint-Germain can “do great things” in the Champions League if the attacking trio of Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar continue their rich vein of form, according to defender Achraf Hakimi.
With Neymar operating just behind Mbappe and Messi, all three were on target as Christophe Galtier’s side soared through to the knockout stages with a dominant 7-2 victory over Maccabi Haifa at Parc des Princes.
Supported by a midfield trio of Fabian Ruiz, Renato Sanches and Vitinha, the front three embraced the opportunity to express themselves more freely with PSG netting seven goals in a Champions League game for only the third time.
“We played a good game, we fulfilled the objective of qualifying,” Hakimi told RMC Sport 1. “We scored a lot of goals. The coach chose the system to try things.
“The coach likes to play with this midfield, we hope it’s a good possibility for the team. If the front three stay like that, it’s possible to do great things. We’re glad they all scored.”
Galtier added: “It would be pretentious to think that we have the best team in the world. There are high quality teams in this competition.
“But I have three extraordinary players up front. We had to find a system so that they could express themselves more freely.
“Everyone knows the technical quality of the three, but we also realise that, in this competition, defending more in density allows us to have transitions. It’s very nice to see, they play for each other.”
Although disappointed by the manner in which the second goal was conceded, Galtier was impressed by the overall performance of his players, who he is urging to secure top spot in Group H when they face Juventus next week.
“I regret the second goal. We lacked requirement and rigour at the beginning of the second half to avoid reviving the team,” the head coach added.
“Apart from that, I’m happy with the game. Overall, the team has been fantastic. We played lively, alert football, with a lot of technical relationships and connections between the lines. I am satisfied.
“We are qualified; it’s very good, it’s the most important. The competition is not over, we have to go for first place against Juventus. PSG’s ambition is to finish first. We remain focused on this objective.”