Hexagoal Ligue 1 Trophy

Mid-week reactions - Henry: 'Pretty weird'

Publish on 17/01/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS


Monaco coach Thierry Henry had an unusual time against former teammate Patrick Vieira in the 1-1 draw with Nice; ASSE boss Jean-Louis Gasset was thrilled with a 2-1 win over OM as Sunday's derby with Lyon looms.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Week 18

AS Monaco 1 - 1 OGC Nice

Thierry Henry (AS Monaco coach): "A single point isn't enough, but we could be talking about a defeat right now as well. It will take time to get out of the drop zone. If we try to do it softly-softly, it won't be easy. But we need to be confident despite our lack of points. You could even say we're on a positive dynamic now; it's great to go for a spell without losing. [On being in the opposite dugout from former Arsenal and France teammate Patrick Vieira] It was pretty weird. We played together for a long time, we did everything side by side. It was a little wink from destiny last night."

Patrick Vieira (OGC Nice coach): "We're pretty frustrated. Things got tough for us when we went a man down, but I can't reproach my players for anything really. We could even have won it if we had scored our penalty [Diego Benaglio saved Allan Saint-Maximin's spot-kick]. After that, I don't think Monaco wold have been able to come back. Still, the draw was a fair result. I'm proud of the lads for holding out despite being a man down; they gave everything as they had no desire to lose. So I think tonight was a case of a point won."

 AS Saint-Etienne 2 - 1 Olympique de Marseille 

Jean-Louis Gasset (AS Saint-Etienne coach): "Did I thank [goalscorer Wahbi] Khazri? Why him? Thanks go to the whole team, the fans and [Stéphane] Ruffier, [Loïc] Perrin and [Yann] M'vila. Khazri just finished the job; he's the last link in the chain. He did is job just like the rest of the team. If you had told us at the beginning of the season that we would be above OL on the table heading into the derby [at home to Lyon on Sunday], we would have been very happy. We have deserved all our points and we clinched eight wins and two raws at home in the first half of the season. That shows that we have real spirit, just like our fans, who are with us all the way and know we will give our all. Now it's time to prepare for the derby."

Rudi Garcia (Olympique de Marseille coach): "We need to be more effective at both ends fo the pitch. We did better tonight, but congratulations aren't really in order as we lost. We had a chance to make it 2-1 and we played a really high-level match against a strong Saint-Etienne side, but we came away empty-handed. It was mistake on our part, and when you can't win it, you should be able to make sure you don't lose. Still, we will get back to winning ways if we keep performing like this. We're on the right track."

 Toulouse FC 2 - 2 Olympique Lyonnais 

Bruno Genesio (Olympique Lyonnais coach): "Our matches all seem to be gong the same way lately. Maybe we should start off a goal behind, as it seems that once we concede, we're capable of amazing things because we have amazing players. Still, I'm happy with our never-say-die attitude and I believe it shows that we have a lot of potential. [On substitute Nabil Fekir] He responded to his critics in the best possible way. He is our captain and he stepped up in emphatic fashion. [On Sunday's derby against Saint-Etienne] We're alway obliged to win it; it's not just about the fact that we're neck and neck fighting for a top-three finish."

Alain Casanova (Toulouse coach): "We have a bitter taste on our mouths because at 2-0 up, we thought we had it in the bag, but Lyon's forwards really put us under the pump in the second half. We were up against an excellent OL side after the break. It's a shame we conceded so quickly. There is plenty to be happy about, but still I'm a bit sad for the players."

Nîmes Olympique 1 - 0 FC Nantes

Bertrand Blaquart (Nîmes Olympique coach): "It's certainly better to see Emiliano Sala on the bench than in the starting line-up. But Nantes still put a lot of intensity into this match and they could have been ahead at half-time, as could we. They have players with individual quality, size and athletic power, and Vahid [Halilhodzic] has already put his brand on their play. Nantes are a strong side who will finish the top half of the table this season."

Valentin Rongier (FC Nantes midfielder): "It's a defeat and we get zero points. We knew at half-time that we couldn't afford to concede a goal. Kalifa Coulibaly's red card [in the 45th minute] was the turning point. At 11 against 11, we could have won it; we had the upper hand. We had chances to score but we didn't take them and in the end we lost."

Week 17

 En Avant Guingamp 2 - 1 Stade Rennais FC 

Jocelyn Gourvennec (EA Guingamp coach): "There were lots of positive in this match, chief among them the fact that we got back to winning ways. We knew we were facing a team on an upswing so we had to start off by defending well - they have attacking power with some unpredictable forwards. We used the match against Paris [a 2-1 win in the Coupe de la Ligue BKT quarters] as our inspiration. This result is great for our confidence."

Julien Stéphan (Stade Rennais FC coach): "We got going too late; we had several chances in the final 20 minutes and I think we would have deserved a leveller as, although we conceded two goals, we hadn't conceded all that many chances. It's frustrating for us, and it's disappointing, but we have to move on as we have an important match at home to Montpellier on Sunday."