Week 24 reactions - Jardim: 'This was no miracle'
AS Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim felt his side was fully deserving of their ten-man 3-2 come-from-behind win at home to Lyon; OL president Jean-Michel Aulas urged his side to ask the tough questions after a second-straight loss.
Sunday, February 4, 2018
AS Monaco 3-2 Olympique Lyonnais
Leonardo Jardim (AS Monaco coach): "This was one of our best performances in terms of the players' collective attitude. It went very well; the players showed a great attitude and always turned up in the right places. In the second half, Monaco were the better team. We deserved this win! I'm very proud of my players and I'm happy for all of them. Lyon respect us. They know that Monaco are the reigning champions of France. This was no miracle."
Jean-Michel Aulas (Olympique Lyonnais president): "It's very disappointing. Everything was in our favor for us to win, with [Danijel] Subasic and [Radamel] Falcao leaving the game with injuries and [Keita] Baldé being sent off. I'm the first to cheer on the players, but tonight they need to ask themselves: Have we been overconfident? We must put aside these two defeats against Bordeaux and Monaco to get back into a positive streak."
Stade Rennais FC 0-1 EA Guingamp
Sabri Lamouchi (Rennes coach): "I think it's cruel for my players. They've had a week with a lot of frustration and disappointment. It doesn't seem fair to lose in that way. We lacked a clinical streak and perhaps some energy at the end. They are an extraordinary last move. We weren't experienced enough perhaps, to stop the move…We were surprised, it's disappointing…At the break, I told my players that we were only lacking a goal. The week has been difficult. I'm a bit hurt, the players too. We're going to pick ourselves up, but we'll have to work."
Antoine Kombouaré (Guingamp coach): "It's the perfect scenario. I would never have imagined it in even my most crazy dreams. We didn't start well. Rennes were very incisive. Our end to the first half was very good, and then we controlled the second and were rewarded with Yeni's fantastic goal…We worked to get a result here, and we were rewarded."
SM Caen 3-2 FC Nantes
Patrice Garande (Caen coach): "We had prepared for this game in a special way. We were ready for a battle, because they're a difficult team to play. They are a very very well organised team, very athletic, whose primary thought is to not concede a goal, and they do that in a remarkable way. And they exploit the smallest situation, the smallest error from their opponents. We had said that we had to show some attitude to win, that we had to win our challenges and go forward. We also knew that we had to perform with the ball. I wouldn't say it was a great game technically, but in terms of attitude, intensity and approach, the players have to be congratulated."
Claudio Ranieri (Nantes coach): "I'm a little disappointed, because we had a very good first half. We scored the first goal…Caen have to be congratulated, they won the game and they battled."
Saturday, February 3, 2018
LOSC Lille 0 - 3 Paris Saint-Germain
Christophe Galtier (Lille coach): "The score is harsh when you consider the effort we put in. But against Paris, you need to do much more than in other matches to get a result. My players did that in the first half, by applying themselves, having a game-plan and handling the transitions well going forward. My only regret is their lack of presence in attack. We were afraid of their transitions. When they counter, they hurt you. Once you are behind it is even more difficult against Paris. Because our players want to get forward even more and they have world-class players exploting the spaces. We were exposed. The individual talent made the difference after that. They scored goals we prefer to see on the tv than concede ourselves."
Unai Emery (Paris Saint-Germain coach): "The best preparation for the match against Real Madrid is to be competitive in every match. We have passed the test here in Lille. In the first half we didn't control the game we would like to. We conceded far too many transitions. But we put things right in the final quarter of an hour of the first half and in the second half, and we found the spaces much better in their half. They defended well. But we showed patience and, in the end, we deserved the three points. The important thing was to win the game, not concede a goal and improve our rhythm, especially for Lassana Diarra."
Amiens SC 0 - 2 AS Saint-Etienne
Christophe Pélissier (Amiens coach): "A good Saint-Etienne side were helped by the fact we were so weak this evening. When you are fighting for survivl you need to show more bite, more drive, even if our opponents were better than us technically. Our performance was worrying, and even more than that the spirit we showed. I am annoyed tonight. We didn't turn up."
Jean-Louis Gasset (Saint-Etienne coach): "Everyone in the squad was determined to win tonight. We played very well in the first half. We created chances and we looked confident. That is what I try to instil in the players. It bodes well for the rest of the season. Concerning Debuchy, he has had a great start, but I am not at all surprised by the level of his performances. Maybe when we play against slightly more glamorous teams we will need to play differently because we will probably not have so much possession."
