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PSG-Rennes: “With a superior quality of finishing, Dembélé would perhaps be Ballon d’or”, judge Stéphan

Elimination against PSG: “Regrets? I have frustration with the way we are countered in the first half.

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PSG-Rennes: “With a superior quality of finishing, Dembélé would perhaps be Ballon d’or”, judge Stéphan

Elimination against PSG: “Regrets? I have frustration with the way we are countered in the first half. Being blocked at the Parc des Princes is frustrating, especially since these are movements that we had identified... Taking the goal in this way... We could have taken it differently. But being blocked three times in the first period is at least twice too many. Steve (Mandanda) left us in the game for a long time too. I think we needed to sequence this match and limit the spaces as much as possible in the first part of the match before opening up more afterwards. This is often the case against Paris, the spaces which open up over the duration of the match. There were some in the second half. We played much looser, more liberated. We had some interesting approaches, some situations. No big opportunity, but situations which could have allowed us to create more danger. Afterwards, by opening up as we opened up in the second half, there were important spaces for them and we know that they are formidable when there are these spaces. We had to take risks to try to come back.”

Not enough madness to hope: “As long as you stay 1-0 against Paris, you have hope! When you're close, you have hope. In the second half, we had good quality and usable balls. They have not always been well exploited. Afterwards, there is so much quality and speed on the other side that, as soon as you make a mistake, as soon as you open up a little, you pay. You have to build things. The players tried. They tried. We came up against harder too. Maybe we should have had more nerve earlier in the match, but I really think that if we had opened up a lot earlier in the game, we would have conceded a lot more goals.”

His view on PSG: “I'm not much to judge their progress, but in this match, they held the ball very well until the last 25-30 meters. In any case in the first half, the dangerous situations mainly came from transitions, with the exception of an individual percussion from Ousmane Dembélé. What is quite paradoxical with this team is that it is capable of having long possession times, and at the same time, you have to have patience, because there is not a lot of projection. in the surface, it doesn't often come from centers, you shouldn't open certain spaces. We must not be blinded by what can be dangerous and what is sometimes a bit annoying to manage. Because owning them can be painful. It was in the first half, but the danger mainly came when there were spaces, in transition situations. When you prepare for a match against them, you have to try to anticipate all this and consider that the second part of the match is a good period for your team because there can be spaces. It happened again today, but we didn’t exploit them well enough.”

His view on Ousmane Dembélé, his former player: “When people ask me about Ousmane, they always talk to me about his faults. I always answer on his qualities. I find him to be an exceptional player. In terms of imbalance, dribbling, the ability to create space, he is an exceptional player. If he had a higher quality of finishing, he would perhaps be Ballon d'Or today, it's true. I see an extraordinary player with very strong qualities, which combine with those of another extraordinary player, who has other finishing qualities (Mbappé, Editor's note). This is why they are so formidable in the offensive area. They have a top-level finisher and another who is exceptionally unbalanced.”

Technical waste: “We were stronger in counter-pressing, much more intense, much more invested in these phases of the game. This is partly the explanation of our technical waste. They were much more intense defensively than had been the case in the championship.

Warmed Omari very upset at the end: “I don’t know what happened. I can tell you about what I have seen, what I can control and the analysis I can make of it. The rest, I can't tell you what I didn't see..."

Switch to the championship and Monaco after two defeats: “We missed our match in Strasbourg (2-0 defeat during the 27th day of Ligue 1, Editor's note). But if we have to be afraid after a defeat... We are in Rennes, we can lose matches from time to time. We have the second results for the second part of the season so far (in the league). We have two defeats in a row, it's true. We played a big game away. We will recover, talk among ourselves to analyze things and we will prepare for Monaco, a difficult match against a very intense, very vertical team, with a lot of quality in depth, a lot of talent in certain positions. He is a big opponent, who will aim to finish in second place. This is the challenge before us: two high-level matches in three days.”

Steve Mandanda: “Steve had a great match. Afterwards, I'm not going to brag about having chosen it. I explained my choice before the match. He had criteria that seemed important to me in this match. But he confirms that he is in a very strong time. He is very efficient, decisive. But I consider that, for three months, he is also largely responsible for our recovery, because of what he gives off, his attitude, his leadership... We obviously have to involve all the other players in the group. But Steve is, despite his age, still far from the end. He is very efficient and is still one of the top goalkeepers in Ligue 1 today.”

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