Week 17 Reactions
Marcelo Bielsa accepted his Olympique de Marseille side had not played to their best in victory over FC Metz; Laurent Blanc was relieved Paris Saint-Germain did not pay for another poor start after beating FC Nantes.
Sunday, December 7, 2014
Olympique de Marseille 3 - 1 FC Metz
Marcelo Bielsa (OM coach): "It's a game in which we struggled to play well. I'm happy with the result more than the performance. In the first half, we went forward but had problems to really attack them. We managed to score, they didn't. In the second half, we improved just after the equaliser, and after we went 2-1 up, the balance of play was rather 50/50 right to the end. They played in our half of the pitch and we counter-attacked. We had some dangerous situations, but the way in which we played was not always clear. It's true that throughout the season, winning when you don't play well is a necessary criteria for those who want to challenge, but it's never seen in a positive light."
Albert Cartier (Metz coach): "I don't like losing, but OM are difficult to play against. For me, OM are the best team in Ligue 1 right now. We played really well for a newly-promoted team. We had some chances and played with a certain idea of how we wanted to do it, but we were also very naive. It was a big game, for a match like that, we're lacking a little at both ends of the pitch. We have to look ahead to the next game."
Evian Thonon-Gaillard FC 2 - 3 Olympique Lyonnais
Pascal Dupraz (Evian coach): "Football is like ice hockey franchises in that it favours a few clubs in the upper echelons. We may be outside of that group but trust me, we will fight to stay in Ligue 1 to annoy the world. I am unhappy for the players, who played a superb game."
Hubert Fournier (Lyon coach): "It would have been disappointing not to seal the win. It looked for some time that we would draw though, but it ended well. We did not let go. Like the match won in Nice, the opponent scored first and we got back in the game. Here, we further complicated the task. We conceded the second goal while we're still celebrating the equaliser at 1-1. We showed character to get that equaliser at to create the winner late in the game. The prospect of clinging to the podium is a good motivator."
RC Lens 1 - 1 LOSC Lille
Antoine Kombouaré (Lens coach): "We may be disappointed with the result but not with the way we played. We believed until the very end so we have a lot of pride and satisfaction. This is only a draw but the players did well and deserved it. I'm pleased for the players and the fans. This is a happy point. We did not want to lose a derby. We showed a lot of determination in the game, the ability to move forward and the will to equalise. Although the Lille goal hurt us, I felt that we could come from behind and even win the game. In the end, despite our efforts, I was preparing the speech to boost the morale of the troops, but finally they were rewarded."
René Girard (Lille coach): "I am very unhappy, it's been a long time since I was so unhappy with the outcome. We bordered on malpractice. Not being able to hold onto the result is unacceptable. It is unacceptable with just a few minutes left for a player to be unmarked and given the time to put the ball where he wants. That is not top-level football."
Stade de Reims 2 - 3 EA Guingamp
Jean-Luc Vasseur (Reims coach): "We were lacking in the final third today. We were not effective. We can learn from this. We were not cynical enough. It's hard to get a result when you concede three goals. We loss 3-2 like we could have won 5-3. We had a very good start, we played a good first half. I think if this game is replayed ten times we would win it nine times."
Jocelyn Gourvennec (Guingamp coach): "We had a very difficult first half, Reims won everything in every area of the pitch. We were always second best and the opening goal we conceded illustrates this point. Lars (Jocobsen)'s equaliser was magnificent, a miracle. It gave us a boost. Taking six points and scoring eight goals in two games is very good for our confidence. We have a wonderful week ahead - Europa League qualification at stake in Salonika and then we are at home to Paris Saint-Germain in the league next weekend."
Saturday, December 6, 2014
Paris Saint-Germain 2 - 1 FC Nantes
Laurent Blanc (Paris coach): "I note that we have a hard time starting matches. We had quite a disastrous start at Lille, and it was the case again here. Nantes caused us problems in every area of play and deservedly scored a goal. That woke up our team. We're a team that reacts. We inexplicably give opponents space. The main thing is to win, but we need to be much more determined and aggressive to defend at Barcelona. I approached this game thinking about the next game, it worked because we won, but sometimes we play with fire. We didn't do what we wanted to do at Lille. We failed to achieve that aim. We're lucky the league is long, but it's points that we have dropped and I hope we won't regret it. We could have won at Lille. When you want to be champions, it's the least you can do to win at home."
Olivier Veigneau (Nantes captain): "We're disappointed because, like at Marseille, we rather played how we needed to in terms of our commitment and our team spirit. But each time we concede too many goals to hope to take points."
Yacine Bammou (Nantes forward): "There are regrets as we opened the scoring. We were determined in the tackles. We played well, despite the defeat. The match against Bordeaux will be key."
