Week 32 reactions - Blanc: 'A favourable position'
Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc was delighted with his players after the 3-1 home win over Metz and says the Ligue 1 leaders are in a "favourable position" to defend their title.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 FC Metz
Laurent Blanc (Paris Saint-Germain coach): "We had everything to gain, but we needed to play and win. People forget too often that PSG have been flat out for two months. We played very well in a match in which four goals were scored. One didn't have the impression one was watching a team that had played every three days for two months. Sincerely I think the players would have been just as motivated had Ibra been able to play. Don't start looking for negatives. Had Ibra been there the result would have been the same. We're in a favourable position, three points clear at the top but we have no margin for error if we want to become French champions. Every match will be important."
Albert Cartier (Metz coach): "We came back well in the second half and had the chance to equalise. Unfortunately PSG then scored their third goal which ended the suspense. We were up against fighter jets in this match. After a series of four matches without defeat in the league, that has now ended, we need to refocus, remobilise and recover before hosting Marseille on Friday."
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Olympique Lyonnais 2 - 0 SC Bastia
Hubert Fournier (Lyon coach): "I wasn't happy with our first-half performance despite the fact that we started well. It was better in the second; we needed to be patient and not concede the way we did against Nice (a 2-1 home loss in Week 30). We knew we would have chances sooner or later. In the end it was a win earned by the whole squad, as two of the substitutes (Clément Grenier and Mohammed Yattara) combined to open the scoring and who can bring a lot of positives. It shows that our squad is in good shape; even those who have had less game time are committed and that's very important for the home stretch of the season. I don't think that this win has cracked open the title race; there are still too many points up for grabs but you must admit that we're still very much in the running with six matches left to play. Now we have a very exciting match to prepare for at home to Saint-Etienne on Sunday, and after that I think the situation will be a bit clearer."
Ghislain Printant (Bastia coach): "We knew we were running the risk of suffering a lot in this match. We struggled at the outset, but after that we started doing what we wanted to do, i.e. containing OL and trying to make the most of the spaces they left open to create some dangerous situations. But it was just as we were at our best that we were punished. We came here looking for points, but their first goal, which followed a set piece, really hurt us. Lyon dominated and it makes sense that they won. Nonetheless, it's infuriating given the excellent match that my lads played, conceding very few chances. Aside from the fatigue after playing in the Coupe de la Ligue final on Saturday, it was pretty hot tonight but I guess that affects both teams. Now we turn our attentions to our match against Reims, which will be very important in our bid to secure our top-flight survival."
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Girondins de Bordeaux 1 - 0 Olympique de Marseille
Willy Sagnol (Bordeaux coach): "We're very excited and in the grip of some strong emotions - and very proud as well. My squad knows its tactical and technical limits but the lads are in the process of discovering their 'non-limits' as far as mental strength is concerned. We don't play the most beautiful football in Ligue 1 but, thanks to our courage, we're now not far off the top three teams. Am I thinking about a Champions League finish? No, right now I'm focused on our match against Lille. Our chances of a European place are getting stronger but we just have to keep working hard and taking each match as it comes."
Marcelo Bielsa (Marseille coach): "We're in an uncomfortable situation, but we still have what it takes to turn our current situation around. We will fight for every point in every match to make the most of every chance we have. Obviously, we weren't expecting to lose tonight and I don't think we deserved to drop out of the top three, but I'm hopeful that we will change that during the final stretch of the season. Above all, from my point of view, the team's style of play indicates that our chances of achieving something this season are real. Losing is always painful - especially when you could have avoided it - and it's a part of our job to lift our heads and get over moments like this one."
AS Saint-Etienne 1 - 0 FC Nantes
Christophe Galtier (Saint-Etienne coach): "We suffered a lot. In the first twenty minutes we gave the impression that we were full of energy, that we were determined and that we would turn in an intense performance. We did that for twenty minutes, but it was our 48th match of the season. That's a lot, especially after having played Paris Saint-Germain in the Coupe de France on Wednesday, and it showed. But my lads kept on battling to get the win tonight. If we hadn't scored from a set piece, it would have been 0-0; there weren't many chances for either side. It was far from a great performance from my team, but it was a great win and very important for how the season plays out."
Michel Der Zakarian (Nantes coach): "That's a few matches away from now where we haven't conceded many chances, but we've been hurt every time. We controlled the ball well. We used the ball better than our opponents did up until the final thirty minutes, but after that we didn't come up with much. That's our weakness. We didn't create chances and we weren't effective from set pieces. We need to persevere, add a bit of vigour to our performances and dig in that much harder to score. We need a quick three or four points to assure our survival. We need to stay clear-headed and win. There are just six matches left."
Evian TG FC 0 - 1 LOSC Lille
Pascal Dupraz (Evian-Thonon-Gaillard coach): "It was a bizarre match; the heat was doubtless the cause of our lack of rhythm. The match played out on details. We lacked aggression and precision. We had an average day. But rather than saying 'poor us', I hope we can simply concentrate on our own game. It's not acceptable to defend how we did from the throw-in that led to the penalty."
