Hexagoal Ligue 1 Trophy

Week 20 reactions - Blaquart: 'A step towards survival'

Publish on 13/01/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS


Nîmes boss Bernard Blaquart was a happy man after his side's 3-1 win over Angers in their rescheduled Week 20 clash took them into the top half of the table; opposite number Stéphane Moulin had some harsh words for his team.

Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Nîmes Olympique  3 - 1  Angers SCO

Bernard Blaquart (Nîmes Olympique coach): "This win does us good. We played a very good first half; we were good at winning back the ball and getting forward quickly in numbers. We've now taken six points from three matches in eight days, which is a real step towards securing our survival."

Stéphane Moulin (Angers SCO coach): "There wasn't much to be happy about tonight; ouf first half was calamitous. We showed zero intention of playing good football and we were outdone in terms of engagement, which is usually our strong suit. For a whole half of football, we were an absolute zero. We were dominated technically and in terms of physical impact - it wasn't like us at all."

Sunday, January 13, 2019

 Olympique de Marseille 1 - 1 AS Monaco 

Rudi Garcia (Olympique de Marseille coach): "The hostile reaction from the crowd didn't help, obviously. The players had to battle unaided by the fans. But that's how it is. We need to win matches and get our fans behind us again. What counts is how the players responded out on the pitch, the solidarity that they showed even after the match. The players' going to see the fans as a group was a nice image. But what was said between the supporters and the players remains between them."

Thierry Henry (AS Monaco coach): "It's not easy when you quickly go a goal down, but we managed to get back into the match. It was different from our matches against Rimes and Lyon. It sparks hope. We had chances, as we had chances against Reims too. We're trying to make progress and I think we're on the right track. We're looking more and more like a team. We need points and we need to keep playing as a team, to keep doing what we've been doing. Tonight will have been a case of a point won if we can back it up with some victories."

 FC Nantes 0-1 Stade Rennais FC 

Vahid Halilhodzic (Nantes coach): "It's sad and frustrating but I don't blame my players. They gave everything. Did we deserve to lose? I don't know. Technically, it was not a high-quality game from our side, but we created chances and dominated possession. We were badly lacking a cutting edge, though. Now we'll have to work even harder."

Julien Stéphan (Rennes coach): "I'm happy and satisfied to have won this derby. It was essential for us to win this match. Compared to Wednesday's cup exit to Monaco, it was day and night. We didn't always control the game as we gave the ball away too much, but we managed to keep Nantes down to about two chances. We were solid and organized. We're delighted. It's our fourth win on the bounce and we're climbing the table."

 Dijon FCO 1-1 Montpellier Hérault SC 

Antoine Kombouaré (Dijon coach): "This is a good point, won against a very good team, which has the second-best defence in Ligue 1. We knew it would be difficult and it was, especially in the first half, when Bobby Allain made a few saves. The second half was much better. We opened the scoring but alas we conceded too. We'll try to play better next time. I asked my players to try and be dangerous as quickly as possible today."

Michel Der Zakarian (Montpellier coach): "We had a lot of chances in the first half, but we failed to take them and hit the woodwork twice. It's a shame we couldn't convert those chances. Dijon had chances too, but we could have won it late on. We need to develop a taste for winning."

 Toulouse FC 1-2 RC Strasbourg Alsace 

Alain Casanova (Toulouse coach): "I respect Strasbourg's victory, but we made it hard for ourselves. We only have ourselves to blame. We were too nervous defensively and we lacked discipline. It's a setback and a disappointing one, as the players were keen to follow up on the win against Nice in the Coupe de France. We have to get back to work quickly."

Thierry Laurey (Strasbourg coach): "We were able to restore some calm after losing to Lyon in the cup. I congratulate my players for that. We won but we deserved to win. Now we have 29 points, our objective remains the same: to stay up by doing better than we did last season. There are still many pitfalls to watch out for and we would be happier with a bigger gap on the drop zone."

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Amiens SC  0 - 3  Paris Saint-Germain

Christophe Pelissier (Amiens coach): "We have some regrets. We knew we needed the perfect match, and for things to go in our favour. The planets have to be aligned for you against a team like that. We played ok for 60 minutes. Unfortunately, things went against us, like the superb chance we had just before half-time, and then the penalty and the sending-off. Against such a team, these things can't happen. We worked hard and never gave up. The last half-hour was very difficult. When we were down to 10 men and behind, it was insurmountable."

