Proud coach Gustavo Poyet couldn't hide his disappointment after Bordeaux lost out 1-0 at home to PSG on Sunday night; opposite number Unai Emery was happy to have added some gloss to the champions' end-of-season run.
Sunday, April 22, 2018
Girondins de Bordeaux 0-1 Paris Saint-Germain
Gustavo Poyet (FC Girondins de Bordeaux coach): "There are no regrets but I'm sorry for the players, who turned in a huge performance. There were many positives but in the end we lost the match. We lacked quality with the final ball. We showed something very special today and it's incredible because I should be happy about that but I'm not - because we lost. We did well but we haven't been doing it each week, and it's up to me to work on that. I'm not thinking about qualifying for Europe as there are a lot of teams on win streaks, like Nice and Saint-Etienne. It has been a tough year and I think we need to keep winning for the fans, to show them that we're still here."
Unai Emery (Paris Saint-Germain coach): "We wanted to keep our run of wins going and we managed to do that. Bordeaux were trying to improve their league position. They did well and we had to be solid defensively, but we showed character. It's another step forward for us. We're happy with the result. I'm satisfied with the work done by the players. It was important to keep our run of wins going after being crowned champions and qualifying for the Coupe de France final."
OGC Nice 1-0 Montpellier Hérault SC
Lucien Favre (Nice coach): "It's a close win, but deserved. Given the results in the last two weeks, we didn't have a choice, we had to win. We took the necessary risks. We were able to stay in the game. We weren't too hasty. And we were able to shoot from distance. It's important to be able to do that. It was a lovely goal. After that, Montpellier didn't have a lot of chances. Now we have a big run-in. We have to focus on our next game, against Strasbourg, and we'll see after that. That's really what I think. I know we have Marseille, Caen and Lyon after that. But Strasbourg is enough in themselves. It'll be a very tough game."
Michel Der Zakarian (Montpellier coach): "I'm disappointed to have lost, but we didn't do a lot going forward. We weren't precise enough in our transmissions, and the choices we made. Defensively, we battled well, but Nice were better than us technically. We've been short of ideas up front in the last two games. Giovanni [Sio] was too isolated up front. Nil-nil was the best we could have hoped for — I'm not sure their goalkeeper even had a save to make. But I still think we can do it. We have four games left. We have to prepare well for Saint-Etienne. If we don't beat them and the teams ahead of us win, it'll be over."
AS Saint-Etienne 2-1 ESTAC Troyes
Jean-Louis Gasset (Saint-Etienne coach): "I don't regret my initial choices. I give all my forwards a chance. I try to work on the basis of squad rotation. At Strasbourg, it wasn't great. I changed it, and then changed it again at half-time. You have to try things. We have four finals left now. We were trailing 1-0 due to an uncharacteristc error, we had to change tack as we weren't getting in front of their goal enough. We're sixth and we have 12 points to win. It's very tight, but our fixtures are difficult with trips to Montpellier and Monaco and home games with Bordeaux and Lille. We have a handy little lead, that's good. Remember we were 16th on 1 January."
Jean-Louis Garcia (Troyes coach): "In spite of the quality of their players and the changes made, Saint-Etienne had a problem creating clear-cut chances. Just before the equaliser, Johann Obiang had a chance to make it 2-0, and it was miraculously stopped by Mathieu Debuchy. Things were a little bit the same as they have been already this season. Last week against Marseille, we led 2-1. Our natural desire to play works against us. We struggle to hold on to the final whistle. Once again, we haven't been rewarded for our efforts. I note that we have actually gone up a place on this matchday, we're now in the relegation/promotion play-off place rather than the bottom two. We mustn't give up. We're still in the fight to stay up, that was our initial goal."
Saturday, April 21, 2018
Olympique de Marseille 5-1 LOSC
Rudi Garcia (Marseille coach): "We lost the ball too often but got away with it at half-time because we were rewarded above all for our clinical finishing. We had seven shots, five on target, while Lille had no shots on target. That was the difference. And when you score a second, then a third and a fourth, the match is finished for the opposition. We are level third again and we are on a winning dynamic. That is important for next Thursday, and now we are going to study Salzburg closely. With this team spirit, this team is capable of being stronger than anyone. We need to keep showing that until the end of the season."
Christophe Galtier (Lille coach): "We were very bad in the two penalty areas. The first 20 minutes gave us hope, but then we wanted to attack without maintaining a balance and we cracked too easily defensively. We often reproduce the same errors. We think football is only when we have the ball at our feet, playing at our rhythm and in our way. But that is a big mistake, especially against Marseille. We don't know how to be tougher when things become harder. But I am keeping the faith, even if it is very difficult internally. We have to beat Metz and if we do that we will still be alive."
Amiens SC 3-1 RC Strasbourg Alsace
Christophe Pelissier (Amiens coach): "I have looked at the table and mathematically we are not yet safe. There are four matches left and what I want is to keep my squad under pressure. When you have 40 points then of course these are extraordinary matches to prepare for (against Monaco, Paris, Metz and Marseille). The season is far from over. There was a communion between the team and the fans this evening. I have the end of the season to prepare for and a contract until June 2019. I will not say anymore than that."