René Girard (Lille coach): "I think that over the 90 minutes we turned in a good performance. You can't say it's a lucky win for us. Of course it's tough for Evian to lose because of a penalty, but we could have taken the lead earlier with the big chance that (Divock) Origi had. We took the three points and we won't turn our noses up at them. Europe is a long way off, but if the teams that are ahead of us on the table don't want it, we'll do our best to snaffle up a place."
RC Lens 0 - 0 FC Lorient
Antoine Kombouaré (Lens coach): "We're disappointed. Even though it was a complicated match, we were up against a tough Lorient side who defended well. It's a good 0-0 draw for us because we managed to shut up shop after having conceded a lot of goals of late. Still, we lost two players to injury (Baptiste Guillaume and Ludovic Baal) and fate continues to fail to smile upon us, but I like the way my lads are bearing up. It's tough with our limited squad, but the lads are fighting hard. For those who know how far we've had to come this season, that's no small thing. We'll continue to give our all and prepare for our trip to Metz in a professional manner."
Sylvain Ripoll (Lorient coach): "We're perfectly aware that it wasn't a great match. We wanted to rediscover our strength in attack while displaying strong character and frame of mind. We did that. But we're only half way to where we want to be. In terms of our play, the match was poor. We aspire to much better."
Stade de Reims 0 - 1 OGC Nice
Olivier Guégan (Reims coach): "In the first half, we hesitated in possession and were pretty shaky. In the second, my lads really showed a lot of character; we reacted. That's very positive. If we can maintain that frame of mind it will necessarily pay off. We deserved to equalise, I think, and we're very far from having lost all hope for the season, believe me. We have to chase out all the doubts, even though we didn't manage to do that tonight."
Eric Bauthéac (Nice winger): "We started well and quickly went a goal up. After that Reims had a few chances but they couldn't convert. In the second half, we had chances to kill the match off, and even though we didn't take them, we ended up winning. In tough moments, you need to grit your teeth and hit back. But we need to be more effective in future. We're going through a tough stretch right now, but that's football. Right now we're tenth with 41 points and it's up to us to quickly secure our survival and finish the season well."
Stade Rennais FC 1 - 0 En Avant Guingamp
Philippe Montanier (Rennes coach): "We struggled to find our rhythm, especially in the first half. We got forward better in the second, but failed to threaten despite controlling the match. But we had nine shots - five on target - while conceding just one shot on target, so in those terms the win makes perfect sense, even though it took some time to play out. We struggled to find the key to unlock the Guingamp defence, as they were well organised and sat back. We lacked a bit of precision in our finishing and the Guingamp 'keeper and defenders did well. But we'll get there."
Jocelyn Gourvennec (Guingamp coach): "We're disappointed to lose 1-0. We defended extremely well and they never managed to find a solution. We conceded very few dangerous situations let alone scoring chances. We beat them for pace up front a few times, but we didn't threaten (Benoît) Costil's goal as much as we would have liked. The red card (for Guingamp's Sambou Yatabaré) was the turning point."
Toulouse FC 1 - 0 Montpellier Hérault SC
Dominique Arribagé (Toulouse coach): "It was a courageous win and we collected three super-important points. It's the perfect result because our objectives were to get back on track and throw a lot of other sides back into the relegation battle. We suffered and battled in the second half; we were cornered and struggled to find a way out. We enjoyed a some good fortune in getting our goal but in cases like this, you just have to be grateful for the three points. Now we head to Lorient knowing that we need another result in order to put a strong run together."
Rolland Courbis (Montpellier coach): "Not an easy match to analyse, especially given the fact that we've played three matches in the space of week, two of which were away from home. We earned a good draw against Monaco and then we lost to the league's 18th-placed side - it's tough to draw any conclusions from that."
Friday, April 10, 2015
SM Caen 0 - 3 AS Monaco
Patrice Garande (Caen coach): "We were only in the game for the first 20 minutes. Monaco are the best side I have seen here. There was too much of a gap for us. To match them, we needed to be more precise technically, but we weren't even close. We wanted to create a shock, but frankly, the 3-0 scoreline is deserved, and it could have been even worse. We need to keep our freshness, and not panic. My players need to recover, which is why I'm giving them three days off."
Leonardo Jardim (Monaco coach): "We're very happy with this win, which was very important for us after two draws at home. The team played a great game. As for the thigh injury to Jeremy Toulalan, I don't know if it's serious, we'll see on Saturday. He's a very important player for us, he's our captain, but if he can't play in Turin against Juventus, there are other players able to replace him well. We saw that already against Arsenal when he was sidelined. Of course I am satisfied when we manage to win by playing well as we did this evening. For Tuesday, the best thing was to win here, because that gives our team, which is very capable of playing away from home, both confidence and ambition."