Thomas Tuchel (Paris Saint-Germain coach): "We needed the win. The match against Guingamp was bizarre. Today we played with a lot of quality. We started very strongly. Draxler worked well between the lines. I am satisfied. Amiens might have defended deep but the challenge for us was to find solutions. We were better today than against Guingamp. It was a good effort from the team, a good performance, and I am satisfied."

 EA Guingamp 0-1 AS Saint-Etienne 

Jocelyn Gourvennec (Guingamp coach): "Saint-Etienne are a very good team and they controlled the game. You can't afford to go behind early on against a side like that. They are better than us - there is no debate about that - but even playing against a superior side we can do better than we did. We didn't start well - it took us a bit of time to get going. We still had two great chances, but was that enough to merit a point? In any case we didn't play at our best."

Jean-Louis Gasset (Saint-Etienne coach): "We are very pleased. There were matches in the first half of the season where we played better and came away with just a point or with nothing. Today we struggled at times but we got the three points. We got a goal, had two or three other opportunities, but we also defended very well. For a team who are not quite ready physically, we have won in the Cup and now we have won 1-0 in a difficult game."

 OGC Nice 1-0 Girondins de Bordeaux 

Patrick Vieira (Nice coach): "We fought hard as a team to win a very difficult game against a good side. They controlled the game better than us. Regardless of the context, I want us to be consistent over 90 minutes and we were. I hope we continue like that. (On the departures of president Jean-Pierre Rivère and director general Julien Fournier) The last two days have been difficult for the players and for employees of the club. It is a big loss for the club. For me it does not call anything into question. I didn't see their departures coming. I am disappointed. But they have thought through their decision and I respect it. I will never give up."

Éric Bédouet (Bordeaux coach): "We need to learn to score goals. We played well in the first half and we should have found a way back into the game. There comes a time where you need to score and kill the game. This is not amateur football. It is a recurring problem for us. We should not have lost this game. There is a lot of work to be done. The league is very tight. Everyone is still in with a chance. We could go on a run, but to do that we need to start scoring goals."

Friday, January 11, 2019

Olympique Lyonnais 1-1 Stade de Reims 

Bruno Genesio (Lyon coach): "We weren't able to find a solution in the first half and conceded a goal on one of Reims' rare forays forward. The positive point of the evening is that we managed to get back level. But we could have done better, perhaps…There are good and bad periods. We have to be better together to allow individuals to express themselves better. Nabil [Fekir] had taken a blow to the ankle and he couldn't continue. I wouldn't have taken him off otherwise…We didn't have enough rhythm in our passes, in our play. The situation should have come from the flanks, but we didn't use them enough."

David Guion (Reims coach): "We're really satisfied to take a point at Lyon. We were under a lot of pressure, but we were very disciplined, and showed the values we have done since the start of the season. We still could have held on to the ball better. It was difficult, but in the last 20 minutes there was space and we could have exploited that better. We had a good situation to go 2-1 up, but honestly, I think the draw was a fair result."

 SM Caen 1-3 LOSC Lille 

Fabien Mercadal (Caen coach): "I thought we started well, but then made a mistake with our defensive line and we paid for it, and when you're behind against that team, it becomes tough. To sum up the match, I think there was a difference in class. I don't do it all the time, but today I think I have to be positive about the game because I have nothing to reproach the team for. We didn't give up, we didn't collapse, we tried to stay in the match. I quickly understood that we had lost the game, but it will serve as a lesson for us."

Christophe Galtier (Lille coach): "We had picked out quite a lot of things, and we had worked a lot during the winter break, even if there wasn't a lot of time between Sochaux and this evening. We had to take our chances, and above all we had to be very disciplined tactically. We also had to be strong defensively, especially in the air and in clearing second balls. It worked well for us. We scored twice and had good chances. I'm very happy with the team. I'm annoyed to finish with ten men, not that the red card wasn't justified, but that we were leading 2-0 and we didn't play the ball out as we should have, it leads to a situation and we're down to ten men. Sometimes, because of a goal or two conceded, you lose a place in the table, and they are hard-earned."