Week 29 reactions: 'We couldn't respond'
AS Saint-Etienne coach Christophe Galtier admitted that his side just had no answer to Paris Saint-Germain's first-half burst on Sunday night. Opposite number Laurent Blanc was not entirely satisfied though. Reactions...
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Paris Saint-Germain 2 - 0 AS Saint-Etienne
Laurent Blanc (Paris Saint-Germain coach): "It wasn't a great performance. We were on top in the first half but we were distinctly average in the second half. I am a little annoyed about that but that's the way it is. Sometimes you can be not at your best. We had chances to make it 3-0 that would have killed the match. It was an open game against a Saint-Etienne side who were not afraid to play. Subconsciously we were happy to just see the game out in the second half."
Christophe Galtier (Saint-Etienne coach): "PSG were very, very strong and wanted to kill the game quickly. We couldn't respond to their intensity and their pressing. Once we were behind it was always going to be difficult. Nevertheless, I hoped we would only be one goal down at the break. Unfortunately we came up against a very good Paris side who had a phenomenon up front - Ibra, the killer of opposition sides. In the second half we played more like we wanted to. We maybe deserved to get a goal back and that would have made for a tense finish, but we couldn't take our chances. Paris deserve their victory."
Olympique Lyonnais 2 - 3 AS Monaco FC
Rémi Garde (Lyon coach): "It could have been a victory. I am very proud of my players. There was a lot of solidarity and courage, which is important in a team sport. I am also so disappointed for them not to have been rewarded. The second half was almost one-sided. We had chances. It was a little messy but it was the spirit of the game. We believed until the end. Remember, we played against a very good Monaco team with world-class players who can make a difference. Monaco are second in the table on merit. We spent a lot of energy in the Europa League on Thursday but we were able to put them under pressure in the second half. This was our 48th game of the season. There is a lot of physical fatigue but the group is remarkable and we can be optimistic of big things happening by the end of the season."
Claudio Ranieri (Monaco coach): "It was a tough game because Lyon are a great team. I am satisfied with the result and the three points taken. We played well. The last minutes were only very difficult. I do not know if we have sealed second place. I know there are still many games left. We must remain calm. We should still always show the desire to win. I said from the beginning that Paris Saint-Germain are a great team. I will always fight but then I will send my congratulations. I think when the team wins by scoring three away goals then they deserve to win. We scored quickly and we were effective."
Montpellier Hérault SC 1 - 1 Girondins de Bordeaux
Rolland Courbis (Montpellier coach): "The goal was to win. If we only draw, it means that the target has not been reached. We wanted to play well with everyone saying this was an average game between two average teams, with an average position in the table. The chances of winning and losing were equal. We conceded a goal from a set piece for the first time in a long time. If these free-kicks and corners are well rehearsed it is hard to accommodate for it. The results of our last two games were average. We were very ordinary against Lille. We must play better in our next game against Nantes."
Francis Gillot (Bordeaux coach): "A draw is better than a loss. We suffered two defeats before this and now we have stopped the bleeding. Aside from that, the point does not help anyone, neither Montpellier nor us, but I think the match was even. The draw is fair for both teams, I think, even if we also had chances in the first half to take the lead, but they too had one or two chances. We perhaps could have had a penalty but we did not have enough clear cut chances to say that we deserved to win this game. It was pretty balanced so the result is fair."
Saturday, March 15, 2014
LOSC Lille 0 - 0 FC Nantes
René Girard (Lille coach): "I'm disappointed, it was a very average performance. We were beaten in the tackle too often. For me it was a non-match. We did not fare too badly because we could have lost. But beyond the result, the shape of the match should have been much better for us."
Michel Der Zakarian (Nantes coach): "This is a very good point won. If we had been bolder we could have won this game. We defended as a team very well. We found good aggression to win the ball back and we did better than in some previous away games. When everyone makes an effort to shut down their playmaker, it makes things easier."
AC Ajaccio 1 - 2 EA Guingamp
Christian Bracconi (Ajaccio coach): "Overall, the team seemed worn out. Due to our limited number of players, my hands are tied somewhat. The players we do have have given a lot since November. But now we no longer speak of top-flight survival, even if mathematically we are not down yet."
