Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery lamented his side’s requirement to score an injury-time winner as they won 3-2 at Metz in dramatic fashion in Ligue 1 on Tuesday.
First-half goals from Edinson Cavani and Blaise Matuidi appeared to have put PSG in cruise control as they sought a seventh straight league win, but Metz battled back in the last 12 minutes.
Substitute Yann Jouffre scored a superb free-kick and his fellow replacement Cheick Diabate equalised with two minutes to play to set up a stunning climax in which Jouffre struck the woodwork with another set-piece.
Matuidi had the decisive impact, however, heading home a Javier Pastore cross in added time to move PSG level on points with Monaco – who have a game in hand – at the top and Emery felt his side should have secured the points earlier in the match.
“Firstly we are happy to have won,” Emery said. “This is a game that will allow us to learn.
“We need to learn how to use trust, to continue to play and score more goals. Our goal at half-time was to score the third goal to fold the game because if you think the match is over at 2-0, you’re wrong.
“The opponent had their moment and managed to come back to 2-2.”
— PSG English (@PSG_English) April 18, 2017
An eighth successive away league success for PSG keeps up the pressure on Monaco, who hold on to top spot on goal difference, and Emery praised the character of his side to collect a crucial three points in the title race.
“Mentally the team suffered when Metz scored their two goals but we found the right frame of mind to score third and win,” the coach added.
“The team played four minutes with their heart so we are happy. It was important to win tonight to achieve our goal of being champions.”
2 – @MATUIDIBlaise has scored his first brace in Ligue 1 for 10 years (with Troyes v Sedan on 28/04/2007). Liberator.
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) April 18, 2017
Matuidi played down his own decisive impact – despite scoring his first brace in Ligue 1 for 10 years – and he agreed with Emery’s assessment that PSG should have guaranteed their victory by scoring more goals.
“There was a nice cross from Javier and I found myself in the right place, it went in and it was successful to the team,” Matuidi told Canal+.
“It is a pity we had the match in hand and in the second half we did not do the right thing. I think there was sometimes a lack of humility. All the matches are difficult, but we have to be aware that we do not win by snapping our fingers.
“If we thought we lost the title, it is true that we were scared, but we have character and I hope we will be champions, but it does not depend solely on us.”