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Leonardo after PSG UCL exit: 'We made mistakes and have to change things'

Sporting director Leonardo says changes are needed at Paris Saint-Germain, but a rebuild is not in order after their Champions League exit to Real Madrid.

Leonardo after PSG UCL exit: 'We made mistakes and have to change things'
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Following their Champions League round of 16 exit at the hands of Real Masdrid on Wednesday night, Paris Saint-Germain's sporting director Leonardo says now is not the time to discuss the future of head coach Mauricio Pochettino and the club do not need to "start all over again".

PSG had looked set for a quarter-final spot when Kylian Mbappe doubled their aggregate lead at the Santiago Bernabeu with a first-half opener.

But Karim Benzema's 17-minute hat-trick saw the Ligue 1 leaders eliminated from the Champions League after a first-leg victory for the fourth time, with only Madrid themselves have gone out in such a fashion on more occasions (six times).

09/03/22 PARTIDO CHAMPIONS LEAGUE VUELTA OCTAVOS  REAL MADRID - PSG PARIS SAINT GERMAIN  TERCER GOL BENZEMA 3-1
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09/03/22 PARTIDO CHAMPIONS LEAGUE VUELTA OCTAVOS REAL MADRID - PSG PARIS SAINT GERMAIN TERCER GOL BENZEMA 3-1JAVIER GANDULDIARIO AS

Whilst adamant that Benzema had fouled PSG keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in the build-up to the first of his three goals, Leonardo conceded changes were needed but not a large-scale rebuild. 

"It's a blow," Leonardo told RMC Sport after PSG's 3-2 aggregate reverse. "We can't bury everything that has been done. It's difficult to analyse.

"The foul on Donnarumma was decisive, but we had difficulty managing this moment. We lost control, we have to look for solutions. It's a shame that a decision is decisive in this kind of moment, but we have to keep calm. 

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 09: Karim Benzema (R) of Real Madrid CF competes for the ball with goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma (L) of Paris Saint-Germain during the UEFA Champions League Round Of Sixteen Leg Two match between Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain
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MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 09: Karim Benzema (R) of Real Madrid CF competes for the ball with goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma (L) of Paris Saint-Germain during the UEFA Champions League Round Of Sixteen Leg Two match between Real Madrid and Paris Saint-GermainGonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

"We made mistakes, we have to change things, but we don't have to review everything.

"We must not throw everything away and put everything in the trash. We must not start all over again from scratch with each defeat.

"The objective is to win the Champions League, and until half-time of this match we were good."

The defeat is certain to lead to renewed speculation regarding the future of Pochettino, who has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United in the close season.

But Leonardo says the former Tottenham coach remains in their plans, at least for the time being.

"We must stay together. Pochettino is still in the project for this season," he added. "This is not the time to think about that [the coach's future]."