Girondins de Bordeaux 3 - 2 FC Lorient
Willy Sagnol (Bordeaux coach): "Good matches are never easy and for a good match, you need to be two. So I take my hat off to Lorient, who did not shut up shop and played to their strengths. They have some high quality players, notably Jordan Ayew, who will become a top international player. The players let rip going forward, they made a lot of runs, took risks with their shots and dribbles. What was promising is that as soon as we got the ball back, there was immediately one or two players who got forward and one who was waiting for the ball to be cut back. We managed to finish off several moves with crosses or shots. That's exciting for a coach, because - little by little - things are sinking in, the work is paying off. In terms of the way we attacked, it's certainly our best game of the season."
Sylvain Ripoll (Lorient coach): "We thought we could equalise right till the end. The game was a little mad with chances for both sides, perhaps a little more for Bordeaux in the first half, particularly in the second half of that half during which we suffered a lot and had difficulty in coping with their their attacks. We managed to open the score, but to go in at half-time not behind was a little flattering."
SM Caen 2 - 3 OGC Nice
Patrice Garande (Caen coach): "We deserved more from this game. There's no comparison to our display against Guingamp, but we lost again. We're in a really difficult period in which things are going against us. We have to be aware of things, but at least we showed the spirit required. That wasn't enough to win, that's the problem. We have to stay united, but I think the defeat is harsh. We can't hope to achieve much if we concede so many goals, and when you get on a bad run, it's tough. To get out of it, we have to work on a daily basis."
Claude Puel (Nice coach): "It's important to win away from home. It's a game which will bring us together. We played well in the first half, only giving Caen two opportunities. Our attitude was good, and it was tough to be behind at half-time. I hope this game will be beneficial for what is coming, because our confidence had been hit by recent results. We showed character to get the win, we dug in, and it's great for the players, who stood up and were counted in difficult times."
Stade Rennais FC 0 - 4 Montpellier Hérault SC
Philippe Montanier (Rennes coach): "It's a bizarre match to analyse. We conceded a goal and then had the chance to equalise, and I got the feeling that each time we had an opportunity, we were punished on the counter-attack. Our defensive and attacking efficiency totally deserted us, and helped out Montpellier, who took full advantage. There are matches where you feel things aren't going well. We made a lot of mistakes, gave away possession a lot, which allowed our opponents to have a lot of chances. We knew our unbeaten run would come to an end. We would have liked it to go on a bit longer, but we knew we wouldn't remain unbeaten until the end of the season."
Rolland Courbis (Montpellier coach): "In three days, we go from one extreme to the other, from a defeat that seems to me bizarre and complicated to analyse to this evening where we came to Rennes hoping to win, but to win 4-0 was quite lucky. We deserved to win, but not by that score. On the other hand, we have had enough problems since the start of the season. If there are times when things go well for us, like this evening, perhaps we had something to do with it."
AS Saint-Etienne 1 - 0 SC Bastia
Christophe Galtier (Saint-Etienne coach): "There was some tiredness. I felt my players had difficulty in putting our game in place, and Bastia didn't leave us a lot of space. We had a lot of difficulty, but that was due to the great quality of Bastia. We were quite fortunate, but it's our third win in seven days. I wouldn't have believed that we would manage to do that. It's a good result in a game in which my team did not play as usual. We weren't convincing, but we won 1-0. It's difficult to play us and we're not always amazing, but we have 32 points, five more than at the same stage last season."
Ghislain Printant (Bastia coach): "We had decided to defend intelligently. We had as many chances as they did. What hurts is that we get nothing once again despite the quality of our play. We didn't look like a side in last place, particularly against an ASSE side in such good form. We could have at least gotten a draw. We mustn't give up and this display gives me hope. I was pleasantly surprised, because I thought we would have suffered more. The players were so sad in the dressing room. We weren't rewarded. It's a shame."
Friday, December 5, 2014
Toulouse FC 0 - 2 AS Monaco
Alain Casanova (Toulouse coach): "We were poor in the first half and didn't get into the game with the right intentions. The intentions were different in the second half, although we still had trouble winning the ball back. We had trouble getting our game going and they were much better than us. We were well back from them physically."
Leonardo Jardim (Monaco coach): "The victory is important for our confidence. It was the third game of the week and I think that Toulouse aren't used to that. I found them to be tired. Monaco were better prepared for putting together a run of matches and that certainly played to our advantage."
Dimitar Berbatov (Monaco forward): "It's an important victory and one we deserved because we were stronger than Toulouse. We'll head home happy. Now we've got another important match coming up, one which could allow us to qualify for the next stage of the Champions League. Tuesday's game wasn't in our heads, but we were thinking about it and that's normal. Now the Toulouse match is over and we've won it we can now start thinking about the next game."