Masculins / Lille 1-2 OL

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Published on 16 February 2007 at 11:26 PM
Reactions after the match between Lille and OL.
Gérard Houllier: In terms of character, it’s what I expected as, in terms of our play, there was a lot of room for improvement. I understand Lille’s pain; it happened to us in Marseille or against Troyes. They had one single chance… and then those heroics at the end. That sort of thing can be a turning point in a league. Lille is a tough team to play. What my team did well was that they managed to play another kind of football. Maybe it wasn’t very technical or attractive, but at the end of the game, they didn’t have many chances on goal.

Toto Squillaci: We’re happy. We’ve made up 3 points. We didn’t give many chances away. We knew it would be tough, that we would have some trouble against a good Lille side. It wasn’t easy but we managed to take a win that’ll do us good ahead of out trip to Rome. Once again we showed that we are mentally very tough. That’s what makes a great team. So what if it wasn’t the most beautiful thing in the world? We got the 3 points.

Patrice Bergues: Fred’s goal was splendid. Fred’s been working on that for a while, after training. His morale has been getting better and better over the last fortnight. Like anyone who has been injured, he has taken some time to get back in the saddle but now he’s getting back to the devastating form he showed at the beginning of the season. People said before the game that OL needed to consolidate the win over Lorient last week. Our play wasn’t exactly terrible, but the mentality has returned. So has the talent of never giving up. The players hunted down their negative feelings. On the free kick, we really got the feeling that Fred was taking things in hand and was going to really hit it. A striker’s instinct. The goal is dedicated to Juni.

François Clerc: We managed to make the difference sat the death to bring back an important victory from Lille. We knew it would be a tough match, but thanks to our mentality and our will to win, we did it. After the goal, we pushed really hard while staying tight defensively. Fred scored this great goal that got us back into the match and gave us the chance to win through one of our strengths: set pieces. It’s a really important victory for the title and the championship. It sets us up well for our match on Wednesday. It augurs well for the future.

Eric Abidal: At the end, we managed to convert our chances. We had a good chance with Fred’s free kick and a half-chance with Toto’s goal. That gave us the 3 points. We weren’t having much luck and we knew Lille is a team that can play. Tonight, we rediscovered our tight defence and our superior will to win. We gave it everything. In our heads, we were never beaten. After their goal, they sat back. That let us raise our heads and believe we could win. In Rome, it will be a different kettle of fish. We will have to produce a very solid performance and get a good result to avoid unnecessary stress for the home leg.

Jean-Michel Aulas: In the toughest moments, I kept smiling and kept confidence in this amazing squad which did tonight what we hoped for and used its qualities to reach its objectives. Tonight’s match was very important in terms of the championship as we now have 18 points over Lille and also in terms of our dynamic, which has taken a turn for the better.
Gérard (Houllier) wrote the script for tonight beforehand. He wanted to give his team back its defensive confidence and asked his players to not to go forward for as long as it took, as keeping a clean sheet was imperative. But as soon as we conceded, he changed tactics and brought the right players into the right positions. It was a tactical choice to shut down the game, to resist, to show that we could play in this tactical formation, because sometimes in Europe you need to be able to do this away from home. You can’t analyse things in absolutes, you have top put them in perspective from what was asked to the players who did it formidably. Above all, you can’t have a restrictive approach. Winning here in Lille is tough whether you’re playing well or poorly. I will admit this: we can still play better.

Check out all the reactions on video at OLWEB PREMIUM.

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