Week 29 reactions - Tuchel: 'Exceptional'
PSG boss Thomas Tuchel was thrilled to see his side step up to the occasion and best rivals OM 3-1, with special praise for Man of the Match Angel Di Maria; Rudi Garcia felt his side had nothing to be ashamed of.
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Paris Saint-Germain 3 - 1 Olympique de Marseille
Thomas Tuchel (Paris Saint-Germain coach): "It was a great win. I am very happy with the whole team. The players played with a great mentality and a lot of quality. We showed how much we wanted to win. After Manchester United, it has been tough, but we have to accept what happened. The team reacted fantastically tonight. It was a deserved win. I'm very happy because, despite the absentees and the players injured today, we stayed confident and played well. It was exceptional. The team wasn't upset by the substitutions. We played high up the pitch and with good intensity. Angel Di Maria is capable of incredible skill, like for the first goal from Kylian Mbappé and then his brace. He works a lot at training. There's no secret potion in sport. Hard work pays off."
Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain defender): "It was a great win. We did what we came here to do. We wanted to show what we were capable of tonight. We controlled their attacks. The first half was quite a tight contest. Marseille managed to win a duel at the start of the second half and scored. But we fought back immediately and in the end, we deserved our win. Angel is in great form. We are all very happy for him. He works very hard and deserves all his success."
Rudi Garcia (Olympique de Marseille coach): "We have nothing to be ashamed of in this defeat. Up until Steve [Mandanda]'s send-off we were playing a coherent match. We didn't let PSG impose their game and we didn't concede chances. But we didn't have enough chances in the second half, and that's where my regrets lie. We could have been more clinical and more enterprising in the final 30 metres. It was also tough to play an excellent first 45 minutes and then go into the break a goal down - it happened to us last season here in Paris as well. The negative point is that the lads who were here last season haven't learnt the lesson and that's a shame. We need to grow in experience as we have a young team. Still, they did extremely well to equalise early in the second half, but unfortunately we couldn't hang onto the 1-1 scoreline for long enough."
Valère Germain (Olympique de Marseille forward): "In the first half, even though we didn't have that many chances, we had very solid footing in the match. The problem was that we conceded goals at key moments. We didn't make the most of the times when we had the upper hand. There are still nine matches to play in the season and we know that all is not lost - far from it."
Girondins de Bordeaux 1 - 1 Stade Rennais FC
Paulo Sousa (Bordeaux coach): "When you coach a team, you do it to win. Everything we worked on this week, everything I asked of the them and all I wanted, I saw out there on the pitch. I saw the mentality I am looking for, the ambition from the players. We created chances. I congratulate my players for that. The second half was more difficult physically, the spaces between the lines were greater, the players were further apart and our opponents had more room. We played well and could have won. The team tried to score a second goal with that chance for Jimmy (Briand) om the counter-attack. We had no luck at the set-piece. We switched off, and you need to be more concentrated on the play."
Julien Stéphan (Rennes coach): "We are happy with the point and we deserved it. The players kept going until the end. We were in a real battle 72 hours ago against Arsenal. It is true that the players were very tired at the end, but I think we deserved the point all the same for the energy we put into the game. We conceded when we were on top. We showed the desire to keep fighting and we were rewarded. After being eliminated, it was important to bounce back quickly. We sent out a message that our season is not finished, that we will not give anything up in the fight for Europe. We have objectives in the league and with the Coupe de France semi-final."
Stade de Reims 1-0 FC Nantes
David Guion (Reims coach): "My players were very tired at the end. Nantes looked to use their athleticism, their muscle, and they marked us individually. That underlines how good our performance was. (Goalkeeper) Édouard Mendy had asked us to learn to start winning games 1-0 again, and I am satisfied that we managed to do it. Rémi Oudin's goal was the symbol because had been criticised last week for missing chances. We have reached our objective from the start of the season of getting to 45 points. It is a real source of satisfaction to have achieved that with nine matches left. We need to be realistic with our ambitions. When you look at the teams we are competing against, they are teams whose aim was to get into Europe. We just want to be a thorn in the side."
Vahid Halilhodžić (Nantes coach): "We had more chances than Reims. They had one chance, and they scored a goal, a superb goal. To win, you need to score goals and we could have done far better in terms of controlling the game and getting forward. I am annoyed because that is six times now that we have lost 1-0, which is a bit too much. I am disappointed, angry, frustrated."
Olympique Lyonnais 3-2 Montpellier Hérault SC
Bruno Genesio (Lyon coach): "This was important for several reasons. The first was to get three points to close on Lille, and we will wait for the Marseille result to see if it really has been a good weekend. But it was also important to react the way we did four days after the elimination from the Champions League at Barcelona. We could have won by a wider margin. Bravo to the players because it is never easy after a European match to play like we did. It was very important because we have missed previous opportunities to close the gap on Lille."
Michel Der Zakarian (Montpellier coach): "Lyon had many more chances than us and Lyon showed much greater determination than us. They were good and they were clinical when they were on top. (Ellyes) Skhiri going off injured was important. We won't give up and we will continue to pick up points in order to finish as high up the table as possible."
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Nîmes Olympique 2-2 RC Strasbourg Alsace
Bernard Blaquart (Nîmes coach): "The way the match went is crazy, happy for Nîmes, tough to take for Strasbourg, but it's a fair result. It's good not to have lost the game. From going 3-0 down, to have the goal ruled out by VAR, and to get back to 2-1, perhaps Strasbourg lost concentration. With this point, we're a little closer to safety. We're moving forward."
