Edinson Cavani scored twice in the second half to help Ligue 1 champions PSG avoid their first home defeat of the season in a draw with Guingamp.
PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani has bristled at the notion the team isn’t taking the remainder of the season seriously, while captain Thiago Silva addressed the club’s decision to part ways with Unai Emery.
Cavani, who scored both goals as PSG fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Guingamp at the Parc des Princes, rejected the idea that he and his teammates are already on holiday and declared his desire to stay on past the end of this campaign, as well as wishing Emery the best for the future.
“No, we are not on holiday already — this is not true,” the Uruguay international said. “Sometimes, there are difficult matches. We have won the Ligue 1 title, but we were still trying to concentrate as hard as possible — at 2-0 down, it was important that we at least fought back to draw.
“I am under contract with PSG! I am very good here. I am proud to be here. I hope to continue on this path, which started five years ago. I want to keep winning with this shirt.
“I congratulate the coach. He gave everything, every single day. I wish him the best in his career.”
Speaking with beIN Sports France, the Silva appeared to challenge the Qatari owners’ latest move in PSG’s quest for Champions League glory.
“It is the club’s choice and I think that they spoke after the Real Madrid defeat [in this campaign’s round of 16],” said Silva. “This week, they decided that the coach will not stay with us for next term.
“However, the responsibility is on us now. We change coach, but we do not progress. Between ourselves, we need to look and think about what we need to do better next season.”
Emery himself believes that PSG need to be patient as they hunt for Champions League success and likened the task to attracting a woman.
“The Champions League must be seduced, little by little,” Emery said. “Patience and consistency is the key — it may be that it happens when you least expect it.
“Like a woman, the Champions League must be wooed, gradually. Right now, she is Real Madrid’s girlfriend — they have won three of the last four editions. That is the reality and perhaps they will win it again this season.
“Gently does it — this is not a joke but a metaphor.”
Presnel Kimpembe, the only PSG player to stop and speak in the mixed zone after the match, congratulated Guingamp on their performance and admitted that going 2-0 down at home forced a reaction out of the hosts.
“In the first half, we were not good, and we struggled to create chances,” said Kimepembe. “Guingamp played very well, so congratulations to them.
“We knew we had to wake up in the second half — it was important to avoid defeat.”
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.