Areola: 'The match against Monaco? Exceptional!'

After a magnificent 2017-18 season, Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Alphonse Areola joined to look back over the campaign!

Alphonse, how did you approach the start of the 2017-18 season?
"I think we all came back from holidays with the aim and the desire to win back our league title and win as many trophies as possible."  

The start of the season was very impressive, especially in the Champions League. How was the group stage for you, with those five consecutive wins and record number of goals...?
"It's true that we started very well, in attack but also in defence! We conceded just one goal in those first five wins. We wanted to make a good start to the Champions League campaign. Everyone was focused on the job at hand. We can be very proud of what we achieved in the group phase."


Looking back, how do you analyse the tie against Real Madrid?
"I think we lost that tie in the last ten minutes of the first leg. We played a really good game, but that last ten minutes undid all the good work up to that point. We had caused Real all sorts of problems… For the return leg, Neymar's absence really hurt us. He's a key player... But we still prepared as best we could without him and we were confident. But we had lost it in that first leg."  

The team bounced back well and there was that fantastic night at home to Monaco…
"It was a great night because it was against Monaco, the team that took out title the previous season. But we got our revenge... we also beat them in the Trophée des Champions and the final of the Coupe de la Ligue… We knew that the league match against them was the moment to secure the league title, playing at home. In the end, it was an exceptional night... scoring seven goals against Monaco, it was really something special!"  

One of the highlights of the season was also your performance against Bordeaux…
"Bordeaux really went at us that day. They were pressing very high and we aren't used to that tactic in the league. I had a bit more work to do than usual but things went my way... I had a good game and thanks to Giovani's goal, we even managed to get all three points."