Week 14 Reactions

Ligue 1 Conforama

OM coach Élie Baup was just relieved to get back to winning ways in Week 14, after inflicting a defeat on LOSC Lille that Rudi Garcia felt was "cruel" on his players.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Olympique de Marseille 1-0 LOSC Lille

Élie Baup (Marseille coach): "That's three points, and we didn't concede a goal. We really needed to win, that was the most important thing for us. It was an open game, of a good level. Lille had chances, so did we, and we won, that was all that mattered. The last five minutes seemed to go on for a very long time. Our goalkeeper was decisive, and we held on to win. Now we need to recover quickly because we put so much into the game. You have nine teams separated by three points (in actual fact, four points separate the top eight) so it is a very open league. You look at a team like Bordeaux, who beat us and then go and lose at Montpellier. It is very even up at the top, and league position doesn't mean anything because nobody is pulling away from the rest. Quite a lot of the players picked up knocks, and there will be consequences from that. The players will be feeling the effects after putting in so much effort. We will need to do everything we can to recover our energy before playing Lyon (on Wednesday) although they were also playing at 1700 today."

Rudi Garcia (Lille coach): "It is a cruel defeat because we played very well, much better than in our last away game (last weekend's 2-0 defeat at Lorient). The problem is that we had enough chances to score and not come away empty-handed from this trip. We came up against a goalkeeper who is part of the France squad, but we still could have scored if we had shown a bit more quality. The sending-off was crucial in determining the outcome of the game. It wasn't the only disputed decision though. (Florent) Balmont was lucky not to have been seriously injured (following a Joey Barton challenge for which the OM player was booked). It was a top-level game so there was plenty of commitment but the referee was there to ensure the safety of the players and maintain the spectacle. I am happy with how the players performed but we have now lost Balmont for Wednesday (when LOSC face Bastia away in the Coupe de la Ligue). We have played 14 games, and here we had the chance to get back into the top five. But we are partly responsible for not taking that chance. You cannot afford to have so many chances before you score a goal. None of our players are appearing at the top of the goalscoring charts. We are creating chances though so I'm sure the day will come when luck smiles on us...(Marvin) Martin played some nice passes. Unfortunately he couldn't convert the chance he had at the start of the game, but everyone played well this evening."

>> MATCH REPORT: Jordan keeps OM on PSG's heels

Toulouse FC 3 - 0 Olympique Lyonnais

Alain Casanova (Toulouse): "We played really well against a team which is on a good run. We had a magnificent first half, which should have been enough for us to earn a two-goal lead. We deserved the win. It would be easy to say that we knew Ben Yedder would have a great season, but we knew that we had to help him exploit his talent. He played really well, as did the whole team. I really liked their attitude tonight."

Rémi Garde (Lyon coach): "The scale of the defeat is disappointing, even if the last two goals came late on. It's a heavy loss, but Toulouse were better than us and we can have no excuses, even if it's tough to play having played in Europe in midweek. We weren't able to cope with their very direct play. We never put them in danger. Their physical strength caused us problems, particularly in the first half, and we couldn't play the ball out. We had some chances in the second half, but Lady Luck didn't smile on us, and we were punished when we pushed hard at the end of the game and I'd decided to take some risks."

>> MATCH REPORT: Toulouse too good for Lyon

  Montpellier Hérault SC 1 - 0 Girondins de Bordeaux 

René Girard (Montpellier coach): "We played well against a very well-organised Bordeaux side. That gives our display all the more lustre. We made a couple of mistakes in the first half which put us in trouble, but overall we were thorough and disciplined. You saw 18 guys ready to push themselves over and above their limits. There were many good things, a number of chances. It was a game in which we had to be precise so as not to expose ourselves to counter-attacks. I'm relieved. We've done better recently in terms of aggression and in defence. In the first half, we were a little cautious going forward and didn't have enough penetration. But we pressed them higher up the pitch after that, and it was much better."

Francis Gillot (Bordeaux coach): "Overall, we didn't deserve to lose. Montpellier scored with their first real chance, while we should have scored much earlier. We lacked ruthlessness in the first half – it was a similar scenario to our Coupe de la Ligue defeat here, even if this time, the players dug in. They gave a lot, and played how I expected them to, but we weren't able to open the score and gain the upper hand. There are times in a game when you have to be able to score, and we couldn't. That had serious consequences."

