Unai Emery described his Paris Saint-Germain players as “exemplary” after the win at Nice in a match that Lucien Favre felt was a good advert for the French game.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

OGC Nice 1 – 2 Paris Saint-Germain

Lucien Favre (Nice coach): “I hope it was a good advert for our championship as it was a good match. We were better in the first half but after that we found it harder to escape markers, there was less intensity and fewer runs were being put in to get back into position defensively. Matches don’t last 45 minutes but 95 minutes! I regret the two goals we conceded as they were avoidable. Paris upped the tempo after the break but we had the chances to earn a draw.”

Unai Emery (Paris Saint-Germain coach): “It’s true that we lost the title here last year and it was as match every bit as difficult as last season’s. My team responded well. The individual and collective attitudes were exemplary. We suffered throughout but we responded well. Little by little we managed to impose our ideas and that required a lot of investment from the players. We have reacted well since the Real loss. I’m going to take it match by match and we have the Coupe de la Ligue final against Monaco, the Coupe de France to play and the end of the league season. I’m making the most of every moment with this team.”

FC Metz 1-1 FC Nantes

Frédéric Hantz (Metz coach): “I’m pretty satisfied with how we played. Our recent results haven’t been good but our displays have been coherent and give the impression we are capable of winning. I know we’re bottom with this point but I don’t look at the standings. It’s not over because mathematically it’s not over. I think we’re capable of winning quite a few of our remaining games and we’ll need to.”

Claudio Ranieri (Nantes coach): “We had a lot of chances in the first half and not so many in the second when we made a lot of mistakes with our passing. We always play to win but when you’re unable to win you need to make sure you don’t lose. Usually we are better in the second halves of games than in the first and I don’t understand what happened there. I’ll have to speak to my players to find out the reasons behind it.”

AS Saint-Etienne 2-0 EA Guingamp

Jean-Louis Gasset (Saint-Etienne coach): “I had faith in my players and we’ve been playing well for a while. Today we controlled the game well. If we keep progressing defensively, like today, and we become more clinical in attack then that will be good. To keep the run going we’re going to need to go to Nantes and get a result. I’m hopeful given the quality of our play and our mentality.”

Antoine Kombouaré (Guingamp coach): “We can’t have many regrets as we came up against a good Saint-Etienne side that caused us a lot problems in the first half. We didn’t have the ball and we were defending and we were fortunate to only be a goal down at the break. I preferred the second half when we caused them problems. We’re chasing games far too often at the moment and we’ve been found wanting both technically and mentally.”

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Girondins de Bordeaux 0 – 2 Stade Rennais FC

Gustavo Poyet (Bordeaux coach): “Throughout my life, when I was a player and now as a coach, I have always accepted responsibility. I am not going to change. I try to convince the players of what they need to do. We train to play a certain way and then we come to the game, and even if we were not bad like last week in the first half, there is always something missing. One day it’s a cross, another it’s the ability to get in behind, the technique, the aggression. We conceded a goal from a mistake (by Costil) but we must not forget that there were no chances before that. That action changed everything. It reminded me of what I saw on video before I arrived. Maybe I’ll play next week! I know what happened on September 30 against Paris Saint-Germain and for the three months after, and I can’t accept it happening again. If we have to change everything, we will change everything. I don’t care. Can you change a player who is not aggressive? You need years and he might never become like that. We need to work with the players who are here but we are going to change a lof of things.”

Sabri Lamouchi (Rennes coach): “On paper it was not easy. Winning in Bordeaux is not easy. History has shown that. I have to congratulate my players for this performance. The victory is fully deserved even if we should have scored the second goal sooner. This team has won at Lyon, at Marseille and at Bordeaux. That means the potential is there. We want to be in the race (for a European place) until the end. When we come back we play Monaco at home and then we go to Nice. The fixture list is not easy but it is interesting for the players to be coming against teams like that at this stage of the season.”

