Week 17 reactions – OM's Garcia: 'Focus on ourselves'

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Olympique de Marseilles boss Rudi Garcia was delighted by his side’s 3-0 win over AS Saint-Etienne, whose coach Julien Sablé was livid following what he saw as a capitulation from his struggling side.

Sunday, 10 December, 2017

 Olympique de Marseille 3-0 AS Saint-Etienne 

Rudi Garcia (Olympique de Marseille coach): “We played an excellent match. Perhaps we could have been sharper in the first half, and maybe we were a bit unfortunate in the second – we hit the post twice. But we scored three goals, two of which came from our centre-forward [Valère Germain], which should shut down any debate about his value. It’s great to create chances and control the match from beginning to end. We kept pace with Lyon and Monaco but I told the players before the match that we should simply focus on ourselves. The lads lived up to my expectations and they enjoyed themselves. We always want to be like that but it’s not easy; you see that it’s not a cakewalk for the other sides every week either.”

Julien Sablé (AS Saint-Etienne coach): “I cannot accept what I saw tonight. I have never quit; I’m a competitor. What I saw tonight cannot go on. The club is, at this very moment, in danger. It’s not our place to be battling against relegation. Good evening.”

 FC Nantes 1-2 OGC Nice 

Claudio Ranieri (Nantes coach): “We played well, kept the ball well, tried to do good things, but our final passes or shots weren’t enough to win the match. So I’m happy with some things, disappointed for others. The first goal was conceded due to a lack of concentration, and the second is Balotelli. Everyone knows Balotelli. If you give him a goal like that…He had had the chance to shoot before that, but Tatarusanu kept it out. We have to keep working, improving.”

Lucien Favre (Nice coach): “I’m really happy with what we produced in terms of our play. I think the possession was not bad. The win isn’t undeserved given the game. We gave them some gifts with passes we shouldn’t have lost at the back, in the middle and up front. Some small technical mistakes can cost you dear, because they’re a team that counter-attacks terribly quickly. We knew we could do something here, but that we could also have big problems, because they’re a team that is fully committed physically in both halves, who goes forward to win the ball back, but we handled it well. It’s encouraging.”

 Amiens SC 1-2 Olympique Lyonnais 

Christophe Pélissier (Amiens coach): “It’s cruel. The players are down. It’s hugely disappointing not to have taken at least a point. That was the least we should have done given our display. I’m also very proud of what we were able to do, notably in the first half. We were able to cause them problems, but unfortunately we suffered the harsh law of football. We have to try and get over this big disappointment. We weren’t rewarded today, but we’re going to continue on this path.”

Bruno Genesio (Lyon coach): “It’s not really a deserved win. To say that would be to offend Amiens, who caused us a lot of problems. We had been warned, but we started the game disastrously, we weren’t in the challenges. In the second half, we reacted well, especially in the last half-hour. Tanguy [Ndombele] coming off the bench was key. We were lucky, but we also tried to get the equaliser and then the win by rolling our sleeves up.”

Saturday, December 9, 2017

 Paris Saint-Germain  3 – 1   LOSC Lille 

Unai Emery (Paris Saint-Germain coach): “I am happy with the performance. Some of the players who did not play on Tuesday (against Bayern Munich) participated, and some of them scored like Ángel Di María and Javier Pastore. And we controlled the game better than in our previous two league matches, against Troyes and Strasbourg. We only conceded one chance, which was the goal. We didn’t want to concede a goal to boost our confidence, but the team responded well to that by going looking for the third goal and not conceding any more chances. After the defeat on Tuesday, I wanted to keep some players in the side, not change everyone. I am very happy with Thomas (Meunier), but I have asked him to be patient. Dani (Alves) is ready to play every match and I can rotate sometimes. After our two defeats, our record went from perfect to very good. But we are fine. We finished on top of our Champions League group with a record number of goals. We are ready, and all the more so after what we learned in Munich. I am sure the team will be very strong (coming into the Champions League last 16). I’ll take any team (in Monday’s draw).”

Fernando Da Cruz (Member of Lille’s interim management team): “We can’t say it was positive, although there were positive elements. We were far from ridiculous. I won’t count the third goal. We gave everything, were very disciplined. Even if it is not the flamboyant of PSG of the start of the season, they are still top, and came first in their Champions League group. When I hear people say PSG are in crisis – lots of coaches would like to be in a crisis like that. They are a formidable team even when they are not playing so well.”

 Angers SCO  1 – 1  Montpellier Hérault SC 

Stéphane Moulin (Angers coach): “When you end a run of three defeats, it is not a bad evening. But our current situation means it is not enough. My regret is that we got the goal and then had two or three chances to score again, but couldn’t do it. But in terms of the effort put in by the players, and our game plan, it all worked quite well. It was difficult against a solid side with strong players. I think we used the right system, but it was not enough. We are not delighted but we have to settle for it, even if I felt we were closer to getting a winner.”

Michel Der Zakarian (Montpellier coach): “I have regrets looking back at the first half, in which I thought we were solid and caused them problems but the final pass was not right, or our decision-making was off in the final third. We had a great 20-minute spell in the second half. But we struggled to handle Angers’ attacks. Our opponents played with greater precision and more rhythm. Since Dijon we are unbeaten (away). We are doing well away but we need to build on that at home.”