>> MATCH REPORT: Cabella strike lifts champions

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Logo Paris Saint-Germain Paris Saint-Germain 4-0 ESTAC Troyes

Carlo Ancelotti (Paris Saint-Germain coach): "It was an intelligent performance. We had a long journey on Wednesday and it was hard to recover, so we played on the counter-attack and did it well. In the second half, there were lots of spaces and we took advantage of them. We deliberately defended deep so that we could catch them on the break. (The substitution of) Pastore was a tactical choice. He worked hard but had one or two difficulties like the rest of the team. I thought Nenê would be better at taking advantage of the spaces. (Zlatan Ibrahimovic) is a very important player. Naturally, we are more efficient in attack when he is there. He is one of the best strikers in the world. (Blaise) Matuidi played as he normally does: at a very high level. He can be happy with what he is doing at the moment. We are still not solid enough to be a team that plays with continuity. But the team has reacted really well this week. We have scored six goals, not conceded any, have qualified for the next stage of the Champions League and got back to winning ways in Ligue 1. That is a lot in six days."

Jean-Marc Furlan (ESTAC Troyes coach): "It was a bit harsh. We showed that we have quality, but we were lacking in both penalty areas, and that really matters against a team like PSG. We matched them for an hour, and were even superior. But we were useless in the two zones of truth. The first half was good, but we made an individual error that cost us a goal. I am very disappointed because the lads put in an honourable performance. Everyone agrees that Ibrahimovic is one of the best players in the world. Paris have some of the best players in the world in their team, so we need to put this into context. If they didn't have Matuidi they wouldn't be the same. It's annoying because he used to play for Troyes. He even gave me a kiss..."

>> MATCH REPORT: Ibrahimovic takes Troyes apart

SC Bastia 2-1 FC Lorient

Frédéric Hantz (Bastia coach): "It was a very special match, and there were a lot of things that we wanted to put right. I warned my players that in the absence of some of our key men they really needed to take responsibility and they did that. We got off to a great start with the early goal, but the sending-off of Anthony Modeste left us in difficulty. I don't want to create controversy but the red card was harsh, even if Modeste shouldn't have made the tackle. At ten against 11, to score the second goal before half time settled us down. I think maybe we won the game because we were down to ten men. It kept us focused. This is a great lesson for the future and we will need to repeat this performance with 11 men."

Christian Gourcuff (Lorient coach): "Not for the first time we started poorly away from home. All of a sudden we found ourselves having to come from behind. We had the advantage of the extra man but we couldn't use it. It was the same at Brest and it is very annoying. It is the way we started the game that makes me most angry. We need to do better away from home. We knew that Bastia would be direct and we got into trouble every time we lost the ball. We were diminished defensively but that is not an excuse. We have not produced good performances for a while now. We are not showing enough aggression and are not competitive enough as a result."

>> MATCH REPORT: Brave Bastia leave Lorient empty-handed

AS Nancy Lorraine 1-1 AC Ajaccio

Jean Fernandez (Nancy coach): "It is another disappointing performance. We needed to win and we couldn't do it. Once again we were not good enough, especially in the second half. I think that a draw is the right result. In our situation, we need to do a lot more than what we did in the second half. We hardly created a chance. The desire is there but doubts are creeping in. We maintain hope but it is becoming more and more complicated. It is difficult because the teams above us are winning."

Alex Dupont (Ajaccio coach): "It is a good point, although our finishing was poor. (Djamel) Bakar scored a superb goal and we were chasing the game after that. But I thought we deserved the equaliser and the draw. I would have been extremely disappointed and frustrated had we not taken a point tonight. We contained Nancy, although playing well means winning and scoring goals. (Adrian) Mutu seems to have a black cat following him just now because that is five or six teams now that he has hit the bar or the post since the start of the season."

>> MATCH REPORT: Mutu denies Nancy

Stade de Reims 0-0 Stade Brestois 29

Hubert Fournier (Reims coach): "Overall it was a decent performance, until we reached the final third. We just lacked that bit of spark needed to get the goal that would have liberated us. We are going through a difficult period and are lacking in confidence. We were too predictable and Brest, huddled up in front of their goal, waited to hit us on the break. Without (Kossi) Agassa being in great form, we could very well have lost. But we did remain solid and well organised."