Amiens SC 1 – 1 ESTAC Troyes

Christophe Pelissier (Amiens coach): “We can call the draw the right result. If we have to take something positive from the game, it is the fact that we have kept Troyes behind us. We continue to pick up points, in spite of everything.”

Jean-Louis Garcia (Troyes coach): “It was an even game. It was very harsh on us to be behind at half-time because we had controlled the game and had the best chances. Fortunately we reacted well after the break. The state of the pitch made it difficult to play well. Even if we hoped for better, we can be satisfied with the point which allows us to stop the haemorrhage away from home. Every point gained in Ligue 1 is a good point.”

Angers SCO 3 – 0 SM Caen

Stéphane Moulin (Angers coach): “It is always a perfect evening when you win 3-0. It wasn’t far off the perfect match in terms of the way we played. We were clinical in the first half. Overall they had very few clear chances while we had a good few. This was an important match for us and in the big games so far, we have shown up. I said that the season would not be over, regardless of the result tonight. We have not reached our objective, but we are a step closer. We have built up a little gap to our direct rivals and we have kept up the confidence in the squad.”

Patrice Garande (Caen coach): “I am disappointed at the defeat. My biggest regret is the first goal. That put us in a situation that they love, and in which they excel. They play deep, packing men behind the ball, and then at the slightest error they break. It becomes difficult when we no longer have control, when the passes are not good enough. It sums things up for us at the moment. We will make the most of the next fortnight to recuperate well. I think less than 40 points will be enough to stay up. We still have to play Troyes, Amiens, Toulouse. We are not far away but this is a difficult moment for us.”

Montpellier Hérault SC 2 – 2 Dijon FCO

Michel Der Zakarian (Montpellier coach): “We are dropping too many points. It is not normal to not win this match after coming from behind and having chances to be out of sight. There are still eight matches left. We need to win five or six more if we want to hold onto fifth or sixth place. Given that we were safe before this game, we could have played in a much more liberated manner.”

Olivier Dall’Oglio (Dijon coach): “To score twice and get a draw in Montpellier is very good. We can play better than that though. It felt like we wanted to concede a goal in order to be able to react. We are playing some good stuff, but we also have moments where we go missing. We give too many chances to our opponents. We are advancing gently towards survival.”

Toulouse FC 2 – 2 RC Strasbourg Alsace

Mickaël Debève (Toulouse coach): “We feel great frustration because we didn’t play the way we set out to. We were punished in the 95th minute because we were not paying attention. We come away with a point but we had two more with just a few seconds left so it’s a real shame. We started badly, and so doubts set in. Without doubt the pressure that comes with the position we are in means we struggle to feel liberated. We showed our mental resources but it was not enough.”

Thierry Laurey (Strasbourg coach): “There were a lot of goals in a short space of time but we can console ourselves by saying that it didn’t end too badly for us. We will take the result even if I think we would have deserved to win it. We got distracted for two minutes and it cost us. There is frustration for us, and there must be for Toulouse too at conceding in the 95th minute. It was not a bad performance. I said to the boys that if we keep playing like that we will stay up.”

Friday, March 16, 2018

AS Monaco 2 – 1 LOSC

Leonardo Jardim (Monaco coach): “Lille played well. A draw would have been a fair result. They controlled the match well in the first half. We were better in the second half. But we lost control again towards the end and I had to replace Falcao, who was just coming back (from injury). It was not a great performance from Monaco. I think we misplaced more passes in this game than in any other. Lille are in the relegation zone but they have players who are very good technically.”

Christophe Galtier (Lille coach): “Every defeat hurts, even more so in our situation. We have reason to grumble because we gave goals away from positional errors and sometimes from over-confidence. I had not spoken about results to my players. I simply asked them to make things very difficult for Monaco. We only made it difficult for them. That was not enough to take a point from the game. We lacked precision in key areas. We gifted the second goal.On two or three occasions we got carried away doing things we might do on the training ground, and against Monaco you don’t get away with that. It is a defeat, it’s negative. But we must not be tense and nervous in our next match against Amiens. We need to turn around our current form. We are fighting.”


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