Week 35 Reactions - Blanc: "We have to be careful"
Despite six straight Ligue 1 wins and closing in on a domestic triple, Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc has warned his table-toppers they need to "be careful".
Sunday, May 3, 2015
FC Nantes 0 - 2 Paris Saint-Germain
Michel Der Zakarian (Nantes coach): "We knew we had to be solid at the back, but we made lapses for each of the two goals we conceded. We weren't close enough to them to be able to defend. We tried to press them high up the pitch and took risks, but it didn't pay off. Their goalkeeper made a few saves and ours made a lot of saves. My players tried their hardest and we were just lacking that necessary precision with the final ball and in front of goal. That's been the case all season and I hope we can manage a top-half finish."
Laurent Blanc (Paris Saint-Germain coach): "I am happy with the performance, even if we all know we could have done better in front of goal, especially in the first half. We could have killed the game off in the first half, but we still scored twice, which is positive. We caused Nantes plenty of problems and I think they were surprised by our start. I am happy because we kept playing our football and stayed true to our philosophy. We could have scored more, but I'm happy. Now we have a week to prepare for our next match. We have to be careful, but we know we are in good form at the moment. We need to continue at this pace."
LOSC Lille 3 - 1 RC Lens
René Girard (Lille coach): "It was important to win this derby. However, bring neutral personally, this is heart-breaking for Lens to go down to Ligue 2. I think derbies are great for a region. For us it was a good evening. We stayed close to Montpellier in the standings and are now three points behind Bordeaux. I regret the Paris game last week because conceding six hurts our goal difference. We have three interesting matches to play now , against Toulouse, Marseille and Metz. This afternoon, I had fun."
Antoine Kombouaré (Lens coach): "This defeat really hurts. Beyond the fact that we have been relegated, it is mainly because losing a derby is difficult to live down. We worked hard at the start of the match, which was very good. We concentrated and played quality football, but after thinking we'd done the hard part we went and conceded a penalty. This match reflects our season more generally. It has been too long with too small a staff. We ran out of fuel. We are not looking for excuses but we see that every week we lose players. I'm scared for (Ahmed) Kantari. It looks like a cartilage problem in his knee."
AS Monaco 4 - 1 Toulouse FC
Leonardo Jardim (Monaco coach): "I think the team played well at the start, but after our first goal they stopped playing. I'm not satisfied with what we did after our first goal in the first half. After the break, we did not play with great intensity but the team played with their heads and intelligence. We talked at half-time and said that the team needed to give 100 percent in the second half. The players then played a great game. Our next game against Marseille is the most important one because it is next. It will be difficult, but we will play to win. Nothing is done yet. There are nine points to distribute before the end of the season. This is a good advantage, but the two opponents who are behind us, Marseille and Saint-Etienne, are of high quality. They are big teams with two experienced coaches."
Dominique Arribagé (Toulouse coach): "We missed the boat in the first half. After the penalty we were forced to attack. There is no positive to be gained from this meeting. When we lost 4-1, we cannot be satisfied with anything. What matters is that we lost and Monaco scored four. Monaco have played like that since the beginning of the season and they are not third in the league for nothing. The strongest team has the last word. We need to do better in the final third. We must get a win as soon as possible. Against Lille next week, we are at home. We will work for it."
Saturday, May 2, 2015
Olympique Lyonnais 2 - 0 Evian-Thonon-Gaillard FC
Hubert Fournier (Olympique Lyonnais coach): "We're satisfied with this win, but we should have been more in control of the match. We weren't dominant enough. What Clément (Grenier) brought to our play was very important, but at the same time the whole squad was showing signs of fatigue. We'll need to recover well for the trip to Caen (Week 37). The fatigue is both physical and mental. We had to battle hard today. We've almost secured a Champions League place, and that's very important for the club."
Pascal Dupraz (Evian TGFC coach): "I have regrets because, in two matches against OL, who are superior to us in every area, we have conceded five goals from set pieces. We showed our good side in this match, but we didn't get ugly enough for my taste, which we should have done considering the situation we're in. I was expecting more resistance from my lads. We should have scored - that's the biggest difference between my side and Lyon. I can't claim that we'll win our last three matches but we'll make things very hard for our opponents. Still, our situation is delicate.
SC Bastia 1 - 0 AS Saint-Etienne
Ghislain Printant (SC Bastia coach): "We're now on 43 points, which is good, even though there is still a mathematical chance that we could be relegated. Over and above the numbers, though, I'm very proud of my lads' performance tonight against Saint-Etienne, it was very solid. Creating that many chances and playing that kind of good football showed the progress we've made. I also thank my staff, because together we've found a way to take the pressure off our players' shoulders. Bastia don't look like a team that are going to be relegated, and this win is for the whole island of Corsica."
Christophe Galtier (Saint-Etienne coach): "Bastia deserved their win, and could have clinched the result earlier in the match. It would have taken not one but two miracles for us to win this match: scoring a goal and not conceding any. Thankfully my defenders were lucky tonight, but we conceded too many chances to hope for a draw. The reality of our situation is that the lads are all focused on themselves individually, and if we continue like this, we'll end the season with 60 points (their current tally) and spoil a campaign that, while not exceptional in terms of the quality of our play, has been fantastic in terms of results. We need to change this up, as our strength has always been our team spirit."