Landry Chauvin (Brest coach): "This is our first point away from home, so I should be jumping with joy, but I also think that if any team deserved to win the game it was us. We finally produced a performance on the road that is worthy of a real team. We never panicked, and caused them problems on the break. I am happy, but also disappointed not to have gained two more points on Reims. This match will allow us to prepare for the home game against Marseille with greater serenity."

>> MATCH REPORT: Reims and Brest in stalemate

Stade Rennais FC 0-1 Evian TG FC

Frédéric Antonetti (Rennes coach): "We didn't show up. The best we could have hoped for was a 0-0, which would have been a fair result, but we made one error and conceded a goal. We just never existed in any area...Technically, tactically, in terms of effort, we weren't there. Even when we were struggling (at the start of the season) we did better than that. That was our worst game this season. Did we take our foot off the pedal after the Paris game? I don't know. There was nothing to take from the game, so we can only get better. We didn't fight, we didn't show enough aggression, we didn't press...0/10 in every area. I can't explain it. We will have to talk with the players to see what happened. We lacked spontaneity, freshness, everything."

Pascal Dupraz (Evian TG coach): "We had lots of problems putting a team together, especially in central defence because we have a lot of injuries there. The players followed our instructions and were extremely pragmatic. And luck smiled on us. We have been solid for some time, but had just been lacking that bit of luck. Not tonight. We could have taken the lead with one of our first attacks but we had to wait until the final 15 minutes. We suffered at times but we controlled the game and didn't concede many clear chances. I'm not interested in the table. The game of the year for us is next Saturday against Nancy. We need to remain wary, concentrated, recover well and work hard. Because every time we have enjoyed a perfect week in terms of effort put in on the training ground, the result has followed. We had to wait until March to win an away game last year, but that's now in three in five away matches since I have come in, and yet the coaches who were here before me were all very experienced."

>> MATCH REPORT: Evian raid Rennes

FC Sochaux-Montbéliard 0-1 OGC Nice

Éric Hély (Sochaux coach): "Nice were better overall. They controlled the game better than us and showed greater maturity. My one regret is that, despite being dominated, we held on until the 43rd minute. The penalty was a huge blow for us. We were better after the break, especially in terms of spirit, but we just lacked a bit of precision in the box. We will need to knuckle down and work hard to get out of this situation little by little. But we were in a much more complicated situation at the start of the season, so there is no need to be too dramatic."

Claude Puel (Nice coach): "I am pleased for the players because they gave a lot tonight. The one snag is that we lacked that finishing touch going forward. We were well organised but we couldn't get the second goal that would have allowed us to put the game to bed sooner. I know that in this type of game the team that misses the chance to kill the game often sees the opposition come back into it. So I am satisfied that we managed to hold on. It was important to win here, it proves that we are moving in the right direction. We have two big games ahead of us, including one at Montpellier where we will be looking to qualify for the semi-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue."

>> MATCH REPORT: Super Dario makes Nice upwardly mobile

Friday, November 23, 2012

AS Saint-Etienne 1 - 0 Valenciennes FC

Christophe Galtier (Saint-Etienne coach): "I was pleased with the match because we were up against a very good Valenciennes side. We never lost the thread of what we needed to do to win the game, even if we were hanging on at the end. We scored in our strong spell of the second half and that's satisfying. We're leading the table for now. It will be over on Saturday. We're like a Tour de France sprinter that's going well and winning stages. We'll see how we cope with the mountains. I take no credit for us being top. It was important for us to beat Valenciennes, a direct rival, to build on the point at Evian, even if we were leading that game. Being unbeaten for more than two months is a good thing and the result of the spirit we work on on a daily basis."

Daniel Sanchez (Valenciennes coach): "We should have been given a penalty. Beyond that, we resisted well in the first half and I was fairly satisfied with it. We were dangerous and had a few chances but after the break we didn't have the same attacking intent. We lost the ball too often by dribbling with it rather than moving it on. We conceded a goal from a move down the middle. We could have drawn 1-1 so I have some regrets."

>> MATCH REPORT: Saint-Etienne take top spot

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