Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Lille boss Gourvennec dedicates Trophee des Champions success to Galtier

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 1 Aug 2021

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Jocelyn Gourvennec was quick to share the credit for Lille’s historic Trophee des Champions success with predecessor Christophe Galtier.

Former head coach Galtier steered Lille to a first Ligue 1 title in a decade before departing for Nice, with new boss Gourvennec masterminding a 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain in Sunday’s curtain-raiser for the new domestic season.

Xeka’s first-half strike from long range was the difference between the teams, ending PSG’s eight-year spell of dominance in the competition, while it also secured Lille’s first ever triumph at the third attempt.

“When you play a trophy, what matters is the title,” Gourvennec told the media after the game. “We suffered in the second half because there was a high technical quality in front of us.

“We went through a lot but the players are used to it. There were also moments like that last season, and we were able to stay strong.

“It is not easy to take over from Christophe [Galtier]. I say it very simply: I share this title with him because he has done a remarkable job with his staff. It’s kind of his title. 

“It’s good to start on a positive note. There is collective strength in this team, and talent too. We found that tonight.”

Pochettino’s men were dethroned in Ligue 1 last term by Gourvennec’s new side, who denied the former Tottenham boss a third domestic trophy at the French giants, with the hard-fought win an early psychological blow ahead of the new campaign.

However, Julian Draxler, who was denied by Lille goalkeeper Leo Jardim in the first half and volleyed wide in the second, insisted the result would not impact PSG’s Ligue 1 preparations.

“It’s hard to accept losing a final but we didn’t play badly when we were missing players,” the attacking midfielder said after the final loss. “It wasn’t perfect, but in the second half we were the best team.

“Congratulations to Lille. We are sad and disappointed for our supporters, but we gave everything until the last minute. We’ll be ready for Ligue 1.”

PSG had a number of first-team regulars absent, including Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.

Gianluigi Donnarumma was also not involved, though fellow new recruit Achraf Hakimi started and Georginio Wijnaldum was introduced as a second-half substitute.

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