WEEK 32 REACTIONS
Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc said the Ligue 1 title was a matter of 'when' not 'if' after seeing his team beat Reims 3-0; Saint-Etienne boss Christophe Galtier called his team's display against Nice "poor".
Sunday, 6 April 2014
AS Monaco FC 3 - 1 FC Nantes
Claudio Ranieri (Monaco coach): "There were some difficult moments, as there have been since the start of the season. But that's normal, because there are no easy games. It's not possible to play the whole season at 1000km/h. I always say that the second half of the season is always more difficult. For everyone, except PSG. We played well, we scored three goals, and were compact against a good Nantes side. We were better in winning back possession. I'm satisfied."
Bruno Baronchelli (Nantes assistant coach): "There were some good things, but I'm not happy. We can play for a hundred years like that, and we'll not win ever. We didn't defend well enough. We weren't strong enough in the tackle. I get the impression that we could concede at any time, that we're going to lose. It wasn't enough. We looked better than against Montpellier and Bordeaux, but it wasn't enough."
Valenciennes FC 1 -2 Olympique Lyonnais
Ariël Jacobs (Valenciennes coach): "We're going to brainstorm to find an explanation for our poor first half. Even if our opponents have played a lot recently, we had given the players enough reason to not hope for them to take their foot off the gas. But several warnings weren't enough. We have to wait a half. I would need to repeat to the players that the game starts with the first-half. We lost the ball a lot and were spectators in too many tackles. We have some big games coming up, and we've lost ground."
Rémi Garde (Lyon coach): "The team put in a great display. It was a fine all-round performance. It's a real pleasure to see that we're still in contention."
Bafétimbi Gomis (Lyon striker, who scored his 100th L1 goal): "I'm happy to have scored that 100th goal, and above all to have contributed to this fine victory."
AS Saint-Etienne 1 - 1 OGC Nice
Christophe Galtier (Saint-Etienne coach): "We had a lot less energy than usual. Freshness is an indispensable part of the game. We didn't have any. The players were not too full of themselves, they simply weren't very good. That's all. You could see that quite quickly. Even if Nice didn't have a lot of chances, our play was poor. We had a few opportunities. But I was asking myself quite a lot whether or not we would score."
Claude Puel (Nice coach): "We played well. It's a shame that we didn't hold out until the end. It's frustrating for the players given the quality we put in the game to drop two points. There's a lot of disappointment. We were up to the task. We showed some great things. It's a shame that we conceded a goal in added time as we have done since the start of the season."
Saturday, 5 April, 2014
Paris Saint-Germain 3 - 0 Stade de Reims
Laurent Blanc (PSG coach): "I am satisfied with the result and the mindset displayed by the players, even if some of them are lacking game time. It was a good match. We scored three goals and could rest some players and play our youngsters. We will enjoy this win before preparing for Chelsea on Sunday. A match before the Champions League is never easy to prepare for. It is never easy to have the right mindset. The goal is to garner maximum points in the league so that our competitors cannot catch up. We will be champions, but not quite yet. You cannot predict when."
Hubert Fournier (Reims coach): "I was disappointed with our lack of ambition in the first half. To play a good match we had to defend well and be enterprising with the ball. We lost by a normal scoreline at the Parc des Princes. We had a lack of mobility and did not carry any threat of our own. We did just half of our job, which was to defend. As a team we did not manage to achieve what we set out to. In the second half at least we worked hard. At least we tried."
SC Bastia 2 - 2 FC Sochaux-Montbéliard
Frédéric Hantz (Bastia coach): "Such a match is interesting as a spectacle. We went through a lot of emotions this evening. From the point of view of survival it is a good point, although that may shock some. Mentally that game was harder for us than for Sochaux. We wasted too much of the ball. That game could have ended 5-5. We had big problems with our set pieces and put ourselves in danger. I am happy with our response because it took strength to come back. The second half gives us hope for the season. This game reflects our season. We react rather than act too often, but I prefer to stay positive and say that the glass is half full."
Hervé Renard (Sochaux coach): "The goal from (Djibril) Cissé is the goal of the year for me, with a beautiful pass from Romaric. Sometimes there is nothing you can do about conceding a goal. I really enjoyed this game. The match was alive. When we hear such a crowd it's hard to resist. We had opportunities to make the game safe but we had a great night of football. We should be proud of how we played. I think it will be very hard to beat us between now and the end of the season."