 EA Guingamp  4 – 0  Dijon FCO 

Antoine Kombouaré (Guingamp coach): “It is enormously satisfying. That is three matches in which we have not conceded and tonight we scored four. There is also relief because we felt it was tight. We must not forget that we played practically an hour and 20 minutes with 11 against 10. For us, it was much easier to play with the numerical advantage. In recent weeks, we have continued to show confidence in the players to help them through this bad run. We hadn’t lost our qualities but we had lost confidence. But we must not get carried away. I want to see us stay solid and disciplined because up front we have the quality.”

Olivier Dall’Oglio (Dijon coach): “Before talking about the sending-off, I thought we gave up too quickly. Instead of fighting, I thought everyone went down a notch. After three minutes we had already gifted them the ball twice. It is sickening. There is not much for us to be proud of, and we leave with a spanking. And it’s not the first time. I am really upset. We were gobbled up, late to every cross, poor defensively. We had a man less, but it was as though they had five more players on the field. I am worried about the rest of the season away from home. I didn’t recognise some of the players who played last week. It puts a dampener on our ambitions.”

 FC Metz  1 – 1  Stade Rennais FC 

Frédéric Hantz (Metz coach): “In our situation I expect especially a good performance and we finally got one tonight. There were some of the ingredients that you need to stand a chance of winning a game in Ligue 1. We had already felt that the performance at Nice was better. There are things we can work on, lots of encouraging things, positives. But there were also things that were not at all good enough. I think we deserved to win, but that is how it is. There are lots of things going against us.”

Sabri Lamouchi (Rennes coach): “I feel for Metz as they deserved more than one point. Our performance was nowhere near good enough to hope for more. I am absolutely not satisfied. We didn’t manage to string three passes together and made too many errors. We could have been much further behind at the break. It is a point against the run of play but I will take it.”

AS Monaco  3 – 2  ESTAC Troyes

Leonardo Jardim (Monaco coach): “There was lots of emotion and lots of goals, a great fightback and great spirit shown by the players. We deserved the victory. The team showed a lot of character. That is the most important thing. I am passionate about football. I am very pleased with the victory and for (Guido) Carrillo. He is an exceptional guy who works hard. Today our goalkeeper was not at his usual level. I asked him to give me his shirt at the end so I could keep it to remind me of the victory and the fightback. It is not important to play a lot but to play well. Carrillo has done that. I am pleased with the comeback. It is our first this season. Last year we did that five times. It is magnificent.”

Jean-Louis Garcia (Troyes coach): “We missed out on what would have been a great result. That is twice now against the big boys. At the Parc (2-0 defeat at PSG), it was 0-0 and we cracked. Here, at 2-0, I thought we had the job done…especially as the first 10 minutes were really good. We were a bit lucky with the two goals, but we made our luck. Then their first goal really hurt us. At 2-1 they got their confidence and the stadium woke up. We were really unlucky with that goal as (Mathieu) Deplagne deflected it in off his hip. The introductions of Carrillo and Ghezzal were also important. The depth of the Monaco squad made the difference. Monaco really pushed and took risks. It is a shame that we were so naive. We lacked bottle, maturity. We need to grow up and make sure this doesn’t happen again in the second half of the season. Before hosting Amiens, which is going to be like a little final for us, a bonus point here would have done us good. It is hard to take for the players.”

Toulouse FC  2 – 0  SM Caen

Mickaël Debève (Toulouse assistant coach): “It is a great victory, very important for the club. The players gave everything to get the three points. It was a tight game and Caen were well organised, but the players stuck at it and were rewarded. Pascal Dupraz (who could not attend the press conference for personal reasons) congratulated them at the end. We have quality players, there is still a long way to go this season and we need to continue like that.”

Patrice Garande (Caen coach): “We had control of the game, were playing well, creating opportunities, but we couldn’t score and from our first defensive mistake we conceded a goal. We are not scoring and what annoys me is that I don’t feel from my players the desire to go and kill a game when we are on top. We are not aggressive enough. We know we are not scoring enough goals and that it is a problem we need to sort out. Playing well is not sufficient.”

Friday, December 8, 2017

 Girondins de Bordeaux 0-3 RC Strasbourg Alsace

Jocelyn Gourvennec (Bordeaux coach): “It’s a very difficult time. We were broken down very quickly. Strasbourg got confidence immediately, and we were doubting from the start. They could have scored more goals. We also had situations, but we could have played for two hours without scoring. We have to keep our heads up. You have to be able to stay dignified in these moments. I understand the fans’ anger. I don’t like it. When you’re Bordeaux, you have to win matches like this against a promoted side. Now, we have to keep working to go get some points.”

Thierry Laurey (Strasbourg coach): “You have to be fair: we didn’t dominate. But we have beaten a very good team. I thought the Bordeaux fans were a bit harsh. It’s a very good day for us. We scored three goals away from home without conceding. That’s something new for us. That can give us positive things for the future, as long as we keep our feet on the ground and our heads on our shoulders. But it’s true that the performance level of my players surprises me. It’s not nothing to come and win 3-0 in Bordeaux.”

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