Montpellier coach Michel Der Zakarian underlined his side's heart after the 0-0 draw in Marseille, also firing off a warning to the sides currently competing with La Paillade for fifth place and a Europa League berth.
Sunday, April 9, 2018
Olympique de Marseille 0 - 0 Montpellier Hérault SC
Rudi Garcia (Olympique de Marseille coach): "Fatigue? You can say what you like, that we're tired, that we have injuries, that we've played 50 matches already this season. So let's start with that: our lack of sharpness in front of goal - we didn't get enough shots on target. We played coherently and I have no recollection of any scoring chances for Montpellier. We had plenty of chances, but we weren't clinical enough. We're still in third place [fourth, but level with third-placed Lyon on points] even if it's ex-aequo. Now we just need to prepare well for Thursday [and their UEFA Europa League quarter-final second leg clash at home to RB Leipzig, who won the first leg 1-0 in Germany last Thursday].
Michel Der Zakarian (Montpellier HSC coach): "We had our chances and we could have snatched a win. Playing the big teams, we have lost only to Paris - we got hammered [4-0] - but otherwise we have hung on, be it at home or on the road. We're satisfied with that, as we don't have the same means, the same quality or level as a team, but we have a lot of heart. Maybe our playing style isn't to everyone's taste but the main thing in football is to collect points and be effective. We're fighting it out [for fifth place and the UEFA Europa League berth that goes with it] with five teams and there are six matches left - all against direct rivals. And they should be wary of us - we're tough to move around and we can hurt them."
FC Metz 0 - 5 Olympique Lyonnais
Frédéric Hantz (Metz coach): "The defeat hurts. It symbolises the differences between the two teams. I don't like to pick out individual players, but I am going to do it. Moussa Niakhaté, maybe our best player this season, summed up the match - he was implicated in the first two goals because he should have been marking Marcelo. Looking towards the end of the season, there is still hope. There is huge disappointment today for everyone. This season has been difficult and there is too big a difference between the top four and the rest."
Bruno Genesio (Lyon coach): "When you open the scoring in the first minute it makes life a lot easier, especially against opponents who are bottom of the table. The difficulty in a game like this is ensuring you don't give the opposition any reason to be confident. It was the ideal start for us. After that, our first half was not sufficiently accomplished in terms of technique and rhythm, evem if I thought the heat affected the players. It was much better in the second half. (On Memphis Depay) He seems happy on the pitch and full of confidence. When you have talent like he has, and that much confidence, you get performances like his last two. But I also think that his position, with more freedom and fewer defensive tasks, really helps him in that regard."
OGC Nice 1-1 Stade Rennais FC
Lucien Favre (Nice coach): "We didn't play well in the first half. There was no rhythm, no movement and not enough forward thrust with the ball at our feet. We scored at least, but it was from a deflected shot. Rennes came back a bit too quickly and I didn't see the goal because I was talking to someone. But you can't concede a goal from a throw-in! The first half was not good, the second half was better, but not good enough. That said, you have to say we were up against a good side. A point is a point. The difference stays the same. Now we need to concentrate on the next game away from home, which will be important."
Sabri Lamouchi (Rennes coach): "It is a good point against a direct rival. It is not easy to come here and take a point. It is not a bad result, even if we created the better chances and could have hoped for better. We are in a good dynamic. We will defend our place for as long as possible, but it is not going to be easy and I am wary of Metz, who we play next. It is out of the question for us to let-up."
Saturday, April 8, 2018
EA Guingamp 4-0 ESTAC Troyes
Antoine Kombouaré (Guingamp coach): "For us, it's a huge source of satisfaction to take six points from our last two games as we were in a bit of trouble before that. I don't care about just staying up. I'm first of all happy to have won. We want to get to 50 points, that would allow us to be in the top ten and at least do as well as last season."
Jean-Louis Garcia (Troyes coach): "There's a lot of disappointment and frustration. We're in a period where everything is going against us. In the first 20 minutes, we controlled it but were then punished at a corner. And the second goal really hurt us because we came out of the dressing room with real intentions. The irrational side of things, which we call 'luck', was against us. But we're going to fight. We have to stay solid, show character and personality. We're in the play-off spot, just a point off 17th. We have to believe in ourselves, even though it's going to be difficult."
Amiens SC 3-0 SM Caen
Christophe Pélissier (Amiens coach): "I had said before the match that the team that wins will have gone 80 percent of the way to staying up. We still have 20 percent to do then, and our fixtures mean we have just two games where we can hope to pick up points. We still need a win, but all of that is just calculations. What's important is the performance the squad's improvement. This evening, I'm very happy with the way we played. It was the perfect evening on the pitch and off it with the fans behind us."