Thierry Laurey (Strasbourg coach): "We fought but were well beaten. In certain areas of truth we lacked lucidity and aggression. Amiens are a team who impose themselves physically on their opponents. We were not in too much difficulty in the first half and we conceded a goal from what was not really even a goal-scoring opportunity. Amiens showed greater self-sacrifice in the second half. We chased after the ball but were not incisive enough. There are still matches left to play. I would prefer to be in Amiens' position but we will keep fighting."
EA Guingamp 3-1 AS Monaco
Antoine Kombouaré (Guingamp coach): "It was a dream evening. I said to the players before the match that we must not forget the 6-0 defeat we suffered when we last played each other. This was a chance for revenge. We needed to start the match well, press them and not let them play. We wanted to grab them by the neck and not let go, and that is what we did. I am a really happy coach. We were stronger than them in every area."
Leonardo Jardim (Monaco coach): "I was expecting a reaction too. I defended the team at the Parc, but today I can't say the same thing. We lacked commitment. In the first half we were second in almost every challenge with physical contact and that is not a good mentality to have because football is a contact sport and you need to be aggressive, not let the opposition play. We let them play in the first half. To play for Monaco, a team who want to stay in second place, there needs to be a change in attitude. It is not enough to say 'I play for Monaco'. The players need to show hunger on the pitch, hunger to play well, to work on our limitations and win games. This attitude of being a bit relaxed is not good because we have only one objective, the most important of the season, which is to finish in second place."
FC Metz 1-1 SM Caen
Frédéric Hantz (Metz coach): "There was a lot of disappointment in the dressing room...We felt we deserved to win the game, but the equaliser was a classic. I thought Caen produced one of their best away performances in a long time. That is how it is, we need to improve what we can and keep that same level of commitment. We feel that we are meeting the demands of playing in Ligue 1, even if we need to erase certain things. We are also disappointed for the fans, and it is for them that we need to keep believing and working positively."
Patrice Garande (Caen coach): "It was a rough game, just as we expected. I am satisfied with the point, even though we could have had more with that Guilbert chance. I am especially happy that we got back to being a team with a soul and with a spirit. It was an exceptional goal from Deminguet and I am happy for him. He is a lad who runs everywhere, who is hungry and has desire. I am not going to say we are safe but the advantage we have in terms of points is significant. But we must not stop there. We will try to improve our position. That is important."
Toulouse FC 2-0 Angers SCO
Mickaël Debève (Toulouse coach): "It is a deserved victory. We struggled in the first 25 minutes but we remained patient and then we were clinical with our chances. It is a victory that does us a lot of good. We had been waiting a while for one. We are back to winning ways and that is the essential thing. We also didn't concede any chances and that is another bit of good news. I congratulated the players but we owe it to ourselves to remain vigilant because we are not safe yet. We have started a week with three matches by winning. There are still six points to play for (trips to Caen on Wednesday and Rennes on Sunday). If these games go well then we will be close to our objective. We have our fate in our hands."
Stéphane Moulin (Angers coach): "When we have 60 percent of the possession like tonight, we often lose because it is not our game. We contented ourselves with keeping the ball but without trying to be dangerous. We were far too wasteful and Toulouse took advantage. Wr had the chance (to secure survival) and we didn't take it. Maybe our 37 points will be enough but it would be preferable if we could make sure rather than play with fire."
Friday, April 20, 2018
Dijon FCO 2-5 Olympique Lyonnais
Olivier Dall'Oglio (Dijon coach): "The players gave their all. We had put in place a plan that didn't alwas work, especially at the start of both halves, but I thought the players were brave and enterprising. There were chances for both teams. Lyon were better than us, we knew that at the start. Lyon deserve to be on the podium. In comparison to the first game, this team is more solid and it was a huge challenge to even just get a draw."
Bruno Genesio (Lyon coach): "The aim was to win, which is what we did. We're happy with the win and to have scored five goals. But there are still quite a few things to put right going forward, because we should have been better in handling our weaker periods. It's not normal that we give Dijon belief, which is what we did at times. In the first half, we should have led by three goals. We had a lot of clear-cut chances. The score is fair…We have to learn quickly from our mistakes if we don't want to suffer a disappointment between now and the end of the season. What is important is to focus on the battle for third with Marseille. We can't control what Monaco do in second."
FC Nantes 1-1 Stade Rennais FC
Claudio Ranieri (Nantes coach): "I'm happy with the match, but disappointed with the result. We played well, created a lot of chances, and 2-0 was within reach, but Rennes could have won the game too. The draw is good, even if I think we could have won, but we could have lost too, so a point is better than nothing."
Sabri Lamouchi (Rennes coach): "To sum up the match, I don't think it's robbery that we're leaving with a point. It's not a derby that will live long in the memory. I didn't recognise my team in the first half. We couldn't put three passes together, perhaps we were overcome by emotions. We conceded just when we were doing a little better. We could have conceded a second just before half-time. We changed things a little bit at the break to try and control midfield better. There were fewer mistakes, but still too many for my liking. The red card allowed us to totally dominate the second half. We created two good chances, we deservedly equalised. We might even have scored a second, but the second half display was a lot better."