Week 31 reactions
Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel took responsibility for his team's title party falling flat while Olympique Lyonnais coach Bruno Genesio reflected on the "cruel" nature of football after losing to Dijon FCO. All the weekend's reactions...
Sunday, 7 April, 2019
Paris Saint-Germain 2-2 RC Strasbourg Alsace
Thomas Tuchel (Paris Saint-Germain coach): "In the first half we struggled to control their counterattacks. We didn’t play well with two up front and we changed the formation to play with just Choupo-Moting up front in the second half. Strasbourg had chances. We are missing a lot of players, our players are very tired and we weren’t able to score that third goal. We had the opportunity to be crowned champions tonight, but we didn’t do it. It’s my fault tonight. We were missing several players tonight. We should have tried to control the match and not try to attack so much. It was my decision and my fault."
Thierry Laurey (Strasbourg coach): "We've drawn twice with Paris, but we have nothing against that. We would have liked PSG to qualify in the Champions League. We have played well against them twice, but we have to be humble and admit Paris didn't have their first-choice line-up against us. We played well, even though we suffered a lot in the second half. We could have done better in the the first half. We were caught out by something we had talked about, and could have handled better counter-attacking situations better."
OGC Nice 1-0 Montpellier Hérault SC
Patrick Vieira (Nice coach): "On the whole, I saw a very good Nice side. With hugely focussed players. We suffered in the first 10-15 minutes, the time it took us to understand how to defend their two players up-front. But then we were able to take control. We created real opportunities, we could have scored more this evening. I saw a very attractive Nice team. I may have changed systems slightly too early, which made us sit back. But the important thing was the spirit we showed over the 90 minutes…The important thing is to continue our run. If you look at our game against Dijon and the one this evening, we showed defensive solidity and we created chances. It’s encouraging for what’s to come. Not everything was perfect but to win against a good Montpellier side is a good thing. We need to continue to work to keep this dynamic."
Michel Der Zakarian (Montpellier coach): "We had possession and controlled the game in the first half and at the end, but we made too many mistakes to cause them problems. We weren't precise enough in the final third, and weren't good technically, especially from crosses…Nice are clinical this season. In spite of the defeat, we're still in the hunt, three points behind Marseille. We have to go to Marseille and Saint-Étienne. Things are still tight."
Stade de Reims 1-1 LOSC
David Guion (Reims coach): "I think a draw is a fair result on the balance of play. We played well against a great opponent and tactically we played to a very high level in the first half. My players were really excellent. You could feel they were starting to get annoyed as we weren't giving them anything. We gave Lille the chance to score from a set-piece, but my players were very good tactically after that too, because we stayed very well organisede and we managed to equalise."
Christophe Galtier (Lille coach): "There were a lot of incidents in the game that have left us frustrated and angry. We came here with the aim of winning against a very compact, well-organised side. They defended deep and didn't give us a lot of space. When we went forward, there were a lot of players in key positions, and Reims defended well. I don't get the impression we slackened off, there was just a reaction from Reims. The regret I have is that we conceded a goal from a throw-in."
Toulouse FC 1-0 FC Nantes
Alain Casanova (Toulouse coach): "We should have killed the game off and led 2-0 at least. We lacked a ruthless streak. After deservedly opening the score, we were never able to score that second goal that would have made our lives more comfortable, and we really suffered towards the end of the game against a team that really went for it. These three points will do us a lot of good both in terms of the league table and mentally. I don't want to talk about being safe. There are still seven games to go, and a lot of things can happen."
Vahid Halilhodzic (Nantes coach): "I can't fault my players apart from their lack of a clinical edge. We were just missing a goal, that's all, because we played well. It's a shame, because we had chances to score. We came here to win, and the president even announced he would triple the win bonus if we won. I've been trying to get people focussed on the fact we're in the relegation battle for a while. I think the players are aware of that."
Saturday, April 6, 2019
Olympique Lyonnais 1-3 Dijon FCO
Bruno Genesio (Lyon coach): "That is twice in four days that we are very disappointed, a little bit more so this evening. It has been a black week for the club. What we need to do now is start climbing back up the hill again. We still have the chance to qualify for the Champions League. We need to stick together, keep fighting and prepare for Friday's match at Nantes. It is tough. I don't know if it's my most difficult season - you never know what can happen from one match to another. Nobody could have imagined what would happen after we scored so early on. Football can sometimes be cruel. This is a very difficult spell. We will see if we have a team with the resources to go and achieve the objective we set ourselves for the end of this season."
Antoine Kombouaré (Dijon coach): "It is a miraculous result and beyond our expectations. To get a point here would have been a great result. I am very pleased for the players. Lyon pushed, had chances, but they lacked precision. We got the breaks. We are so pleased. We knew they could not afford to lose, and that is was impossible for them to lose against the bottom side. The stadium turned against them and we saw their players start to make basic mistakes."