Montpellier Hérault SC 2 - 1 Angers SCO
Michel Der Zakarian (Montpellier coach): "It is a very important victory. We really need to get as many points as possible this month when we will be playing against sides of our level. After going behind and struggling for 30 minutes, we needed to do something. We were taking on water in midfield and were always late in defence. After that, with the change (in formation, to four at the back), the team did much better, making the play and winning back the ball. We were lucky to get a goal back just before half-time. In the second half, our performance was of another level. We didn't have a lot of chances, but we were clinical. We got on top of Angers physically, and we also used the ball well to score a lovely second goal."
Stéphane Moulin (Angers coach): "I am more disappointed than frustrated. We were frustrated with the scoreline at half-time. We were playing well and we should have been ahead because we were controlling the game. Everything was in place for us to take something from the game. I don't understand it. We handed the initiative to the opposition. Certainly Montpellier played a part in that but the tactical change they made is not what bothered us. We often come up against teams playing a 4-3-3, so that should not have troubled us. We are to blame for the defeat and it is a setback. The second half was really not good. It is a long time since I have seen that. It is possible to not play as well from one half to the next, but you can't go from black to white without explanation."
OGC Nice 0 - 1 Toulouse FC
Lucien Favre (Nice coach): "We had more than 70 percent of the possession in the first half. In the second half we lacked a cutting edge. We did not have enough chances to win the game. They scored a superb goal, but they sat back and waited for us in their 4-5-1 formation with the aim of hitting us on the break. And they succeeded. We had a lot of players missing, but that is always a chance for others to come in. We can't hide behind that. We need to do more, or at least hold on for a 0-0. (On Nice not winning any of the seven league games Mario Balotelli has missed) It is a bit reductive to analyse it like that. There are lots of other parameters, a whole load of little details."
Mickaël Debève (Toulouse coach): "It is a perfect and very important evening. We needed to build on the victory against Troyes. This time our direct rivals have lost, so it is a perfect evening. We knew Nice would impose their game in the middle and so we needed to hold on. They were missing a lot of players, but so were we. We cannot minimise our performance. We needed to get the luck and the breaks going our way. The players know me. We try to get valiant players. Everyone is adhering to me for the moment, and we are winning. We needed to pick up points before playing Paris. We have Paris and Monaco in February, which will be difficult. Even if I am not mad and know that Paris are superior to us, I think we need to believe and remain optimistic."
RC Strasbourg Alsace 0 - 2 Girondins de Bordeaux
Thierry Laurey (Strasbourg coach): "We can't be conceding goals like that so early on in games. We made a mistake that cost us the opening goal, but our start to the game was not as bad as all that. Nevertheless, you are then obliged to take more risks and on a pitch like this, against a team with their physical impact, it is difficult. We had no luck tonight, and they were more clinical than us. But I am not blaming the players because they gave everything."
Gustavo Poyet (Bordeaux coach): "I am happy because it was a difficult week. We trained to play the football I like, but we knew the pitch here was in a bad state. We were not magnificent with the ball, but we tried things. When we scored the second goal, we knew that Strasbourg were going to come at us, so we changed our style of play. Sometimes it is not pretty, but at the end of the season these three points will be really important. It was not easy and we had to battle physically and mentally."
Friday, February 2, 2018
Olympique de Marseille 6 - 3 FC Metz
Rudi Garcia (Marseille coach): "When you score six goals at home in a game in which there was little to win, you can only be satisfied. We slackened off a little at the end but it was a great show. We're sure to be second and we have a two-thirds chance to be second on our own. All our attacking players scored or had a helping hand in the goals, which means the six others had to be solid throughout. But we're not going to split hairs, if we win everything 6-3 until the end of the season, I'll be happy, and a victory like that will help me send a mesage to my players. Flo [Thauvin] continues to make a difference, you don't need me to get yourselves carried away. I want him to keep working, to make a big contribution. He's a humble boy, but praise weakens men and I don't want him to be weakened."
Frédéric Hantz (Metz coach): "We lost the game on the opening goal. You can give a big team the ball like we did. After that, we conceded so many goals I don't want to go through it all in detail, but the first goal we let in was a goal you concede at the start of the season. I said to the players at half-time that if the scoreline got bigger, we'd be seeing each other very early in the morning. They'll get their day off, but we'll see each other again on Sunday and they won't be home by lunchtime. These sorts of accidents can happen during a season at FC Metz, what's important is what we do after it."