Posts Tagged ‘Bafétimbi Gomis’

French football quotes of the year 2014


Marcelo Bielsa“There’s already one of ours who’s up there [Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa], and I wish him the best. Rémy, I think he deserves something else than Newcastle. I wouldn’t go there. You must get bored shitless in Newcastle.”
– Montpellier president Louis Nicollin on reports linking Rémy Cabella with a move to Newcastle United

“At Milan, they treated me like a king. People were courteous, welcoming and always willing to help. At a restaurant, in France, you sit down and not only do they make you wait for a very long time, but they treat you badly. It was disconcerting, but now I’ve adapted: if someone treats me badly, I treat them badly in return. I’m a real Parisian now.”
– Paris Saint-Germain’s Thiago Silva on the joys of life in the capital

Loïc Féry: “Thank you.”
Christian Gourcuff: “I’m not saying thank you to you [vous].”
Loïc Féry: “So we’re vous-ing each other now?”
Christian Gourcuff: “Yes, yes, we’re vous-ing each other now.”
– Terse exchange between Lorient president Loïc Féry and outgoing coach Christian Gourcuff, caught on camera by Canal+ after Lorient’s 4-1 loss at home to Lille on the season’s final day

“For him to be bad is one thing, but for him to be stupid is something else.”
– Nice captain Didier Digard hits out at referee Antony Gautier after being sent off for handball during a 1-1 draw at Saint-Étienne. He later apologised

“It’s not glasses he needs – it’s a Labrador!”
– Lyon midfielder Clément Grenier to referee Ruddy Buquet after a stormy 2-1 loss at home to Saint-Étienne

“I’m surprised by the unacceptable and immature attitude of Romao, who made vulgar remarks towards [Canal + pundit] Pierre Ménès and me because he couldn’t think of anything else to say after fouling me but insult me. I quote: ‘Go and suck that fat Pierre Ménès.’ Unacceptable.”
Bafétimbi Gomis, then with Lyon, on a dispute with Marseille midfielder Alaixys Romao

“So then Mr Gomis, about the ‘son of a whore’ and ‘tramp’ that you yelled at me on the pitch yesterday – I should tweet it, right?”
– Lorient midfielder Mathieu Coutadeur suggests Gomis is no angel himself

“The atmosphere on the pitch? The French were too arrogant, as usual.”
– Sweden Under-21 player Kiese Thelin after his side eliminated their French counterparts in an Under-21 European Championship play-off

“A coach is above all someone who works in the technical domain. And there are coaches who don’t coach, like Laurent Blanc at Paris, where it’s [Blanc’s assistant] Jean-Louis Gasset who takes care of it. I don’t like this model. A coach who doesn’t control the pitch, as far as I’m concerned, is not a coach.”
Christian Gourcuff

“I passed my coaching exams. Mr Gourcuff passed them 30 years ago. He should take them again and see that the job has evolved.”
Blanc responds

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Garde’s guidance restores sense and serenity to Stade Gerland

It is a measure of Lyon’s progress under Rémi Garde that Wednesday night’s 1-0 loss at Caen could be shrugged off as a mere inconvenience. Garde allowed himself a rueful smile during a pitchside interview after the match as he admitted he had been perplexed by his side’s sluggish approach to the game and in the subsequent press conference he was equally equanimous, likening the defeat to “a little kick up the bum”.

This time last year, Lyon had won just one of their first seven games and slipped into the relegation zone after a 1-0 defeat at the hands of their great rivals Saint-Etienne in the 100th Derby du Rhône. Disgruntled fans had begun to string up banners calling for Claude Puel’s dismissal in eye-catching locations across the city and although OL recovered to finish third, the mood scarcely improved.

Twelve months on and, despite having lost the last unbeaten record in the division at Caen, Lyon find themselves in third place, two points off top spot ahead of tomorrow’s game with Bordeaux. More importantly, Stade Gerland has become a happy place. Garde has galvanised the squad and has Lyon playing a brand of expansive, attack-minded football that has quickly won him the approval of the fans.