Amiens SC 2-2 AS Saint-Etienne
Christophe Pelissier (Amiens coach): "I understand the anger and the frustration of the players. The players deserve to be congratulated - they were heroic. We might have been outplayed, but we showed great intelligence in the way we approached the game. We have not been rewarded in terms of points, like last week, but we continue to add points, and if we keep going like that we will stay up. There is some frustration but we will take the posiitves."
Jean-Louis Gasset (Saint-Etienne coach): "Equalising in the 95th minute is a little ray of sunshine for us. But we need other ingredients thrown in if we are to achieve the objectives we have set ourselves. They showed what it really means to play for each other, and we didn't. We played a little bit as individuals - it was borderline arrogance at times against a team who were hungry. That is not what we usually do, so we need to put that right."
Angers SCO 3-3 Stade Rennais FC
Stéphane Moulin (Angers coach): "That was pure pleasure. I am happy with what we did and I congratulate my team for what they have done since the winter break. We have shown good things, and the players and the team are making progress. They enjoyed themselves and provided pleasure. We decided to play with intensity from the off, because they played on Tuesday. We started well and then they took control of the ball. Then it becomes harder to catch them because they have quality players. At half-time I asked for more aggression, and the goal from Jeff (Reine-Adélaïde) was proof of that - powerful, under the bar. We needed to show more determination, and we did that in the second half."
Julien Stéphan (Rennes coach): "I enjoyed myself until the 93rd minute, and then we cracked right at the end of injury time at a set-piece. There is real disappointment in the dressing room, but we have to acknowledge that Angers made it difficult for us, especially in the second half. Angers made us suffer at times with their quality, especially going forward. We already had difficulties coming back after half-time against Lyon, so there are things we need to sort out. When you concede a goal in the 93rd minute it goes down as two points dropped. But the draw is not an unfair result. The goal by Hatem (Ben Arfa) was extraordinary - it had everything: talent, subtleness and intelligence."
EA Guingamp 1-1 AS Monaco
Jocelyn Gourvennec (Guingamp coach): "It is of course difficult to accept dropping two points like that. However, on the whole Monaco deserved the draw because they played very well. We really unsettled them in the first half by pressing high. In the second half it was a bit more difficult because they controlled the game more. We can only rely on ourselves. It is up to us to go out and get points, because nobody will gift them to us. Remember: we were seen as dead and buried by lots of people, but we are still here."
Leonardo Jardim (Monaco coach): "I think the draw was the right result. Guingamp started well in the first 20 minutes, with their fans behind them, and we conceded a goal from a corner. After that we were in control and had lots of chances to equalise. In the second half the attitude of the players was good. Our objective is of course to stay as far away as possible from the bottom three, and we came here to Guingamp looking to win the game. Every game is a war in the fight to stay up and it will continue right to the end."
Nîmes Olympique 2-0 SM Caen
Bernard Blaquart (Nîmes coach): "We are very satisfied at getting back to winning ways, because we were expecting a tough game against a side fighting for survival. We needed to be patient and stay well organised, and we were rewarded in the end. Tonight we can say that Nîmes have 100 percent secured survival with the smallest budget in Ligue 1. Now we can start to look forward to next season."
Fabien Mercadal (Caen coach): "We wanted to put in a solid performance. We almost did that only to crack five minutes from the end. It was too late for us to have a chance of getting an equaliser. Before that we were serious and compact but we didn't do enough going forward. It wasn't a bad performance but we did not manage to get a point. Nevertheless, after back-to-back away games we are still alive thanks to our win at Monaco. We are disappointed, but there are seven matches left and we are still alive."
Friday, April 5, 2019
Girondins de Bordeaux 2-0 Olympique de Marseille
Paulo Sousa (Bordeaux coach): "There is a lot of satisfaction, for me and all Bordelais. I must congratulate my players, who understood our strategy. I hope this win will give the players confidence. In the opening minutes, they showed what they were going to do throughout the game, and the mentality that I want to keep, a winning culture. By playing high up the pitch, we were able to make the right decisions when we won the ball back by moving into space. We were very compact with very good distance between the lines, and we created good chances for ourselves to score. The team took good decisions at certain moments of the match to control the rhythm."
Rudi Garcia (Marseille coach): "We deserved better given the way we played, but they were more efficient than us. They got all of their seven shots on target while we got five out of 20, just 25 per cent. I'm annoyed…We made communication errors. We'll see where we end up at the end of the weekend, but there are 21 points still available, and it's in our interest to take as many of them as possible."