Week 20 Reactions
Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery was pleased with his side's ability to win ugly against Nantes; Opposite number Claudio Ranieri is still aiming for the Champions League despite the 1-0 loss...
Sunday, January 14, 2018
FC Nantes 0-1 Paris Saint-Germain
Claudio Ranieri (Nantes coach): "The most important thing is that my players played a good match. Against Paris, we can always lose, but I think we had a great match and I want to congratulate my players. We'll forget about this game now and think about the next one. We were a bit shy at first and I said at half-time 'just play football! If we lose, we lose, it's not a problem, but play!' and we pushed a lot in the second half. We'll fight all year. I want to play in the Champions League next year. I hope. I push, I push!"
Unai Emery (PSG coach): "When a team fights for every ball for 90 minutes [like Nantes did] then I think my team has demonstrated that they know how to win ugly. It was different from a lot of matches we've had this season. They are a tough team who put a lot of pressure on us and held their position with a lot of character. In the first half, our dominance was clearer, with the goal and two good chances. But it's true that in the second half, they pushed more and it was harder for us to overcome that pressure, but I think the win is well deserved."
Olympique Lyonnais 1-1 Angers SCO
Bruno Genesio (Lyon coach): "Disappointment is the overwhelming feeling, because we had the opportunity to move into second on our own and move forward in terms of points, which is important given our season's objectives. Unfortunately, we struggled to get a grip on the game in the first half against a well organised opponent. We also conceded a goal from one of their rare chances. In the second half, we did everything to get back on level terms and take the win, but we weren't clinical enough to do that."
Stéphane Moulin (Angers coach): "We might have had another goal in the first half, but we really suffered in the second. We dug in and we finished with ten men. We're happy with the point we have taken. I hope it'll be important further down the line. It's important for morale to win. We had lost our last three away games. So it's good to come out of an away game unbeaten. In Lyon, that takes an extra dimension, it's quite an achievement. Our objectives and those of Lyon are very different. We're no longer in a relegation position, but in the play-off place. That's incredibly important for the players."
AS Saint-Etienne 2-0 Toulouse FC
Jean-Louis Gasset (Saint-Etienne coach): "It's true that it wasn't spectacular, but we're improving. I liked the fact they stuck to the gameplan, but it was the game I expected between two teams who are short on confidence. The important thing was to not concede goals from set-pieces. With the four attacking players we had, and the two on the bench, we had to score one or two goals to win, that's what we did. It was a crucial game, but Wednesday's match at Metz will be just as important. If we look at the table and get something away from home, we'll move into a bit calmer waters."
Mickaël Debève (Toulouse coach): "There's a lot of regret given the effort the players put in. We were very much in the game, looked promising going forward, but we didn't manage to open the scoring, sometimes due to poor finishing, others due to a very good goalkeeper. The goal just before half-time hurt us. It was difficult after that, but the boys still put in everything to try and score. The aim was to be strong in midfield and we did that rather well. We weren't rewarded, and we deserved better at the break. We're hurt, because there is only the result that counts, but the commitment the players showed is encouraging."
Saturday, January 13, 2018
Stade Rennais FC 0-3 Olympique de Marseille
Sabri Lamouchi (Rennes coach): "I think this was a heavy defeat because the lads put in a lot of work. I can't fault their effort. We knew it was going to be hard to play three games in a week. We started well and had a good chance. Unfortunately we didn't take it. Marseille got going and in the end deserved their win. We're going to have to move on, ask the right questions of ourselves and find the right formula so that we're not so flimsy."
Rudi Garcia (Marseille coach): "I'm satisfied and we were terrific in the first half. We really wanted to beat them. Everyone played and put in the defensive work. We really wanted to put pressure on our rivals in the table as it's rare that we play before the others. We moved level with Lyon and Monaco with the result and it's one that means we can sit back and watch the rest of the weekend."
SM Caen 0-1 LOSC
Patrice Garande (Caen coach): "We were missing a lot. We played well for 20-25 minutes but then we were lacking in every department. We didn't do what we wanted to do. There was the goal and Rémy's red card and after that it was difficult. When we were even in numbers again we tried things and we had a few opportunities. We even switched to three at the back in the last 15 minutes but it wasn't enough."