Strikingly, the turnaround has been effected without a single major summer signing and despite the fact several of OL’s most impressive performers were on the brink of leaving the club during the transfer window. Kim Källström looked destined for Galatasaray, Aly Cissokho was reportedly close to joining Liverpool and Michel Bastos spent the summer waiting for a call from Juventus that never came despite months of eyelash-fluttering from La Vecchia Signora.

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Report: New leaders Lyon plunge Marseille into despair

“PARIS — Eleven points separate Lyon and Marseille after OL defeated their title rivals 2-0 on Sunday to go top of Ligue 1 and consign Didier Deschamps’ hapless side to the bottom of the table.”

You can read my round-up of the weekend’s Ligue 1 action for AFP here.

La semaine en France: Week 24

A bite-size round-up of the week’s events in French football, for anyone who wants to keep up with what’s happening in Ligue 1 but hasn’t got the time (or the French) to do so.

Ligue 1
Having managed to avoid defeat since a 3-1 loss at home to Marseille in Week 10, Lille’s resistance finally buckled when they fell to a 1-0 loss in a scrappy and otherwise unremarkable game at Montpellier last Sunday.

Moroccan starlet Younes Belhanda scored the game’s only goal in the 84th minute, charging at the retreating Lille defence from the right flank, circumventing Adil Rami’s impromptu war dance on the edge of the box and drilling a deflected shot into the bottom-left corner. To make matters worse for Lille, all their title rivals won.

Rennes are now just two points off the pace in second place following a 2-1 win at Toulouse, while Marseille, Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain are all within four points of the leaders. Marseille moved up to third place by beating Saint-Etienne 2-1 in a fractious affair at the Vélodrome, but the night ended on a sour note for the champions after André-Pierre Gignac had to go off with a groin injury that ruled him out of the Champions League match with Manchester United.

Lyon and PSG remain level on points in fourth and fifth place respectively after both enjoyed one-sided victories. Lyon ran out 4-0 victors at home to Nancy on Friday night, while PSG outclassed Nice 3-0 on Sunday.

The week’s most eye-catching result was Bordeaux’s 5-1 capitulation at Lorient (after a tidy hat-trick from Kévin Gameiro), which prompted Bordeaux coach Jean Tigana to admit that the 2009 champions are now officially in crisis. There were red cards for Lorient full-back Franco Sosa and Bordeaux goalkeeper Cédric Carrasso – who was sent off for twice handling the ball outside his area – while Sochaux’s 3-2 win at Lens also finished with 10 men on each side after Toifilou Maoulida and Kévin Anin both saw red following a first-half tête-à-tête.

Ligue 1 results
Friday: Lyon 4-0 Nancy; Saturday: Auxerre 1-1 Arles-Avignon, Brest 2-0 Monaco, Caen 2-2 Valenciennes, Lens 2-3 Sochaux, Marseille 2-1 Saint-Etienne, Lorient 5-1 Bordeaux; Sunday: Montpellier 1-0 Lille, Nice 0-3 PSG, Toulouse 1-2 Rennes

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Report: Lyon old boy Benzema gives Real Madrid edge

“LYON, France — Karim Benzema scored against his former club Lyon to earn Real Madrid a 1-1 draw here on Tuesday that puts them in a strong position to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.”

My AFP match report can be read here.

La semaine en France: Week 20

A bite-size round-up of the week’s events in French football, for anyone who wants to keep up with what’s happening in Ligue 1 but hasn’t got the time (or the French) to do so.

Ligue 1
There were few signs of post-Christmas hangovers as Ligue 1 resumed after the winter break, with wins for all the serious title contenders.

Leaders Lille immediately hit their stride with a 2-0 win at Nice, before Eden Hazard and Gervinho inspired Rudi Garcia’s side to a comprehensive 3-0 defeat of Nancy in their re-arranged home game on Wednesday to send them four points clear of their title rivals.

