Week 36 reactions - Bielsa: 'Keep believing'
Olympique de Marseille coach Marcelo Bielsa was adamant that his side will keep pushing for a Champions League berth after their 2-1 win over Monaco left them two points shy of third place with two matches left to play.
Sunday, May 10, 2015
Olympique de Marseille 2 - 1 AS Monaco
Marcelo Bielsa (Marseille coach): "It was a match with a lot of ups and downs and a lot of emotion. It was a very tough match for us because the opposition forwards were tough to neutralise and Monaco played a formation that was difficult to penetrate. Going for such a long time without a win at home limited our chances in the league. As long as Champions League qualification remains a mathematical possibility, we'll keep believing and hoping."
Leonardo Jardim (Monaco coach): "The more effective team won. I had to change my backline when (Aymen) Abdennour was forced off and after that our organisation was no longer optimal. We turned in a high-quality first half with four chances to widen our lead, which would have perhaps allowed us to avoid a difficult ending to the match. Our advantage may have been pared down, but we're still in third place."
RC Lens 0 - 1 Montpellier Hérault SC
Antoine Kombouaré (Lens coach): "It's a big disappointment. It feels like we were not rewarded for our efforts. We finished the match ten against 11. We held on for some time and at least one point would have done us good. The group is in trouble. There were many players missing but that is no excuse. Missing out on points is very, very frustrating."
Rolland Courbis (Montpellier coach): "We laboured to victory. A bit of fate in stoppage time means we cannot jump for joy, but we won anyway. I am satisfied. It's three points that are added to the 53 we already had. We just talked in the dressing room, we are very proud. Loulou (Nicollin) has been half-happy lately, so we toasted this laborious victory, 11 against ten, against the bottom club. Now we have a final effort to push for sixth place against Bordeaux. Of course we would have signed for that in August. It has been a difficult season."
AS Saint-Etienne 5 - 0 OGC Nice
Christophe Galtier (Saint-Etienne coach): "Our strength in previous seasons has been solidarity as a group and collective determination. We played with intensity today. I am pleased with what the players did today. Having Loïc Perrin back in the side helped us. Franck Tabanou added a momentum that we have lacked in recent times. This is an important stage of the season. We must do everything to hold onto fourth place. There are still two matches to play, and we will play to win. I am focused on fourth place."
Claude Puel (Nice coach): "We never got into the game. We started very poorly and we were unable to respond. We paid dearly up against a determined opponent. This is a bad afternoon, but on what we saw we have to say Saint Etienne's victory was deserved. This is a very poor performance and it hurts. Our Ligue 1 survival is no assured. We came into this game with the intention of competing with Saint-Etienne. At no time did that look likely."
Saturday, May 9, 2015
SM Caen 3 - 0 Olympique Lyonnais
Patrice Garande (Caen coach): "We knew we had to play above ourselves to get a result against Lyon and my players did that. Our plan was to first be solid, then to quickly get the ball out wide to pose them problems. Our centre-forward, Sloan Privat, had the most to do defensively. It was up to him to stop Gonalons playing the ball forward. After that, we were able to develop our own play. When everyone is at their peak, we can do some great things, and that's what happened."
Hubert Fournier (Lyon coach): "We can't talk about the title when we have just conceded three goals. We don't have big enough shoulders to go all the way. We gave up, we didn't show enough throughout the game. In the second half, we were slightly better, but it wasn't enough against a Caen side that had the necessary attitude and committment. They have to be congratulated for their win. Not only the start was bad, but also the middle and the end. We didn't manage to find the balance we needed. Bravo Caen, they played superbly. We all have to ask questions of ourselves. We'll see what the answers are against Bordeaux. I hope that we show against Bordeaux that we're much better than we looked tonight."
Girondins de Bordeaux 2 - 1 FC Nantes
Willy Sagnol (Bordeaux coach): "It certainly wasn't our best game of the season, but there has been a lot of emotion in recent weeks, and it's not easy to play football under those conditions. We again had wonderful support from the fans, who were behind us all the way and helped us win the game. Emotions are part of life, of sport, and I hope we gave some today. I hope everyone enjoyed this last win in this legendary stadium. To start our history with our new stadium well, we had to win the last one at Chaban."
Michel Der Zakarian (Nantes coach): "When you concede a goal like the second one, from a throw-in, when you don't mark, when they do what they want, it's difficult to win matches when you make defensive errors like that. I can't stand it when we're sleeping, when we're not marking. We had started well, we won a penalty, and were able to take the lead, but during the last 20 minutes of the first half, there were too many mistakes, we lost the ball too quickly, we were on the back foot. We allowed Bordeaux to get in behind us on the left, we didn't defend well."