Patrice Garande (Caen coach): "It's a disappointment. We conceded two goals from Amiens' first two shots. From our side, we weren't very good in the final thirds. Yes, the Amiens goalkeeper made some good saves, but we should have scored at least twice. Since our win over Strasbourg, we have dropped off a little, and when a team like us drops its standards, we can have problems against anyone. I have faith in my squad. The end of the season is going to be difficult, but we still have our destiny in our own hands. In my head, there's no doubt: we'll stay in Ligue 1."
Angers SCO 1-1 RC Strasbourg Alsace
Stéphane Moulin (Angers coach): "There were three important factors. The first, the result seems a fair one given the balance of play. The second is that there were two decisions that went against us: the debateable penalty and the goal ruled out, which was a question of interpretation. The third, which I wanted to play down, was our three weeks without playing, which we paid for in the second half…The goal that was ruled out could have been the one that kept us up. That's why we're very frustrated this evening."
Thierry Laurey (Strasbourg coach): "We'll happily take this point. When you get something here at Angers, it's that your game was good. I was worried when they scored, but we didn't fall into their trap and avoided counter-attacks. The more the match went on, the better it became. It's always difficult to find your way back into a game here."
Girondins de Bordeaux 2-1 LOSC
Gustavo Poyet (Bordeaux coach): "It's good for the players, because we had to win that game. We made a little mistake in the first half as we have done in the last five or six games, and each time we have done that, we have conceded a goal. It was difficult after that, because you know we haven't won a game this season when we have conceded first, so a reaction before half-time was really important…I would have liked us to score a third goal, I tried everything by making substitutions. We created chances, but there was also the danger of conceding."
Christophe Galtier (Lille coach): "It was the same at Monaco. We're always happy to score, especially as it was a nice goal, well constructed, but we stopped playing too quickly. We dealt with Bordeaux's long balls until the 42nd minute. We could have done better, played better. We could have been better going forward and in our movement to free up the full-backs. But things are going against us right now, and we lost the game in the space of three or four minutes. I still have hope, I think the attitude is better, the players encourage and help each other, play for the team. That gives us some hope for the rest of the season."
Toulouse FC 0-1 Dijon FCO
Mickaël Debève (Toulouse coach): "This defeat is not good news. It doesn't change anything in the table as the teams behind us also lost. The players showed they wanted to get back on level terms after Dijon opened the scoring, and I cannot question their commitment. There's no question of giving up. We have to stay focussed until the last second of the last game of teh season. We need points quickly. It's becoming vital. We need between eight and ten. When I see the players as united as they are and showing such desire, I think we're among the teams that will get out of it."
Olivier Dall'Oglio (Dijon coach): "Mathematically, there is a little suspense, but we have taken a very big step towards staying up. That's what the players think. It was an essential win, earned thanks to the commitment and courage of the players. Toulouse played long balls, but we were solid. We scored quickly and after that the players were able to hold on for a valuable win."
AS Monaco 2-1 FC Nantes
Leonardo Jardim (Monaco coach): "In the first half, we had at least five big chances. Our opponents were 100% clinical. In the second, we were more comfortable as we were leading. It was more evenly balance, but we had the best chance. The win is deserved, it went to the team that wanted to win from the start. I'm happy with our little Lopes. He's gotten to this level thanks to a lot of work and by listening. His progress is to his credit."
Claudio Ranieri (Monaco coach): "Yes, the defeat hurts, because we were leading and lost the match in the space of three minutes. We played well, but for their goals, Falcao was a little lucky the ball came to him, but it's Falcao, he knows what to do. If it had been another player, it wouldn't have been a goal. For the second, we should have been pushing up more on Lopes. You have to press great players more. But as disappointed as I was with our second half against Saint-Etienne, I was happy with the quality of our performance against a very good Monaco side."
Friday, April 7, 2018
AS Saint-Etienne 1 - 1 Paris Saint-Germain
Jean-Louis Gasset (Saint-Etienne coach): "The overriding feeling? Pride. It was a great performance from us. The scenario at the end is awful for us, scoring an own goal in the last minute. But when you don't score the second goal against such opponents, you will find yourself in danger against these great players. Everyone is down in the dressing room because the players were dreaming of beating the future champions. A point against Paris is good already and we have maintained the dynamic. That is 10 matches unbeaten now. (On Rémy Cabella) Only those who have not played football can talk about the penalty. Bravery was required to take it. Nobody is unhappier than him. But he had a great game. He is proving decisive and he is making progress towards becoming a great player."
Unai Emery (Paris Saint-Germain coach): "It was a game of two very different halves. The first was our worst of the season. Our opponents had quality players and they made us work hard. We conceded the opening goal and Saint-Etienne deserved to be further ahead. The second half was different. We had chances and got the goal in the last minute. I am happy with the reaction from my team. The equaliser is maybe a little unfair but we deserve the point for the work we put in in the second half."