Week 18 reactions
PSG coach Laurent Blanc bemoaned his side's lack of agression in losing to Guingamp; Lille coach René Girard was delighted his side ended their eight-game winless streak against Toulouse.
Sunday, 14 December, 2014
AS Monaco 1 - 0 Olympique de Marseille
Leonardo Jardim (Monaco coach): "Marseille are the league leaders and they have a lot of quality. Today's game was a quality match, very intense, a derby. It was a match full of emotion. Marseille are a very physical team, and after our European match, they were fresher than us. I think Monaco controlled the match well and the victory is deserved."
Marcelo Bielsa (Marseille coach): "Our opponents weren't as strong as Paris and Lyon. It was a match we could have won. It's true that in the first half we were able to play consistently, playing out from the back, but then we lost the ability to destabilise our opponent. Even like that, we had chances in the first half to score goals. We had a few problems that came to light in the second half."
EA Guingamp 1 - 0 Paris Saint-Germain
Jocelyn Gourvennec (Guingamp coach): "One might think that Paris had to end up losing in the league at some point. Guingamp being the team they lost to may have surprised them. I don't think they were expecting that. We scored a perfect goal and then got back very quickly to defend from there. My players were very fit and ready for this game. We wanted to disrupt Paris because we know it is hard to defend against them for so long. My players remained lucid despite the fatigue and I find it remarkable."
Laurent Blanc (PSG coach): "I am not satisfied with my team. The first half greatly displeased me. We warned the players about set pieces from Guingamp. We prepared thoroughly and then on the first free-kick the players forget everything. We cannot let ourselves get into trouble in these situations! When you are not focused on a game, you lose. On the whole, Paris was too poor to win. We have had some hard times before but we always managed to react, to come back and draw or even win. Today, it was not enough. This defeat symbolises the difficulties we have encountered since the start of the championship. We have been lacking aggression for some time."
LOSC Lille 3 - 0 Toulouse FC
René Girard (Lille coach): "This is an important victory because it leaves us with a league position which can put us at a bit of ease. We were not in the quicksand, but it was good to win and take the three points. It was very good first twenty minutes but paradoxically, when we scored, our old demons crept back into our heads. But after we managed to make a difference, which is not always easy, even against a team that is weakened. We'll have to string more wins together to get us back to the top of the table."
Alain Casanova (Toulouse coach): "The early red card made it difficult. It was not the best start to an important game. Even if the penalty was saved by (Ali) Ahamada, we knew that the evening was going to be difficult. We should have defended better because we conceded a goal too soon after that. After the second goal early in the second half, the match was over. But we did crumble. The team worked hard to keep the score down. Saturday's game (at home to Guingamp) is of paramount importance."
Saturday, 13 December, 2014
FC Nantes 2 - 1 Girondins de Bordeaux
Michel Der Zakarian (Nantes coach): "We gave everything to get the win, and played well against a side that has great potential going forward. In the first half, we put ourselves in danger by losing the ball in our final third, which gave Bordeaux some good situations. Other than that, we defended well, and used the ball a lot better in the second half. We were a touch fortunate, but we battled to get that. People are going to stop saying that we don't beat the big teams."
Willy Sagnol (Bordeaux coach): "There's a lot of frustration and anger. A lot of frustration because we were never really in danger and we still conceded two goals. And a lot of anger because we simply stopped playing in the second half. All the good ingredients we put into it in the first half, we didn't have them in the second."
Montpellier Hérault SC 3 - 3 RC Lens
Rolland Courbis (Montpellier coach): "We have scored seven goals in two games, and yet our attack is criticised. Barrios is in a period where he's scoring a goal-a-game. If you could help me analyse, because I can't. We have drawn 3-3 with Lens after leading 2-0, after doing the most difficult thing by opening the scoring, while looking quite solid. You have to congratulate Lens, who play in a dangerously relaxed manner as far as their opponents are concerned, with seven or eight players who will be very good Ligue 1 players."
