OM’s goal-hero Florian Thauvin was pleased his side’s persistence paid off as they drew 1-1 at home to Nantes thanks to his late strike; Nantes boss Claudio Ranieri was happy with the point despite conceding at the death.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

 Olympique de Marseille 1 – 1 FC Nantes 

Florian Thauvin (Olympique de Marseille forward): “Things didn’t go our way all that much; we had a lot of chances and we had to really fight hard to score our goal. It’s a shame we missed the chance to take all three points. We were up against a very tough Nantes team. There was no space to work in and it was tough and intense. We attacked the whole time. The goal did me a lot of good and helped the team out, because we got a point tonight.”

Claudio Ranieri (FC Nantes coach): “It was a good match that was also complicated. We scored a great goal and we controlled the match. When Marseille, who were playing high up the pitch, lost the ball, they wanted to stop us high up the pitch as well. We had to stay calm. But it’s a draw and a point won as far as we’re concerned.”

 Montpellier Hérault SC  1 – 1  Olympique Lyonnais 

Michel Der Zakarian (Montpellier coach): “I am disappointed because we had been in front after a good start to the match, scoring a lovely goal. But we didn’t defend very well in the first half and we lost the ball too quickly. If we had managed to keep possession, made them chase after us, we could have hurt them.”

Bruno Genesio (Lyon coach): “There is no satisfaction, but there is hope. We showed that we are capable of reacting when we are in a difficult situation, of coming back into a match which is never easy here in Montpellier. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the victory. There is disappointment, but the players showed character and quality to come back into the match after conceding such an early goal. If we are to have regrets, they are not from this match, but rather from the games against Monaco, Rennes or Lille. I thought we could have won the game because we had opportunities. The players showed mental strength and the second half can help us going forward. As long as (the podium) remains mathematically possible we will keep believing. The team showed a positive energy in the second half in a difficult context.”

 SM Caen  2 – 0  RC Strasbourg Alsace 

Patrice Garande (Caen coach): “I was worried about the physical state of the players and the emotional fall-out from the Cup. We had to remobilise quickly for this one. We won, but that is all we will come away with from the game because it wasn’t a great match. It was two teams with identical systems, and so we sort of cancelled each other out. The technical quality was not great, but once again we showed the virtues of solidarity. Even with the fatigue, the players kept going and never gave up, and they were rewarded. I’m not going to be unhappy about how clinical we were against Lyon in the Cup and then against Strasbourg. I hope we can keep that up.”

Thierry Laurey (Strasbourg coach): “There is disappointment, but that is logical in the sense that we left Caen with the chance to hurt us despite them not having many chances. That is what happens at the top level – they made the most of it. I am annoyed about the first goal we conceded, because we knew what Caen would do and we should have taken precautions to prevent it. The most annoying thing is that it is what we expected. The first half was fine, without being revolutionary. Our goalkeeper did not have a save to make and yet we conceded the goal. That shows we still have a lot to learn. When Caen get in front they are difficult to break down. Neither team wanted to expose themselves too much, only one was punished. That was the story of the game. We will work on getting our attack going again.”

Saturday, March 3, 2018

 ESTAC Troyes 0-2 Paris Saint-Germain Logo Paris Saint-Germain

Jean-Louis Garcia (Troyes coach): “I think we played the ideal first half [Troyes went into the interval with the scores at 0-0]. But the problem these days is that we’re making catastrophic starts to the second half. It’s always very difficult to compete against PSG when you’re a small club like l’Estac. It’s unfortunate, but we’ve been frustrated in a lot of games. I believe that we can maintain our Ligue 1 Conforama status. You can be sure that I won’t give up. We didn’t embarrass ourselves against PSG- We showed heart and courage.”

Unai Emery (PSG coach): “This was an important match following two games against Marseille [both of which PSG won 3-0]. I’m very happy. We maintained our level; didn’t conceded chances; we were patient. The players’ mentality was excellent. We were able to rest players and we’re ready for Tuesday [against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League last 16]. Marquinhos is fine, he trained today. [Marco] Verratti has a bit of pain. He could have played today but we need him for Tuesday. Kylian [Mbappé]? The doctor said the best thing was to rest him.”

 Amiens SC 0-2 Stade Rennais FC 

Christophe Pelissier (Amiens coach): “There’s a bitter taste after tonight’s game. We can’t say that we lacked desire. I can’t blame the players. The pitch was difficult and we made Rennes work. We should have taken one of our many chances in the first half, but that’s football. You have to be ruthless in the final third. We didn’t manage that tonight.”

Sabri Lamouchi (Rennes coach): “The first half hour was very difficult, I didn’t like how we started. Amiens had great chances that we didn’t know how to shut down. We didn’t play well but it’s a real achievement that we won in Amiens. I liked my players’ mentality. We’re fifth right now but it might not stay that way.”

