Pochettino says first Cup is the start of many

LENS • Mauricio Pochettino has paid tribute to former Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel, after Neymar scored on his return to action as the French champions beat Marseille 2-1 to win the French Super Cup.

The Brazilian rolled home an 85th-minute penalty to put PSG two goals up following Mauro Icardi's first-half opener. The win gave Pochettino the first trophy of his managerial career after a 12-year wait.

The Argentinian started his coaching career in 2009 with Spanish club Espanyol and it has taken him more than 500 games to win a trophy having lost two finals with former side Tottenham Hotspur in the 2015 League Cup and 2019 Uefa Champions League.

"After 10 days as a coach, three matches played and this final against our biggest rival, it's very important to win," said the 48-year-old, who replaced Tuchel earlier this month.

"I want to thank the players and (PSG president) Nasser (Al-Khelaifi) for the opportunity. But also Thomas Tuchel and his staff because we are here because they have won titles.

"I hope to win other titles, but the first one will always be special. This is only the beginning."

The French Super Cup is usually contested at the start of the season by the winners of the league and French Cup.

With PSG winning both competitions last season, Marseille, as Ligue 1 runners-up, had been selected as their opponents.

It was a largely tame encounter, with the most noteworthy incident being substitute Neymar's scoring return after a month out.

Dimitri Payet pulled one back for Marseille with a minute remaining, but it was too little too late for Andre Villas-Boas' side.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 15, 2021, with the headline Pochettino says first Cup is the start of many. Subscribe