Jocelyn Gourvennec (Guingamp coach): "This victory is very good for us. We were eager to win after our defeat last Saturday. There was a certain pressure. With the results of our direct competitors, it was important to win. However, nothing is decided yet as there are still nine games left."
Evian TG FC 0 - 1 Valenciennes FC
Pascal Dupraz (Evian coach): "To see Valenciennes and Sochaux win is not the best of scenarios, but they have not ensured their survival yet. Perhaps we will win games nobody expects us to, like we did against Paris. We will continue to be positive because tonight the boys took a hit. We must acknowledge that we have 30 points and in my opinion there are still ten to win, so ten out of a possible twenty-seven, it seems feasible."
Ariël Jacobs (Valenciennes coach): "Yesterday everybody had written us off. I know that journalists are forced to write some things but I did not read it. All week Evian had given the impression that the pressure was on us and not on them. This was a lucky break for us and we believed in our chances. Now our mission to stay up is no longer impossible, but that is what they said when I took the job."
OGC Nice 2 - 0 SC Bastia
Claude Puel (Nice coach): "We capitalised on last week's win over Marseille and enjoyed the breathing space. It allows us to regain confidence in our ability. We still have some immaturity but we managed to stay strong and never let Bastia back into the game. In the first half we knew we would face clear provocations and that is just part of the learning curve for my young team, and that's fine too."
Frédéric Hantz (Bastia coach): "We waste possession when we have it. We don't play simply enough, we don't make enough runs and we don't cause our opponents enough problems. We've been a mid-table side for quite a while now, but tonight I think that status is in danger given how we've been playing for the last few weeks. The lads are aware of it but they really need to react. The situation isn't worrying me yet, but it could easily start to."
Stade Rennais FC 2 - 3 Toulouse FC
Philippe Montanier (Rennes coach): "It all started at midday with Kamil (Grosicki) getting injured. There are nights where you just feel the wind is blowing against you. Now we find ourselves in an even more difficult situation. We will fight to the end, there are nine matches. The schedule is not easy, but we will not give up. We are in a difficult situation, it will be up to us to pull away from it, end this season quickly and look ahead to the next one. We'll have to fight, especially since we have very tough games. When things go wrong, nothing will work, and it showed tonight."
Alain Casanova (Toulouse coach): "Our top flight position is secured. That was our primary objective. We must be ambitious without getting complacent. We'll see how far we can get. We must have greater consistency. The team has gained confidence, players like Serge Aurier proved that, the system is in place, and we must continue with it. We got caught out by two avoidable goals but you cannot blame Zak (Boucher) because he was focused throughout the rest of the game. We tried to follow our gameplan and it worked, although it was scary at the end. The teams ahead of us are not very far away. We have done well for a few weeks now. We will try to continue like this and we all hope to get something at the end of the season."
FC Sochaux-Montbéliard 2 - 0 FC Lorient
Hervé Renard (Sochaux coach): "We knew Lorient were technically superior, but we compensated by showing our guts and determination. This was our fifth home win in the last six matches. This proves that we have the right set-up in place. We have had it since the beginning of the season. Everyone told us that it was mission impossible, but we have always believed. The players are investing heavily in this project and showing a lot of courage. It must pay off."
Christian Gourcuff (Lorient coach): "We did not start the game well. We knew that Sochaux would be physically intense from the start. We struggled to show our technical quality because our opponent had a lot of intensity. We will have to make some adjustments because we have other games like this to play. Anything can happen as we do not yet have the 42 points we need to survive."
Friday, March 14, 2014
Stade de Reims 1 - 1 Olympique de Marseille
Hubert Fournier (Reims coach): "The draw seems the right result. We played the match we needed to against a side like Marseille. When we were on top, when we scored, it was a crazy ten minutes and we came close to scoring a second. It's disappointing to be in the lead and then to concede an avoidable goal. But we're capable of playing one way for 95 minutes and I think the lesson from our 3-2 loss to Toulouse has been learned. I hope we offered our fans a good show tonight."
José Anigo (Marseille coach): "Without a doubt it was our lack of cutting edge that cost us a win. It was a great battle in Reims and we knew it would be against a side who are scared of no-one. With the number of chances we had, we should have done better. At Marseille, excellence is expected, but when you've lost two on the trot there is a lot of pressure. Which is why I'm partly satisfied tonight. We'll continue to fight for a place in Europe."