Thierry Laurey (Strasbourg coach): "It's infuriating, even if we didn't have a lot of chances. I was happy with things until the 90th-minute. I can't fault the boys. We defended well, we were looking good, and then instead of killing the game off, Nîmes caused us problems. We thought it was finished at 3-0, but then VAR ruled out the goal, and Nîmes got back into it straight away. It's annoying because we had good shape, we weren't in danger. We were pushing Nîmes into making mistakes. We weren't brilliant, but we were effective. They were two sloppy goals to concede from set-pieces, it's a shame."
EA Guingamp 1-0 Dijon FCO
Jocelyn Gourvennec (Guingamp coach): "We had been bottom of the table since August. This win and our position in the table now will be a breath of fresh air to everyone. But it's only a step. We needed to make it count tonight. After our poor display against Toulouse, we needed to produce a better performance. We did that, in what was a tense and keenly-contested game."
Antoine Kombouaré (Dijon coach): "There's frustration, disappoinment, and above all disbelief. I am struggling to believe we lost that game. We had chances in the first half to make Guingamp doubt. The fans turned on their team. We thought we'd done the hard work, but then we switched off for a moment. It's really tough to lose like that."
SM Caen 0-5 AS Saint-Etienne
Fabien Mercadal (Caen coach): "We had lost games, but we had never been completely lost as we were in this one. It's tough to explain. We came up against a better side than us in every area, that's certain. We conceded a goal from a mistake by our best player of recent times. I think that knocked the confidence of quite a few players on the pitch. We weren't compact enough. It's one of the only times I didn't feel we had a team."
Jean-Louis Gasset (Saint-Étienne coach): "We needed to win again after Marseille and Lille where we had been found wanting. We dominated the game, we started really well. We were clinical at the back and up front. It went perfectly. We were disciplined against a side that is full of doubt."
Angers SCO 0-0 Amiens SC
Stéphane Moulin (Angers coach): "It's a bit of a frustrating draw. We deserved to win, but we weren't able to capitalise on our superiority. It was a tight, niggly sort of game. It's not the sort of match you like to play and watch. We did everything necessary to win, but we lacked the most important thing. I had said to the boys that they are a team a bit like us. We had everything we feared would happen in this game. But we have missed four penalties, that's a lot. We have 36 points, that's good, but we should have more."
Christophe Pelissier (Amiens coach): "Régis Gurtner made a save that enabled us to take a point. It was a hard-earned point, but wasn't a great game and we'll have to settle for that. In the first game against them, we dominated and it was goalless, it was the other way round tonight with the same scoreline. This is a point that will count at the end of the season. We're moving forward still, and it's always good to get a point away from home without conceding a goal."
Friday, March 15, 2019
OGC Nice 1-1 Toulouse FC
Patrick Vieira (Nice coach): "I think that Toulouse deserved the draw. They had a very good second half. Unfortunately we were unable to score the second goal to put the game to bed. There were moves that we played very poorly, where we made the wrong decisions and were a bit too selfish at times. They pushed and we gave them the chance to get back on level terms, even though on the whole, I think that we were solid at the back. What is frustrating me, are those poor choices that we took in the attacking phases of the game, the way we played as a team. We were too selfish, we are paying for the fact that there were players who thought of themselves before thinking of the team. We needed to score the second goal. We also had chances in the first half. It’s a hiccup but it doesn’t stop us from dreaming, there are still games to be played. It will be very complicated and difficult. Our objective is to finish as high as possible and we will see in the final five games of the season whether we can play for something. This evening, I am disappointed because we were lacking as a team in attack. I hope that this will serve as a lesson going forward."
Alain Casanova (Toulouse coach): "Given our second-half display, it's fully deserved. If we had equalised before, we would have given ourselves a chance of winning. The players have been rewarded for their efforts. Nice had the chance for a second, but I saw a very good attitude in winning the ball back, a very good collective attitude to defending. In the second half, we handled them better. We closed down the space and won the ball back. We can't talk about a safe cushion. We have to focus on ourselves, and concentrate on our strengths and weaknesses for the rest of the season."
LOSC 0-1 AS Monaco
Christophe Galtier (Lille coach): "We're not going to stop the media from talking about the Champions League when we have this many points in hand nine games from the end of the season. We have to accept that our excellent run has people talking about Europe, even the Champions League. Monaco didn't steal their win, but I think we deserved to at least have scored a goal. But we didn't manage to do that. The difference is that Monaco got shots on target, we didn't, and even when we were in front of goal, we shot over the bar. We started the game with inhabitual technical errors which gave our opponents chances. We came back into the match and created opportunities…We have to look again at our finishing and avoid allowing our opponents to create so many chances."
Leonardo Jardim (Monaco coach): "A victory like this one, against the second-best team in the league, is very important. We scored at the end, but their goalkeeper made two exceptional saves from Gelson Martins. The most important thing is the three points and the team's attitude. We were really a team, working defensively and going forward. I congratulate the players on picking up points in seven successive games. Perhaps a draw would have been a fair result as Lille dominted the first half, and we had more chances in the second. A draw would have been a good result, but we kept three forwards right to the end because it's in our DNA to play to win, to always try to get a victory. It's an important win, but we're still in a difficult situation."