Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti was delighted his team answered their critics with their 4-1 win over Monaco in the Coupe de la Ligue final at Parc OL on Saturday.
Julian Draxler, Angel Di Maria and Edinson Cavani -- with a brace -- scored the goals to seal a memorable victory for a fourth consecutive title and seventh in total.
Speaking with journalists in the mixed zone after the match, Verratti admitted he and his teammates have take a lot of flak since their 6-1 loss away at Barcelona in the Champions League.
"Yes, we put in a very good performance," said the Italy international. "We knew it was important for us to do so.
"We took a lot of stick recently, so I think that the squad deserved this. We have had some difficult days but we never gave up and we proved we are a great team.
"We have experienced a few difficulties but this victory was deserved and we can now celebrate a bit."
Verratti also refuted the idea that PSG's domestic dominance has been built upon easy domestic successes and feels he and his teammates deserve greater respect than they currently receive.
"Yes, for four years we have won everything and I hear people talking as if it was four years of rubbish," Verratti said. "There must be more respect for PSG, for historical seasons no other teams have produced, the whole club deserves it.
"This is a great team and it was a victory for the entire squad."
Speaking with Canal+ after the final whistle, coach Unai Emery was relieved with the result and felt Monaco was the right challenge at the right time for his players.
"The team is used to playing to win every title and it is very important for the fans and for us," said Emery. "We spoke about it before the match and it was good for us to come up against Monaco because they are very strong this year.
"It was the best time to play this team and show that we are also in rude health and that this season has not been a failure and start to progress again. The team demonstrated that. We put in a good performance and did well.
"Congratulations to Monaco, too, who were excellent in this competition and will continue to play well."