Reactions after the match between OL and Le Mans.
Juninho: I felt a lot of confidence from the players behind me, even though I haven’t been in top form lately, due to illness.
This will be my first time going to Paris for a final, and I’m really proud. Scoring in this competition? I talked about it with Fred just 5 minutes ago. In football, sometimes you think you’ve scored and you miss, then sometimes you score the impossible goal. But only the victory of the team counts.
Patrice Bergues: We suffered until the end to win this match. We made the difference from the very start of the game but couldn’t find a second goal to kill it off.
In this kind of match, with the attackers that Le Mans has, we could have seen them come back into the game. Bravo to the players for holding on and congratulations to Le Mans for the game they brought. They came to play and put a lot of force into the battle. It will be a great one to watch on TV.
François Clerc: It’s really good for the team and the club. It will be a great game against Bordeaux at the Stade de France. We expected a tough match. We just had to win the match-ups on our new pitch. We love to maintain possession, move the ball around, and our team has a very technical game. Our new pitch lets us play our best football, which is very reassuring when you think about the big games coming up here.
Patrick Müller: The only thing that matters now is to win the final. Only victory is beautiful. Tonight, we knew our opponent, we knew their strengths... We weren’t in the clear after we scored our first goal. Nothing was over at half time. 1-0 isn’t enough to get you to the Stade de France after 45 minutes. We had to win more of the ball, block some attacks and face the music to win the game.
Gérard Houllier: I’m very happy for the fans and the whole club. It wasn’t easy, Le Mans played well and produced some good football. But we deserved our win. With a bit of luck and without Pelé in divine form, the score could have been much heavier. Our team was brilliant at times, and managed to hang onto the 1-0 scoreline. I’m proud of my players.
The loss to Toulouse did us good. TFC has done us a lot of favours this season. The first match, a goalless league draw at the start of the season, made us ask some serious questions. The second match made us much tougher. You learn a lot when you get punched in the face.
Vercoutre? He made the save he had to when he had to. Just like Greg has been during the season, he was very good.
The only black mark for the evening is the injury to Alou Diarra.
Jean-Michel Aulas: The year has started well despite the loss to Toulouse when the league resumed. It was the best time for a faux pas because it mobilised the club ahead of the marathon that is the rest of the season.
Le Mans played a good game. As for our team, despite illness and injuries, it claimed a strong victory. It’s always regrettable to lose a player to injury, and we have to address the situation seriously.
When I look at the Piquionne affair, I am astonished by the amateurism of the directors of Saint-Etienne. You should be professional if you are running a club.
As for recruitments, we have given it thought while keeping quiet as we are not the only side looking for reinforcements. Concerning John Carew, we have had many offers, and we are examining them.
We have many games coming up in not much time, and the final of the Coupe de la Ligue comes just before the quarter-final of the Champions League. So we have to be well stocked with players to be competitive in various scenarios as the end of the league season will be tough.
Tonight I am very pleased, it’s the prelude to a great night at the Stade de France for all of the city of Lyon and OL fans everywhere.
See all the reactions live on video on OLWEB PREMIUM