Coupe de France

Galtier: 'I told the lads to relax and let loose'

Publish on 02/03/2022 at 11:29 - S. WILLIS


Christophe Galtier's Nice have won through to the Coupe de France final after a 2-0 win over D4 side Versailles, but only after a tough first half and some course correction from the coach at half-time. The Stade de France - and the winner of Nantes-Monaco - await...

Versailles had their hearts set on continuing their fairytale run all the way to the Coupe de France final as they took on Ligue 1 Uber Eats high-flyers Nice on Tuesday night, but Christophe Galtier's Aiglons had other ideas - even if it took them some time to really hit their straps.

'We had to take more risks'

"We were up against and excellent Versailles team," said the OGC Nice boss after the match. "Congratulations to them and to their coach for their magnificent run! After that, I am happy for the club members and our supporters. It will also keep the group focused on the league [they face PSG on Sunday night] and the final against FC Nantes or AS Monaco. We are all pushing hard to reach the objectives we have set. I can't wait to see the Stade de France decked out in red and black."

Versailles defended like heroes and, in true underdog fashion, played with no inferiority complex. However, Nice made the adjustments required and clinched the result through Amine Gouiri (48') and substitute Kasper Dolberg (73') and Galtier explained it was a case of needing to relax and finding the flow state.

"I told the lads to relax and let loose. We had to take more risks with our shots. Amine did just that," explained the man who will be looking to add the Coupe de France to the Coupe de la Ligue (2013) and Ligue 1 Uber Eats title (2021) to his coaching trophy cabinet. "We needed to have more influence on the game and not be obsessed with qualifying. Amine proved again that he is an important player for us. I am also very happy for Kasper, who scored off the bench. He had the right move in the right place. His goal was a real relief for us - our opponents' morale started to really suffer at that point."

'A lot of pressure'

As to why his side struggled so against competition minnows Versailles, Galtier explained that Coupe fairytales are powerful narratives...

"There was a lot of pressure before this game. People wanted to see the amateurs beat the pros," he opined. "The joy was not the same for us as after the league wins over PSG or OM. Tonight, it was more relief and satisfaction. There was no explosion of joy in the dressing room."

Next up, Nice will be out to stitch up a season double over PSG as they play host to the capital club at the Allianz Riviera on Saturday, but Galtier & Co. will doubtless be keeping an eye on Wednesday night's other Coupe de France semi-final between FC Nantes and AS Monaco, which will determine their opponents for the showpiece final at the Stade France on 8 May.


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