Di Maria insists Paris style can hit City where it hurts
Published 12/04/2016 | 02:30
Angel Di Maria has warned Manchester City that Paris Saint-Germain plan to "hit them where it hurts" tonight in order to deny Manuel Pellegrini's team a place in the Champions League semi-finals.
Di Maria joined Manchester United in a British-record £59.m move from Real Madrid in 2014 but he lasted just 12 months before leaving for PSG and later cited irreconcilable differences with Louis van Gaal for his departure.
The Argentinian seems certain to be given a hostile reception at the Etihad Stadium given his previous allegiance, but he insists that won't bother him.
"We need to play the way we know how," Di Maria said. "Control the ball, attack and take the chances that come our way. That's how we've won our matches up until this point. It's our style.
"Our opponents use up a lot of energy chasing the ball and then we hit them where it hurts.
"It is easier knowing that we have to win to go through. We don't have any other choice, even if we are up against a quality opponent. But I think by doing things the way we know how, we can win this match."
PSG manager Laurent Blanc has admitted that the French title-winners are under pressure to deliver Champions League glory for the club's Qatari owners.
But he insists that PSG's performance last week is enough to offer encouragement for the second leg.
"No one won 3-0 or 4-0," Blanc said. "We scored two as well. It will come down to little details.
"When you look at the chances we created, we had a few and pretty good chances as well. We also missed a penalty.
"We scored two, which was no mean feat, and created five or six chances in a Champions League quarter-final. I would be happy if we created as many chances again.
"But the goals we conceded irritated me and the defenders," added Blanc.
"We are going to have to be far more compact, and play better defensively if we are to deny City the room to create chances."
PSG will be hoping that Zlatan Ibrahimovic - who scored in the first leg but had a penalty saved by Joe Hart, missed a one-on-one chance and hit the crossbar - will not prove so profligate tonight.
There are no signs of the Sweden striker's confidence having been affected, with the 34-year-old declaring: "I have never been better. The way I feel today is the best I have ever been."
PSG will be without the suspended David Luiz and Blaise Matuidi, while Blance will make a late decision on whether to play influential Italian midfielder Marco Verratti , who has been out since the end of February. (© Daily Telegraph, London)