OGC Nice 1 - 1 SM Caen
Claude Puel (OGC Nice coach): "It's a deserved point for both sides, who made huge efforts tonight as they played for the win. Caen pushed forward hard on the counter while we maintained our commitment and desire to score despite the danger they posed. I think it was a good match, especially given the two sides' place on the table. But in the end, there is some disappointment as we were playing at home, but nonetheless it's an important point won."
Patrice Garande (SM Caen coach): "Weed won a point tonight, and every single point is important. We widened the gap above the drop zone, and that's positive. I like the way my players carried themselves. Everything isn't perfect but in terms of our team spirit and our quality of play - despite a fair few line-up changes - I saw some excellent things. The lads weren't cowed by the what was at stake. Still, I'm a bit disappointed for the lads, who deserved a better result."
En Avant Guingamp 2 - 0 Stade de Reims
Jocelyn Gourvennec (EA Guingamp coach): "We've secured Ligue 1 football for next season, and we're very happy. Our objective was to do that without any nervy moments, and we did so with more room to move than last season. With 46 points, we can calmly go after more results and push on for a higher-placed finish. We've played direct rivals in every match over the last three weeks, and tonight's match was just as tough as the others. The experience we've gained throughout this season held us in good stead in these moments. It was a solid performance, a committed and accomplished one, and I think we deserved the win. Now our objective is to end the season in the top half of the table."
Olivier Guégan (Stade de Reims coach): "We still hold our fate in our hands; we're still above the relegation zone. The match against Evian next week will be super-important, and we can't afford to drop our heads. We need to stay tough in moments like this. My players did what they could tonight, but weren't rewarded. I have nothing to reproach them for, and we need to quickly turn our focus to our next match. We've prepared ourselves to fight hard for our survival and the lads are ready to give their all. No-one has given up."
Montpellier Hérault SC 0 - 0 Stade Rennais FC
Rolland Courbis (Montpellier HSC coach): "It was a somewhat laborious match against a side who wanted to do in our stadium what did on their turf. But they couldn't manage it. We can play the glad game and say we've taken four points from our matches with Rennes this season. We lost (captain Vitorino) Hilton (to a red card, 91') but luckily we didn't go on to concede. With Bordeaux not managing a win against Lorient, we're in a good position to clinch a place in the magnificent and charming Europa League."
Philippe Montanier (Stade Rennais coach): "We controlled the match well despite a lack of precision in attack. We have a few regrets as we could have done better tonight. Montpellier, who are an excellent team, were perhaps below their habitual level. If we can remain undefeated for the remainder of the season, we will have strung together a very good run. Our next objective is to reach 55 points without worrying about our ranking, which is something over which we have little control."
FC Lorient 0 - 0 Girondins de Bordeaux
Sylvain Ripoll (FC Lorient coach): "It's a point won as far as we're concerned, against a side playing for European qualification with a fully decked-out squad. We took some time to adapt to the directness of their play, which surprised us a bit as it's not their usual style. But, given the opposition, and when you don't have the means to go after the win, the least you can do is avoid defeat, and that's what we did. We've now taken four points from two matches - against Marseille and Bordeaux - which isn't bad at all. Tonight it was a pretty closed kind of match, very tactical, because we knew that against Bordeaux, you can't afford to open up and leave them space to work in - they have the kind of talented players who can make the most of that."
Willy Sagnol (Girondins de Bordeaux coach): "We really lacked adequate movement in the first half; my players were far too static. Even though we had three times as many shots as our opponents, it still wasn't enough in terms of our attacking play. We're in a tough stretch at the moment, with our next clash against a Metz side who are fighting for their survival and the one after that away to Lorient, who are also looking to avoid the drop. They're tough matches and we can't afford to drop more points. We're in sixth place, and I think that's where we deserve to be - it reflects our potential."
Friday, May 1, 2015
FC Metz 0 - 2 Olympique de Marseille
Albert Cartier (FC Metz coach): "We had chances, notably in the first minute. It's a shame we couldn't convert them. Against a team of OM's calibre, when you don't score, you're punished. The positive to take from this match was our capacity to keep giving our all despite playing three matches in less than a week. We kept our intensity high and were very enterprising. But in attack, we didn't come up with the quality we needed. Now we'll start preparing for the visit of Lorient (Wk 36). Mathematically, we're not relegated yet and it's important for us to finish the season well no matter what else happens."
Marcelo Bielsa (Olympique de Marseille coach): "It was a complicated match. We had to fight hard and fight for every ball, but in the end I think the result was the right one because we made the collective effort to get it. We were surprised by Metz at the beginning of the match, but we turned in an excellent defensive performance, even though we did conceded some chances. But in the second half we could have scored even more goals. It was crucial that we get the win. As long as, mathematically, we have a chance, we'll continue to hope for a third-placed finish. I thank the players and the fans for their support."