Reactions after the match between OL and Valenciennes.
Sébastien (Squillaci) had some pain in his thigh and we chose to be prudent because we have a huge match ahead of us on Wednesday.
Kader Keita: Getting the 3 points was essential. We played well. We always look to win even if it’s not pretty sometimes. I’m still working hard, being patient. I scored on Wednesday through hard work and that of my team-mates. I need to have my head straight to play well. Wednesday? We have to make up for the 3 points we missed when we lost our first home game in the Champions League.
Steve Savidan: It wasn’t easy for us but it was also tough for Lyon. We caused them quite a few problems in the first half. We didn’t under-perform but OL is simply on another level. We were beaten but the most important thing is the result: we dropped a point. At the highest level the pressure is on for 90 minutes, sometimes more. The Lyonnais had a lot of control, and that must be acknowledged.
Juninho: It was great to score that goal, only my 3rd header with OL. I’m happy with the win, and the 3 points above all. Our opponents caused us a lot of problems. We felt tired towards the end of the match: it’s not easy to play games in such rapid succession. The goal? The same thing happened a little earlier but I was late to the action. This time, Bibi (François Clerc) said to me, “Go for it, Juni!” 90% of the goal was achieved by Kader Keita and Karim Benzema; I put it away but I couldn’t miss such a well-crafted chance. There was a lot of wastefulness in our game, especially for a home match. We had some scares with turning over the ball. In general, I hope we can keep the winning mentality and continue to improve. The season is far from over. It’s good that everyone got some game time: Fred played 90 minutes and was much stronger than on Wednesday; Kader played his second in a row; Bodmer is getting a run, too… it’s great because we’ll really need them as the season continues.
Rémy Vercoutre: It’s not always easy playing a few days before a big European match. It wasn’t a dazzling display but we scored 2 excellent goals, and that’ll do us good. The save? You know, in certain matches as OL keeper you don’t have much work to do but you still have to be there when you’re needed. Now we’re looking towards Wednesday, thinking about recuperation and physical freshness, something that was missing somewhat today. The Marseille match? They’ll be raring to go against us, and it looks like it’ll be a tough one. Nancy? Watch out! They’re a good team. ASN isn’t playing in Europe so they’ll have all their resources trained on the league.
Mathieu Bodmer: We were pretty wasteful technically tonight. We’ve made progress in that department recently. In the end, we got the job done: we got the 3 points and didn’t concede.
We felt pretty tired against a side that defended while moving forward, playing a good pressing game. It wasn’t easy. My positioning at the end of the match? I said at the tart of the season that I came here to play as much as possible, be it in midfield or defence. Toto (Squillaci) felt some pain, and we had to be prudent.
Jean-Michel Aulas: It’s always tough to play VA, they use arguments like “small” versus “big” and millionaires” versus “economically challenged”. It’s always complicated. They’re having a good season with a quality manager under whom they are progressing well. They have different objective from us. We kept a clean sheet tonight thanks to a formidable Rémy Vercoutre, and we’re all well pleased. We saw some great goals, firstly from Karim and Juninho and then from Sidney Govou, clear-headed and all class.