Week 31 Reactions – Blanc: 'An important win'
Paris Saint-Germain coach hailed "an important win" in Le Classique, while his OM counterpart Marcelo Bielsa conceded defeat had significantly dented his club's title aspirations.
Sunday, April 5, 2015
Olympique de Marseille 2 - 3 Paris Saint-Germain
Marcelo Bielsa (Olympiqe de Marseille coach): "It was a fair result in a match between two sides with opposing styles. Our opponents' philosophy won the day. We were never at ease and never managed to impose our game. We had trouble against their quantity of passes, although we did play well. It's difficult to assert that our title possibilities remain intact, but give the number of points left up for grabs it cannot be ruled out. That said, I can't ignore the importance of this match. I'm sorry to have disappointed the crowd as the only way not to disappoint them is to win the game."
Laurent Blanc (Paris Saint-Germain coach): "It's always important to win away from home, especially with seven games left in the season against a direct rival. Plus, it was Marseille and we all know what that means. We are very happy to have won, to have controlled the game, especially in the second half, and to have shown our technical superiority. It allowed us to get back in the game and we could have even have had more goals. It was a very open match, a great game to watch. The only negative point of the evening was the injuries to two of our players, because we are entering a period with a lot of matches."
Girondins de Bordeaux 2 - 1 RC Lens
Willy Sagnol (Bordeaux coach): "This was a victory gained in a flash. The match was not perfect, there were many imperfections but we had an extremely revamped team, with an experimental central defence who had never played together. That made it difficult. The players seemed to lack a bit of pace at times, but they did not let go and they believed until the end. We had to change the system multiple times during the match but eventually it paid off and it's the players on the pitch who made that possible. Today I have a lot of pride in being the coach of that group. Nicolas Maurice-Belay got us out of a difficult situation and I hope it will give him a lot of confidence in the future."
Antoine Kombouaré (Lens coach): "I wonder how on Earth we lost this game because we had a feeling that we could beat Bordeaux. While it is true that they opened the scoring I thought we had done the hard part by equalising. We are dead last because we made too many mistakes. Losses like this sow doubt in the squad. We have to put this result down to our team being young and lacking experience. We created some chances and I would have liked to have seen my team take the lead. It would have been interesting but football can be like that."
FC Nantes 1 - 2 SM Caen
Michel Der Zakarian (Nantes coach): "Our first-half performance was ok, but we really suffered in the second half. We did not attack the ball enough and we let the game get away from us. We were completely absent in the second period. However, we will keep fighting to win as any points between now and the end of the season."
Patrice Garande (Caen coach): "This was a very late win, but not undeserved given the way the game was played, especially the second half. I think we were quite wasteful in the first half, but we said at half-time we could go out and do better, and that's what we did. We were a bit worried to be a goal down, and I didn’t feel like we were playing like a team fighting for survival. In this final sprint it is the teams with the best mentality who will keep their place in the league. Let's not talk about pressure. When we had 15 points before Christmas everyone thought we were dead. Leave pressure to the others and we will just enjoy playing."
Saturday, April 4, 2015
En Avant Guingamp 1 - 3 Olympique Lyonnais
Jocelyn Gourvennec (Guingamp coach): "We lost against a very good side. There were two periods in the match: the first, which lasted up until Nabil Fekir's goal, in which we were extremely disciplined and very compact. They couldn't find any solutions and couldn't create any real danger. The second came after the goal, when we couldn't keep up the good work. We fell to a side who are much stronger than us and who, unsurprisingly, were very effective in front of goal."
Hubert Fournier (Lyon coach): "It was important to win this match in order to stay in the title race. We still have seven matches to play and we're still in the running. We controlled this match pretty well against a Guingamp side who sat back, as we expected. We were patient as well as opportunistic and clinical."
OGC Nice 2 - 2 Evian-Thonon-Gaillard FC
Valentin Eysseric (Nice midfielder): "At home and in the situation we're in, we really should have taken all three points. Defensively, we left too many gaps and we allowed them to score. We can't afford to do that; we have to play better than that. For our fans and for ourselves."
Cédric Barbosa (Evian midfielder): "We need to concentrate on ourselves, not our opponents. Every single point will be crucial for us. But tonight we're slightly bitter about how the match played out."
