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Champions League

Mauricio Pochettino warns Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe after Champions League draw

PSG were tipped as one of the favourites to win the Champions League this season but their forward line of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe failed to make their mark against Club Brugge

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Mauricio Pochettino declared his star-studded attacking trio must offer far more going forward after Paris Saint-Germain were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by Club Brugge.

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PSG were tipped as one of the favourites to win the Champions League this season but settled for a point in their opening Group A fixture.

Ander Herrera opened the scoring early on before Hans Vanaken equalised for the Belgian club shortly before the half-hour mark.

A dazzling frontline of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe – starting together for the first time – were unable to restore PSG’s lead, and Pochettino suggested they did not pose enough threat.

Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi settled for a draw on their first start together


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AFP via Getty Images)

“We know we have to improve. That’s not the problem for me,” the PSG boss told reporters after the match.

“I’m happy with the defensive effort of the attackers. We have to be stronger in other areas of the game. [We] Need to compete, to know each other, to understand each other, to play together to succeed all three but that was not the problem tonight.

“We weren’t strong enough in a Champions League match. We are not happy with the result and the performance, we know we have to do better.

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“We have a magnificent group of players, we now have to find a defensive and offensive organisation. We need time.”

Asked about the lack of connection between the debuting forward trident, Pochettino added: “We need time to work for them to build an understanding. That’s been clear and we’ve said that in recent days. We still have to create a team.”

Former Chelsea and Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte sympathises with the Argentine manager and told Sky Sport Italia : “To find the balance at PSG is not simple, but not only for Pochettino, it would be difficult for anyone.”

Can Pochettino get Messi, Neymar and Mbappe firing together? Comment below.

PSG’s next Champions League fixture pits them against Manchester City later this month after Pep Guardiola’s side stamped their authority on Group A with a stunning 6-3 win over RB Leipzig.

The French giants will need to be far better at the Parc des Princes if they are to overcome the Premier League champions and their former striker Nicolas Anelka was highly critical of the display against Brugge.

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“It is the PSG that we do not want to see,” Anelka told RMC Sport . “Nothing. Nothing was, except for the first fifteen minutes. But apart from that, there was no intensity, no defensive retreats, no sprints.”

“We did not see anything offensively, it will be complicated. If it plays like that, it will not be possible [to qualify for the knockout stage].”

Despite a disappointing start to their Champions League campaign, PSG lead Ligue 1 having won all five of their fixtures.

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