 Angers SCO 3-0 EA Guingamp 

Stéphane Moulin (Angers coach): “The scoreline aside, this wasn’t an easy game. We started well; I wish we’d made more of our first-half dominance. As the game went on I felt we got more dangerous. We deserved the win: we had 15 shots, six on target, and scored three goals. We must praise the players. They never let go.”

Antoine Kombouaré (Guingamp coach): “It’s clear that we had a terrible start. We failed to learn the lessons of the last match [Guingamp lost 3-0 at Angers SCO last Saturday]. We weren’t decisive enough. Having the ball is one thing; putting your opponent under pressure with is quite another. I’m waiting for my players to turn things around. Let’s see if we have guts.”

 FC Metz 1-1 Toulouse FC 

Frédéric Hantz (Metz coach): “This is a frustrating and disappointing result. We knew it wouldn’t be an easy match against a team in great form. We deserved to score first. The players pushed themselves hard; there is nothing to reproach them for. There are still ten games to play until the season is over. Nothing is lost yet. Whatever happens, we must do our best.”

Michaël Debève (Toulouse coach): “This is a big disappointment tonight. We came to win, but we failed. We were non-existent in the first half, in every sense. We had to work in the second half and try to come back and leave with at least a point. It’s very frustrating to only take one point. We really lost two.”

 AS Saint-Etienne 2-2 Dijon FCO 

Jean-Louis Gasset (Saint-Etienne coach): “We could have scored four or five goals. We played against a fine attacking team – we could have expected goals in this match! We continue on our unbeaten run [ASSE have gone six games without defeat], even if the top half of the table still eludes us. The players never gave up.”

Olivier Dall’Oglio (Dijon coach): “This is a very good point. Saint-Etienne were the better for long periods, and we managed to draw as a result of our bravery. We had better chances in the second half. Both teams had chances. I thought we might be able to make it tell late in the game.”

Friday, March 2, 2018

 OGC Nice  2 – 1  LOSC 

Lucien Favre (Nice coach): “It is an important victory, but the point we picked up against the odds in Bordeaux had already done us good. We started this match well and we wanted to score a second goal before the break. The players reacted magnificently after conceding the equaliser, again from a goal that was avoidable. We stayed in the game but often get ourselves into difficulty by leaving spaces. Our second goal was magnificent: prodded cross by Arnaud Souquet who hadn’t played since the start of the year, and then a great finish by Wylan Cyprien who went into the 18-yard box once and scored. Wylan still has work to do, especially in terms of finding his rhythm, but that is only logical after 10 months out with a serious knee injury. But he already brings a lot to the team at set-pieces and with his passes that accelerate the speed of the play. He is not yet in a position to put together a run of games. Since his return, he has already been injured twice. That is why we are being careful and we will continue to be.”

Christophe Galtier (Lille coach): “It is another defeat and with two more goals conceded. A result like that makes it very difficult to find anything to be satisfied about. But the players lived up to my expectations in terms of the game plan and the spirit shown. The spirit was there. They were not rewarded. When Lucien Favre put on Arnaud Souquet, we were preparing a solution to that on the right-hand side with Hamza Mendyl. But before he could come on, we conceded a second goal as a result of a positional error in our defence. The players kept trying right to the end to get an equaliser, but without luck. That is the lot of teams who are struggling. We need to maintain hope and just keep working and showing the right spirit to get out of this.”

 AS Monaco  2 – 1  Girondins de Bordeaux 

Leonardo Jardim (Monaco coach): “I hope to have a good weekend. Friday has been good anyway, but the most important thing is to say that Monaco played really well, with lots of quality. It was our best first-half performance of the season. I was very pleased at half-time and I said that to the players. Collectively we played very well, but we missed five one-on-one chances. Normally we would lose confidence from that. I said at half-time we had to keep going and that the goal would come. We should have been 3-1 up at half-time. Putting pressure on Lyon and Marseille? We put pressure on ourselves. We don’t think about the others. There are 10 matches left and they are 10 finals. (On Rony Lopes) It is up to the players to show their ability to succeed. I congratulate him. He has made the most of the eight months since his return here and has kept working and progressing.”

Gustavo Poyet (Bordeaux coach): “We didn’t play well and didn’t defend well. It is difficult to talk now. I need to look at the match in peace and see why we gave so many chances to the opposition. It was not good at all. We stayed in the match because Benoît (Costil) was fantastic and Monaco missed one-on-one chances. Otherwise the game would have been over at half-time. We need to change immediately and win next week. But it will be different anyway, because players like Malcom and (Soualiho) Meïté will be back. When we were 1-0 up it was a miracle. But the goal before half-time changed everything. Monaco attacked all the time and created chances. After the Lopes goal, I watched the replay because I was wondering how he could be all alone. We did nothing good today. Sometimes we say that nothing goes right, so you go home and you get back to work the next day.”


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