Paris St Germain boss Thomas Tuchel felt it was important to head into their Champions League clash with Manchester United with a win.
Kylian Mbappe struck twice as PSG came from behind to earn a late 2-1 victory at relegation-threatened Caen.
Despite being 18th in the table and without a Ligue 1 win in 2019, Caen took the lead through Casimir Ninga after 56 minutes and looked capable of holding on for a point after the visitor’s quick leveller.
Kylian Mbappe equalised with his first penalty of the season in the 59th minute before firing in the winner in the 87th.
PSG go into Wednesday night’s last-16 second leg meeting at home to United with a 2-0 and Tuchel told Canal+: “I am very happy that my players have managed to win this match.
“It’s important to win before a game like the one that awaits us against Manchester.”
Mbappe added: “The coach insisted on winning this match to prepare for the visit of Manchester, that’s what we did.
“We will come home, rest and prepare well for the important match which awaits us on Wednesday.”
The manager was full of praise for the mentality of his side after going a goal behind.
He added: “For a few games we have had to go for the wins. It took us a lot of chances to score and that’s why the match was more complicated than expected and tight until the end.
“The team remained calm, the players showed good mentality on the field despite Caen scoring the opening goal.
“We deserve this victory.”
Caen boss Fabien Mercadel was disappointed with the result.
Mercadel told L’Equipe: “It’s a disappointment. We did not manage to hold on to the result.”
Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac hailed his side’s best Bundesliga performance of the season after they eased past Borussia Monchengladbach 5-1 to move level on points with leaders Borussia Dortmund.
Javi Martinez headed Bayern into the lead after just 66 seconds, with Thomas Muller putting the visitors 2-0 up inside the opening 11 minutes.
Home captain Lars Stindl pulled one back before the Bavarians took full control with goals from Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry.
Polish striker Lewandowski added a late penalty to wrap things up and move onto 195 goals in the Bundesliga – more than any other foreign player in history.
Bayern have won their last four league matches and now sit behind Dortmund only on goal difference.
“That was the best we have played in the Bundesliga this season,” Kovac said at a post-match press conference.
“I’m very happy with the game and the way we played, but we could have scored one or two more goals.
“Now everything is open again. The title does not become a matter of fact, because we still have some heavy games ahead of us, but we are motivated enough to achieve that.
“The team are doing really well, we have a good atmosphere and the team have desire.”
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer maintains the players will remain focused, with key games ahead including a home showdown with Dortmund in April.
“We are not first yet, but much is possible this season,” he said.
“We have to stay calm and do our best to be champions so we can become champions.”
Monchengladbach coach Dieter Hecking admitted his side had given themselves an uphill battle after not being able to cope with Bayern’s fast start.
“If you are behind Bayern after two minutes, it will be difficult,” he said.
“We wanted to get control of the game back after that, and of course had to take a little more risk.
“However, these mistakes which we made cannot be explained. It was a deserved defeat.”
Kevin de Bruyne continues to talk down Manchester City’s quadruple prospects despite admitting achieving it would make them the greatest.
City won the first of the four trophies they are in contention for this season as they beat Chelsea on penalties in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.
With Liverpool also missing the chance to move three points clear at the top of the Premier League, the odds on City completing an unprecedented clean sweep have shortened.
But asked if City could do it, midfielder De Bruyne said it would be “almost impossible”.
He added: “We are going to try to win as many games as possible, obviously, to do it and if you do that you must be considered the best team ever because nobody has done it.
“However, we are not looking at that. We want to win as much as possible. We are not thinking about the quadruple.
“If we win three and then we play the Champions League final maybe we can talk about it but before that – no way.”
City’s latest trophy – their fourth League Cup triumph in six seasons – came via a penalty shootout after a drab clash ended goalless after 120 minutes.
The main talking point was an extraordinary incident late in extra time when Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, to the fury of manager Maurizio Sarri, refused to be substituted.
The Spaniard had required treatment twice in the latter stages and Chelsea had a penalty specialist in Willy Caballero – who saved three spot-kicks for City in the 2016 final – ready to come on.
“I don’t know what happened,” said De Bruyne, a former Chelsea player.
“Luckily we don’t have to be busy with that. I wouldn’t want it to happen on my team.”
De Bruyne had already been substituted when the penalties came round. Kepa saved from Leroy Sane but City prevailed 4-3 as Ederson denied Jorginho and David Luiz hit the post. Raheem Sterling hit the winning spot-kick.
City had thrashed Chelsea 6-0 when the sides met at the Etihad Stadium a fortnight previously but the Londoners put up a much sterner fight this time.
De Bruyne said: “As professionals you don’t want to do what happened two weeks ago. They’re a very good team. I know they’re having a tough time but they showed they can play pretty good football.
“They defended more than they did before. They didn’t really press like they normally do. They sat back a little bit more. It was more difficult to create chances but that’s just the way it is.
“You don’t have to go in the trap and put so many bodies up front. In the end you need to win it and it doesn’t matter which way.”