FC Metz 3 - 2 Toulouse FC
Florent Malouda (Metz midfielder): "It's a huge relief for us and, moreover, a reward for the immense efforts we've put in over a long period. It's true that it's not easy to get through periods like this when you don't have positive results for a long time. We finally have a win to celebrate but we still have a long way to go. We still have a challenge ahead of us but for us, the players, it will be about pride and dignity. We can't afford to second-guess ourselves. We have to take every match seriously and never believe we're beaten before the final whistle."
Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro (Toulouse midfielder): "Against direct rivals, we just can't seem to get the results. After having opened the scoring, we should have tightened up and held onto our lead. But after they equalised, we made too many errors. I don't know how to explain our performance. We need to keep working hard. We have seven matches left and we can't afford to give up. It's not over yet; luckily Lorient lost too."
LOSC Lille 3 - 10 Stade de Reims
Idrissa Gueye (Lille midfielder): "By winning tonight, we managed to re-launch the positive dynamic we were on before our loss to Saint-Etienne. We knew it wouldn't be simple; we had to beat them and we did that. In style, what's more. At the beginning , Reims sat back to defend but once we scored, they came forward and we could create a lot more chances. It was a great win."
Franck Signorino (Reims defender): "When you conceded three goals in a match, it's pretty tough to get the win. We conceded twice from set-pieces, and although we had chances to make it 2-2, it went to 3-1 instead after we lost possession. We left them too much space. I don't think it was a question of our not having the desire; it's just that we're struggling to hold our shape at the moment. We absolutely have to rediscover the defensive solidity that was our trademark for two years."
Montpellier Hérault SC 3 - 1 SC Bastia
Morgan Sanson (Montpellier midfielder): "We turned in a very average first half, but second was streets ahead. We deserved the win for the way we improved after the break. Now we're hoping to get some points from out trip to Monaco (in their postponed Week 25 clash)."
Ghislain Printant (Bastia coach): "We played some good football; we came here knowing we had to take the match to them. But I warned the lads that they needed to be vigilant from set-pieces, and that's where we came unstuck. It's a shame, because were excellent in that respect the first half. I'm disappointed for the lads because they lived up to my expectations. They showed a lot of desire and aggression and they played well. But we were punished."
FC Lorient 0 - 3 Stade Rennais FC
Sylvain Ripoll (Lorient coach): "Going missing on set-pieces as we did is something you can't afford to do at the top level. But it was emblematic of all the fundamentals, especially the defensive ones, that we failed to adhere to tonight. We put our opponents in an ideal position and we received a lesson in effective finishing. In the end, it was a non-match from us; our performance was well below the level we set in recent outings. We saw tonight that if we play that way, we will not make progress."
Philippe Montanier (Rennes coach): "It's a severe defeat for Lorient, mainly because our 'keeper Benoît Costil proved decisive. Still, we were solid at the back and managed to score three goals. I loved our collective discipline and controlled aggression. It's very satisfying, but we won't be stopping there. We're on a strong dynamic.
Friday, April 3, 2015
AS Monaco 1 - 1 AS Saint-Etienne
Leonardo Jardim (Monaco coach): "I'm disappointed, because our objective is always to win. In the first half, my team lacked dynamism, but the second half was better. We were up against tough opponents who know how to play a direct style in behind our defenders, and they posed us a lot of problems. I'm satisfied with how we reacted, but I think my team can give more. The lads who were back from international duty played below their habitual level. (On the entry into play of goal-scorer Anthony Martial) We needed to make a change in order to get a goal. He's making progress, but he had a muscle problem in the match against Reims (before the international break) and he played twice for the national team (France U-21). We're protecting him. At the Stade Louis II, we struggle against teams who sit back and defend - it's tough to find the small gaps to create overlaps and break through."
Christophe Galtier (Saint-Etienne coach): "There are regrets, yes. I think we had the better chances. I had the feeling that Monaco would change something up after we scored, and unfortunately, we allowed them to get back on level terms too quickly. If we could do it over again, I'd do it differently. Before the opposition coach switched to a 4-4-2 (just after Saint-Etienne's goal), we should have been more audacious and pushed our luck, making more runs. A positive result is always great to have before a big match (Saint-Etienne travel to Paris Saint-Germain for their Coupe de France semi-final on Wednesday). It will be an exciting and passionate match. It's important for the club. We have enough time to recover and then head to Paris and play a huge match as underdogs."