Paris Saint-Germain, Rennes and Lyon head the chasing pack on 34 points, after all three kicked off 2011 with victories. PSG had the most difficult return to action, falling behind at home to Sochaux but equalising almost immediately through stand-in skipper Mamadou Sakho and securing a 2-1 victory thanks to a neat finish in the 23rd minute by Ludovic Giuly. Rennes, with new €3 million signing Razak Boukari spearheading the attack, put four unanswered goals past Arles-Avignon (including a delightful chip from Alexander Tettey and Yann M’Vila’s first ever Ligue 1 goal).

Yoann Gourcuff made his first appearance for Lyon since injuring his Achilles tendon at Schalke in November, but Bafétimbi Gomis was the star of the show with a brace of goals (the first an absolute stonker) in a 3-0 win over Lorient. Marseille had plenty of reason to cheer after beating Bordeaux 2-1. André-Pierre Gignac’s volleyed opener was his first goal at Stade Vélodrome since his summer move from Toulouse, while victory ended a run of five league games without a win and kept the champions within two points of PSG.

Toulouse climbed to sixth by beating Nancy 1-0, with Montpellier seventh after a late fightback saw them down Valenciennes 2-1. Saint-Etienne led 1-0 with 10 minutes to play at Lens but a Sébastien Roudet penalty quickly followed by a Loïc Perrin own goal saw Les Verts snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, dropping them two places to eighth.

Ligue 1 results
Saturday: Auxerre 1-1 Monaco, Brest 1-3 Caen, Lens 2-1 Saint-Etienne, Lyon 3-0 Lorient, Montpellier 2-1 Valenciennes, Nice 0-2 Lille, PSG 2-1 Sochaux, Rennes 4-0 Arles-Avignon, Toulouse 1-0 Nancy; Sunday: Marseille 2-1 Bordeaux; Wednesday: Lille 3-0 Nancy

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La semaine en France: Week 17

A bite-size round-up of the week’s events in French football, for anyone who wants to keep up with what’s happening in Ligue 1 but hasn’t got the time (or the French) to do so.

Ligue 1
Lyon’s trip to Marseille this Sunday has the potential to be the defining game of the season’s first half, and although both sides have been undermined by injuries and suspensions, their recent form contrasts starkly.

Fifth-placed Marseille, who drew 1-1 at Auxerre last Sunday, are now without a win in three league games. Stéphane Mbia was harshly sent off at Auxerre for a foul on Julien Quercia that yielded a penalty – and an equaliser – despite occurring outside the box. He joins César Azpilicueta (knee ligament injury) and Souleymane Diawara (suspended) on the sidelines, but Rod Fanni arrived from Rennes on Thursday to plug at least one of the gaps in the back four.

Cris, Pape Diakhaté and Jérémy Toulalan have been ruled out for Lyon, while Anthony Réveillère is a doubt with a calf injury, but Claude Puel’s side are unbeaten in 10 league games and climbed to third with a 2-0 win at home to Toulouse. Lisandro López, thriving in a left-flank role, broke the deadlock early on and Bafétimbi Gomis completed the scoring from Kim Kallstrom’s through-ball 10 minutes before the break.

Lille required a header in the third minute of injury time from substitute striker Túlio De Melo to snatch a 1-0 win at Arles-Avignon that kept them top. Paris Saint-Germain trail them by a point after the latest installment of The Nenê Show (see below) concluded with a 2-1 victory at Valenciennes.

A 0-0 snorefest at Bordeaux left Rennes in fourth place, but Saint-Etienne moved up to seventh by ending a nine-game winless streak with a 2-0 defeat of imperilled Monaco. Montpellier’s goalless draw at Brest featured a horrendous elbow by Emir Spahić on Nolan Roux that has landed the Bosnian centre-back – and self-proclaimed Arsenal target – a date with the league’s disciplinary committee.

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La semaine en France: Week 15

A bite-size round-up of the week’s events in French football, for anyone who wants to keep up with what’s happening in Ligue 1 but hasn’t got the time (or the French) to do so.

