LOSC coach Christophe Galtier raged after his side were dumped out of the Coupe de France by minnows Epinal on Wednesday, as Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique de Marseille both progressed to the quarter-finals, allowing OM coach André Villas-Boas to “begin to dream”.
Lille went ahead away to their fourth-tier opponents in deepest eastern France through Loïc Rémy, but two second-half goals by Jean-Philippe Krasso turned the tie on its head and sent last season’s Ligue 1 Conforama runners-up packing in the round of 16.
“We were never in the game. We must congratulate Epinal because they deserved their victory. We didn’t deserve much given the way we played. We sat back too much, made far too many mistakes, and there was a lack of commitment from some players,” fumed Galtier after the decision to rotate his squad backfired.
“It is a big disappointment. It was a bad night. Some of the players were a long way off the level we expect of them. We didn’t show enough fight. We simply don’t have the right to play like that.”
Tuchel pleased with PSG
While Lille follow Montpellier Hérault SC – beaten on penalties by Belfort on Tuesday – in losing to lower-league opposition this midweek, PSG made no mistake away to third-tier Pau. Thomas Tuchel’s team triumphed 2-0 in the shadow of the Pyrenees with Leandro Paredes and Pablo Sarabia getting their goals, one each side of half-time.
“When everyone expects you to win, it makes it more difficult. The context here was super difficult, with the pitch and the fact this was our fifth straight away game,” said Tuchel, who gave a run-out to several fringe players, while Kylian Mbappé and Ángel Di María did not leave the bench and Neymar Jr. was not involved at all.
“We still played with intensity, we were super serious and dependable. It was a complete performance, we controlled the match, and it’s a great victory. We can be really proud.”
Later on Wednesday, Marseille stretched their unbeaten run to 13 games in all competitions with a 3-1 win over RC Strasbourg Alsace at the Orange Vélodrome. The night will be best remembered for Bouna Sarr’s fine individual effort which gave OM the lead, before a Dimitri Payet penalty doubled their advantage with half-time approaching. Benjamin Corgnet got one back, but Boubacar Kamara sealed the victory for Villas-Boas’s side late on.
“We played well. We could have been 3-0 up, but then Strasbourg got a goal back and we were a bit nervous. But it was a good game and we deserved to win. Now we are through to the quarter-finals and everyone can begin to dream a little,” Villas-Boas said. “I hope we get another home tie next, but a quarter-final awakens your ambition.”