A purge, and a point! That’s what we will remember the match delivered by Caen and Toulouse, Wednesday 25th April, at the Ornano stadium (0-0). Caen is eight points ahead of Troyes, 18th.
The Stade Malherbe Caen has almost ensured its continuation in Ligue 1 thanks to the point obtained this Wednesday, April 25 before Toulouse (0-0). For Troyes or Lille to exceed it, it would now be necessary for one or the other of the two teams to win three of the last four games of the season. But their respective record is two victories since the start of the return phase. Not to mention the formations that are inserted between Caen and the red zone …
Sad spectacle and whistles
The good news should have pleased many newcomers, a constant this season. It did not happen. The Malherbists even left the lawn under a few whistles, which had not waited for those of the referee to get off the stands in the heart of a funny evening. Never this season Malherbe had had such a hold on a meeting, as evidenced by his 62% possession of the ball and 240 more passes than the opponent, double. Hence the instance of Patrice Garande on this subject.
“I have seen a team of Malherbe with great technical skill in the opposing side – it may be our best game in the use of the ball. I saw a team of Malherbe who always tried to go forward and who did not get trapped. I saw applied, focused, concerned players who gave the maximum.”
However, it is at the end of the boredom that Caen and Toulouse separated. The blank score could not better sum up the debates. There were sometimes slight jolts, authenticated by distant strikes, a lobed head, one or two acceleration attempts, but nothing to provoke the enthusiasm of a relatively extinct Ornano stadium. Only Toulouse, on an acrobatic recovery of Gradel (75 ‘), was able to be really dangerous in this match.
Toulouse satisfied with the point
The Toulouse, eager to capitalize on their previous success against Angers, have never masked their obvious game plan. “They had come to defend and play against,” could very quickly observe Patrice Garande. Toulouse has tried to exploit the few balls lost by Caen midfield, but without failing the solid hinge Da Silva – Djiku, or the good Guilbert and Bessat on the sides. Andy Delort, received rather hostile as expected, remained discreet. In this context, Mickaël Debève was not choosy at the end of the meeting.
“It’s a good point to take. We hoped to win but we did not know how to win. From then on, one had to know how to be content with an important point in this struggle for maintenance. We have not managed to project ourselves fast enough to be more dangerous. The point is deserved for both teams.”
Very soon dominator, Caen understood almost as fast that it would be difficult to worry Lafont in this meeting. In fact, the porter Toulouse did not have the slightest stop to perform. Of the nine shots Caen, none was framed. The first half-hour set the tone with a single shot unchecked by Malherbists alert in the circulation of the ball but unable to accelerate the pace at the edge of the last thirty meters.
Youssef Aït Bennasser, a return that relieves
It is finally a head not framed but dangerous Delort (40 ‘) came the frankest opportunity of the first half. For the rest, there was nothing to report or almost. Caen, able to rely on the excellent return of Aït Bennasser, was slightly more daring after the break. The distant strikes of Guilbert (53 ‘), Ait Bennasser (54’ and 72 ‘) and Diomande (69’) sounded almost like confessions of helplessness, even if they had the merit to exist.
Caen, in a 4-5-1 where Rodelin was some lone lost in a point, to a position that is not his, purred too much to be sharp.
“We had control at 30, 40 meters from the goal. It’s good for us already, because there are lots of games where we fight with the ball and we take counters. In the last thirty meters, we lack efficiency on the centers and, above all, a center-forward of trade. The problem is not new, we know it’s complicated on the offensive side this season.”
Garande “aware that there was a half-opportunity”
The entrance of Crivelli, preserved because of a pubalgie, replacing Féret, offered an interesting tactical reorganization. 4-3-3, in which Stavitski and Rodelin occupied the corridors, leaving Deminguet at his preferential position in the middle, somewhat revived the premises. The surplus intensity, however, had no real effect on the outskirts of Toulouse, except by some more dangerous centres. Julien had to intervene brilliantly in front of Crivelli (85 ‘). The good passage Caennais lasted a short time and remained vain.
Opposite, Toulouse tried to settle a little more in the camp Norman, without disturbing Da Silva and consorts outside the situation obtained by Gradel at the beginning of the last quarter of an hour. In short, the 0-0 could not better represent this very dull evening. Patrice Garande however prefers to see the glass half full.
“I am aware that there was half a chance in this game, but we must not forget that this is our third game of the week and we will play the fourth in ten days in Troyes. We have a point, he counts, he is important.”
Caen conceded his sixth match of rank without victory but made a real step more towards the maintenance. This is the paradox of this meeting all but spectacular. What does the bottle matter, provided there is support. And if it is not yet acquired, it is close to being … The Caen will try to validate Saturday night in Troyes, virtual damager.