Ligue 1
Was this the week that Marseille’s title defence began in earnest? A 4-0 win at home to Montpellier last Saturday took the champions back to the summit, above Lille on goal difference, and a goalless draw in the re-arranged game against Rennes on Wednesday sent them a point clear. Steve Mandanda saved an early penalty by Rennes’ Jirès Kembo Ekoko to prevent OM falling behind, with Lucho González squandering a superb chance late in the game when he side-footed wide from 12 yards.

Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain were both aiming for top spot when they met on Sunday, but they had to settle for a point apiece after a thrilling 2-2 draw. Aly Cissokho broke the deadlock with his first Ligue 1 goal for Lyon but was later sent off after his misplaced breath prompted Nenê to tumble dramatically in the Lyon box. Guillaume Hoarau’s penalty put PSG 2-1 up with seven minutes to play, Nenê having equalised just after the hour with a rare header, but a dreadful kick by visiting goalkeeper Apoula Edel allowed Bafétimbi Gomis to lash in an 87th-minute equaliser.

The point took Paris to within a point of second-placed Lille – who drew 1-1 at Bordeaux – and ahead of Montpellier on goal difference. Lyon remained eighth, level on points with Bordeaux, and go into the weekend three points off top spot. Brest, meanwhile, snapped a three-game winless streak to beat Lens 4-1 on Tuesday and are now back in the top three.

Caen look in a lot of bother after a 3-0 defeat at home to Sochaux left them third from bottom and without a win in nine games. “There’s lots of fear: the players look at each other in the eyes but there’s no-one who shouts louder than the others,” said Caen coach Franck Dumas. “They’re good guys, but not for Ligue 1.”

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La semaine en France: Week 14

A bite-size round-up of the week’s events in French football, for anyone who wants to keep up with what’s happening in Ligue 1 but hasn’t got the time (or the French) to do so.

Ligue 1
The big guns moved into position in Week 14, with no less than five teams leap-frogging former leaders Brest, while Marseille, Bordeaux and Lyon closed to within two points of top spot.

Brest were beaten 2-1 at Rennes in the Brittany derby thanks to goals of real quality from Jires Kembo Ekoko and Jérôme Leroy, and it is difficult to envisage Alex Dupont’s men making a renewed assault on the upper echelons of the table now that their momentum has been checked.

Rennes sit fourth, level on points with third-placed Paris Saint-Germain, who briefly topped the pile after strikes from Guillaume Hoarau and Mevlüt Erding saw them to a 2-1 win over Caen at Parc des Princes. Montpellier went top after Olivier Giroud’s late goal earned them a 1-0 win at Nice on Saturday night, but Lille ended the weekend atop the standings after Eden Hazard inspired them to a 2-1 defeat of Monaco on Sunday.

Marseille and Lyon continue to improve, albeit slowly. It took an 88th-minute header from substitute André Ayew to snatch victory for OM at Toulouse, while Lyon were absolutely wretched at second-bottom Lens until Yoann Gourcuff and Lisandro López were summoned from the bench and a second-half brace by Bafétimbi Gomis turned a 0-1 half-time deficit into a 3-1 win.

Bordeaux also had to came from behind to win, but  they found life slightly easier against the 10 men of Arles-Avignon as Anthony Modeste’s hat-trick set them up for a 4-2 success. Marseille, Brest, Bordeaux and Lyon are now all on 22 points, but Marseille still have a game in hand at home to Rennes on December 1.

The fixture list has thrown up some particularly appetising encounters in Week 15, with OM hosting second-placed Montpellier, new leaders Lille travelling to Bordeaux and Lyon tackling PSG in Sunday’s late game.

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Report: Gomis brace inches Lyon closer to top

“PARIS — Bafétimbi Gomis struck twice as Lyon beat second-bottom Lens 3-1 on Sunday to close to within two points of Ligue 1 leaders Lille and set themselves up for their European trip to Schalke.”

Read my AFP round-up here.

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