Antoine Kombouaré (Lens coach): "This point is a victory for self-sacrifice, of a team that never gives up and always goes forward. Of course I'm proud. It was like in the derby when we equalised late on. I love the character of my team, but it's also annoying because we only got a point even though we scored three goals away from home. Montpellier caused us problems, but led 2-0 against the run of play. We were better than Montpellier in every area of the game. That's promising."
FC Lorient 3 - 1 FC Metz
Sylvain Ripoll (Lorient coach): "In the first half, we played in the way we wanted to, putting rhythm into it, going forward and being solid defensively. We played well collectively. We started with a blank page for the second, and unfortunately we froze after we conceded. We lost the fluidity that we had in the first half. We might have been more clinical in the second half in order to give ourselves more breathing space, but we were more hesitant. Having 20 points is what is important."
Albert Cartier (Metz coach): "We had a tricky half against a very lively Lorient side, which was very good technically, very lively and precise. I have rarely seen such speed as I did from Lorient. Even against Marseille and Bordeaux there wasn't as much. It was less clear in the second half, but I found the quality of play incredible. We weren't able to match them, we weren't able to keep the ball and we got ourselves into trouble. We put them under a little pressure, but without being dangerous. The second half was different because Lorient were less incisive."
SC Bastia 2 - 0 Stade Rennais FC
Ghislain Printant (Bastia coach): "I'm very relieved. These are difficult matches to play because there is a lot of tension and pressure. We went out to get what we had been looking for for a while. It wasn't our best performance, but as I told the boys, the essential thing was to take the three points, with or without style. I think that we deserved the win though. But it's just one game, there are a lot left, and we mustn't get carried away. But these points give us hope."
Philippe Montanier (Rennes coach): "I have a lot of regrets as a result of our start, because we had chances. In spite of that, in the second half, we were very active and showed courage, but just when you got the feeling we could level, we conceded the second goal. Bastia, Montpellier, we are stringing together some strange defeats, because you get the impression being away from home changes things. We are standing still with two successive losses. Bastia have a lot of quality, and we unwittingly gave them the ideal scenario."
Stade de Reims 2 - 3 Evian-Thonon-Gaillard FC
Jean-Luc Vasseur (Reims coach): "After Guingamp, we were frustrated because we deserved to take the three points, but we were taught a lesson in how to be clinical. We won with our guts. We believed right till the end, despite the difficulties. We have to keep the way we played against Guingamp and blend it with the determination we showed in this game. We start rather well, but I get the impression that we stop playing after we score. We started to play again after we conceded the second goal. We pushed with the energy born of despair, and we were fortunate. My team remains fragile psychologically, and we didn't do it in style, but these three points are precious."
Pascal Dupraz (ETG coach): "There are 13 minutes that I don't want to talk about, because I am disappointed and tired, so I prefer to keep my mouth shut. We will have to keep our cool, persevere and step up our efforts. I don't fear anything or anyone, I keep driving forward. I want to achieve our objective, and show to certain people that I have qualities other than my big mouth."
Friday, 12 December, 2014
Olympique Lyonnais 3 - 0 SM Caen
Hubert Fournier (Lyon coach): "It will give those who think that it's enough to play with five at the back against OL food for thought. It's reassuring to win with style in a match we dominated from start to finish. Fekir and Lacazette shone, but for them to do so, they need good soldiers alongside him. The team's positive momentum is down to Alex's peformances, but that's what he's there for. We'll be third at the end of the round of games. The top two, Marseille and Paris, are really setting a furious pace. We'll have a great challenge next Sunday in Bordeaux against a rival for the European places."
Patrice Garande (Caen coach): "The same things happen time and time again. We're too weak technically in our play and too weak mentally. We don't fight. We didn't play like a team that is fighting for survival. I had set a total of 17 points for the players come Christmas. We can still achieve that, but to do that, we'll have to beat Bastia. It was not enough against a team of Lyon's quality. The 5-4-1 system is very good, but it doesn't do everything. I saw Evian pose Lyon problems in 4-4-2. You need the right ingredients, but we haven't had those for quite some time. If things stay like this, we can't hope to achieve much. We concede too many goals."