Christophe Galtier (Lille coach): "It was important to get a good result and we want to go on a run. I think we played well in the first half. After the two red cards there wasn't a lot of rhythm to the match. We could have been more effective in attack and missing chances meant we were under pressure until the end. There were good things and some less good. The most important thing is the team spirit and that the players are committed to what we're doing."
Dijon FCO 1-1 FC Metz
Frédéric Hantz (Metz coach): "I think that what we did in the first half, even if we weren't rewarded for it and we were punished early, well, I think it was useful at the end of the game. We decided to play high up the pitch and put them under pressure and we did it pretty well. It paid off at the end. I think we deserved to win taking the match as a whole."
Olivier Dall'Oglio (Dijon coach): "I don't know quite what to think after what I saw. We started perfectly. We were solid after that and we could have hammered the nail home in the second half. At 2-0 it would have been a different match, easier to control. After that, we were forced back and we conceded the equaliser. They had a huge chance at the end of the game. I'm frustrated because I know we can do much better."
Montpellier Hérault SC 0 - 0 AS Monaco
Michel Der Zakarian (Montpellier coach): "This was a top-level match. Both sides wanted to win but it finished 0-0. We had five clear chances and they had four. If we'd ben better technically then we could have scored and won. We defended well and read the game well. I hope we'll be able to play as well against teams that are at a similar level to us."
Leonardo Jardim (Monaco coach): "A draw isn't a good result as we came here to take three points. We were missing a lot of things in attack. We'll try to be more competitive when we play Nice on Tuesday. We respected our defensive organisation and we were pretty good in terms of construction. We weren't good enough in the final third. The pressure on us is to finish second in the table."
OGC Nice 1 - 0 Amiens SC
Lucien Favre (Nice coach): "1-0 or 3-0 changes nothing as we took the three points. We deserved it taking the game as a whole as we had a lot of chances. It was tricky in the first half and much better in the second half, maybe because they were tired. We're a young team and we're progressing step by step. It's possible Balotelli may be able to start against Monaco, we'll see. If he'd played an our here then that would have been impossible."
Christophe Pelissier (Amiens coach): "We played well in the first half but didn't take our chances. Nice mark their opponents in a psychological and physical way with the way they play. We also had a day's less rest and we played with ten men against PSG in the week and that was important. We've the seventh-best defence in Ligue 1 but unfortunately the second-worst attack. We've lost seven matches 1-0 and that's a lot."
ESTAC Troyes 0 - 1 Girondins de Bordeaux
Jean-Louis Garcia (Troyes coach): "It was a very bad evening. We started well and there were several turning points in the first 20 minutes, including Darbion's chance and a penalty. Bordeaux defended as a team. We had the possession and Suk had three clear chances in the second half, yet we didn't manage to equalise. I think a draw would have been a fair result."
Jocelyn Gourvennec (Bordeaux coach): "This is a welcome win. It was important to restart the league in a good way after a Coupe de France loss. We played as a team and with quality at times. The penalty saved by Benoît Costil did us good. We scored soon after and then controlled things well at the end of the game. We played with our heads. The Caen game will come around quickly and we need to win over our fans."
Friday, January 12, 2018
RC Strasbourg Alsace 0 - 2 EA Guingamp
Thierry Laurey (Strasbourg coach): "We started the game badly and gave the ball away too easily. They didn't hesitate to take their chance. We were not solid enough defensively and that is a real problem. We were dreadful in the first half, not in the game. Guingamp played very well with their smaller players who get forward quickly. In the second half, without performing miracles, there was a chance for us to get back into the game. We might have nicked a goal and that could have given us the chance to get a draw but it was not to be. It is a disappointment. It was not our night tonight. These lads will bounce back and we will have a competitive team out at Marseille."
Antoine Kombouaré (Guingamp coach): "We knew that Strasbourg tended to start matches very strongly so we prepared for that and made sure we were solid defensively, caused them problems and scored a goal. I congratulate my players because it was a really great performance. It is not easy to come and win here. We did what we had to do to show to Strasbourg that it was going to be really tough for them, and we could have scored a third goal in the second half. I have to thank my players for this lovely gift on my return to Strasbourg. We have good New Year's resolutions, and let's hope it continues. On Wednesday we have Lyon and we want to mark our territory against them."