Evian-Thonon-Gaillard FC 2 - 3 Stade de Reims
Pascal Dupraz (ETG coach): "Our situation is precarious, but not yet desperate. Even if, I must admit, our bad result puts us in a situation in which we no longer have our destiny in our own hands. Following another hesitation at a set-piece, we conceded an equaliser that really hurt us. We keep making the same mistakes."
Olivier Guégan (Reims coach): "I'm very satisfied with the players' performance. The match was atypical. We led, we were behind, we equalised and managed to go in front. That proves the squad has character, and I Iike to see that. They players didn't doubt. I got the feeling they have been very focusssed for a while, and the result rewards their efforts. We knew this was a key game, but we're going to have to pick up points at home next week. The side that lost here would get a big slap in the face.
FC Metz 0 - 4 FC Lorient
Albert Cartier (Metz coach): "When we're not 100 percent, we have problems. When we're not at our best, we become a mediocre team. When individualism takes priority over the team, we become an even more mediocre team. We forgot the team this evening, and that never works. We were naïve and we came up against a very good Lorient side that controled the game. We lacked experience and mental solidity this season. We have learned a lot more this season than in the last two years. We have to analyse all of that."
Sylvain Ripoll (Lorient coach): "We're getting closer and closer to our goal, but we're still lacking points, so we'll have to get them as soon as possible. It's a great win. We showed intelligence and panache. The squad should be congratulated for their performance. Opening the score made things easier fo us, but the players respected the way we wanted to play and put a lot of intensity into it. We stayed focussed from start to finish."
Stade Rennais FC 0 - 1 SC Bastia
Philippe Montanier (Rennes coach): "It's one of the games in which we have created the most chances. There was a lot of bad finishing and a lack of luck, hitting the woodwork three times and missing a penalty. Of course, if you don't open the score in this kind of game, you can be punished. There were more good things than bad, but it's the scoreline that counts. We're disappointed and frustrated. We have two big games left against Reims and Lyon. It'll be interesting to play them."
Ghislain Printant (Bastia coach): "The greatest film director could not have imagined such a scenario: a first-half red card, a penalty against us…I have to admit we had a lot of luck, like our goalkeeper, Alphonse Aréola, who had the luck all great goalkeepers have. But I'm proud of my players, because they battled, despite the decisions that went against us, despite being down to ten men. We're very happy with these three points, because they mean we are officially safe. But sincerely, Rennes deserved the three points."
Toulouse FC 3 - 2 LOSC Lille
Dominique Arribagé (Toulouse coach): "There's a lot of emotion and a lot of excitement. We struggled against a very good Lille team. If they had been 3-0 up after 20 minutes, there would have been nothing to say. Even so, we managed to turn the game round. We're still not safe mathematically and we'll have to go out and get the points we're lacking, but winning this game does a lot of good."
René Girard (LOSC coach): "It's disappointing to lose a game like that. We weren't disciplined and rigourous enough, and that's a shame. When you concede three goals away from home, it's difficult to win or do anything. We made unforgiveable mistakes for their goals. It's true that this loss compromises our chances of finishing sixth."
Friday, May 8, 2015
Paris Saint-Germain 6 - 0 EA Guingamp
Laurent Blanc (Paris Saint-Germain coach): "My feeling is that we played very well and continued what we have been doing over the last six or seven matches. I am not looking any further than that. We will appreciate this victory for what it is and the fact we are top. There is also the fact that we have turned around our goal difference compared to Lyon's. There are lots of positives tonight, so I'm very satisfied. I am very proud of the players. We will savour it and then turn our attention to Montpellier. I am very, very, very happy this evening. There are only two games of the season left, and yet the team looks fresh. There were times in the first half of the season where we wanted to play like last season but maybe didn't have the capacity to do so, but we did a lot of intensive work in Marrakech (during the winter break) and that work is now paying off. Cavani has been getting lots of chances of late, but he is now playing with more confidence. He is a goal-scorer and is playing with a bit more spontaneity. This was the Cavani I like and who gives us pleasure. We have been picking up points all season. We have never been far behind. I don't think we have stolen any of our victories, but now we are adding the performances."
Jocelyn Gourvennec (Guingamp coach): "It is a score that is difficult to swallow because we prepare for games like this to go out and perform well and cause problems. It was a game between a great team and an average Ligue 1 team, which we are. To have a chance in games like these you can't concede an early goal, but we were extremely naive defensively. It wasn't a humiliation. For us, humiliation came at home against Nice (a 7-2 defeat in October). Other teams will lose heavily here. When you have players up against you who play together and are that talented, it is not easy for a team like Guingamp. Against Paris, what we did earlier this season was that we managed to keep a clean sheet, and then if you get a break you might get a goal. Here they were very clinical very quickly and we were never able to compete. They were too strong. We put in lots of effort, ran a lot, but we can't afford to lose goals like the first or second. We were naive, spectators."