Girondins de Bordeaux 2 - 2 Stade Rennais FC
Francis Gillot (Bordeaux coach): "We cannot say we collapsed. We were under enough pressure so as not to win the game though. The players did the right things apart from in the few minutes in which we conceded. We only have a point to show for our efforts. I have no explanation. Perhaps a lack of concentration, aggression and one or two basic errors were to blame. Goals always come from mistakes but even without that, we should have won this game with all the opportunities that were created. We deserved the three points."
Philippe Montanier (Rennes coach): "We still conceded two goals even though we barely conceded any chances. The pitch made things complicated but not only for us. The positive point is that we came back from 2-0 down. Had we finished the match with the same technical quality we began it with it would have been interesting."
EA Guingamp 1 - 2 Montpellier Hérault SC
Jocelyn Gourvennec (Guingamp coach): "I have a bad feeling that keeps repeating itself. We are completely in the championship, we worked very well collectively and yet it still ended in defeat. This was the case against Evian, Lyon, Lille, and again today. Since I have coached Guingamp, I do not remember seeing a second half where they dominated so much. We were poor in the final third, but when I see my team play I am very optimistic about survival. We will win games and points, just not today."
Rolland Courbis (Montpellier coach): "We will not be picky. Tonight there was a small compensation. This is the first time an opponent has created many opportunities against us for a few matches. Perhaps Guingamp deserved to win. I feel sorry for them. Inefficiency or not, disappointment or not, we will end up surviving. What we do not know right now is that perhaps survival will require 37 points. We know our schedule and it is not easy."
FC Lorient 1 - 1 Evian TG FC
Christian Gourcuff (Lorient coach): "We suffered. The first quarter of an hour was promising, but it soon became complicated for us. Then the tempo increased and we were afraid to play forward and when you play backwards you can lose possession. We were unable to curb the advances of an unexpectedly offensive Evian side. On balance we did not deserve this point. After Evian's equaliser there was an air of despair. It was messy. We did not control the game late on, even if there were chances to score. Our final ball was not good enough. It is better to have 38 points, because if you had four points less we would be deep in relegation trouble."
Pascal Dupraz (Evian coach): "I have many regrets but we must respect the performance of the team to come from behind and create chances from the fifth to the 85th minute. The control of the game was interesting, given we were playing a Lorient team who as their coach and the media often say, play good football. We are trying to improve with every game, but there is still a long way to go. We have to win two of our last five games in my opinion. The one against Paris is not a safe bet for us to stay in Ligue 1 for a fourth consecutive season. It is important to pick up points regardless of our opponents though. We try to play our game. It pleases some and not others. The main thing is that we like it. I'm really disappointed for our players and our club. There are hundreds of employees who deserve to work again next season at ETG. It is also for them that we will do everything we can to survive."
Toulouse FC 1 - 2 LOSC Lille
Alain Casanova (Toulouse coach): "We came up against a stronger team than us. You do not have to leave a game like this with regrets. We struggled to assert ourselves. Lille caused us a lot of trouble in midfield. They were very effective in recovering the ball. In the first half, this is probably the best team we have had here. Lille made a big impression, with a lot of fluidity, and they never gave up their ascendancy. For us it was a bit off-putting."
René Girard (Lille coach): "We showed a lot of sacrifice. We played a first half of high quality. The second half was similar until we lost two players. This is a very positive result. We really disrupted Toulouse. We created chances. I saw some very good things that I liked. We must always stop attacks from the flanks, and we managed that. I cannot criticise my team at all."
Friday, 4 April, 2014
Olympique de Marseille 3 - 1 AC Ajaccio
José Anigo (Marseille coach): "I came to the press conference to highlight the work of my players, their professionalism, and to make you understand that, come what may, we will fight till the end, alone or with the fans. We did our work in a difficult context. I just want to savour the win, because we hadn't won for a while. You can blame the players as much as you want, but tonight I thought they did their work honestly and professionally. I have a challenge in the six remaining games: take the team as far as possible. You can say what you like, but we have 48 points and we haven't been cut adrift. We're still there, we're still alive, still moving, towards and against everyone."
Christian Bracconi (Ajaccio coach): "I think we could have done better, we could have used the hostility of the OM fans to put more pressure on them. They were timid, but we didn't play well. If we'd scored before half-time, it would have changed things. But the thing that upsets me most is the three goals that we conceded. When you concede goals like that, you can just assess the damage and analyse the defeat. Everyone saw that at half-time the fans weren't happy with their team. I told the players that before the game and again at half-time. I told the players we could take advantage, and that we mustn't make mistakes, but we made errors that at this level are unforgiveable."