Deschamps happy after 'crazy' cup win
Didier Deschamps was relieved to come out on the right side of a Trophee des Champions rollercoaster he described as "a good advertisement for French football". Deschamps' Marseille side recovered from 3-1 down with five minutes remaining to beat Lille 5-4 in an astonishing encounter between last season's Coupe de France and Ligue 1 winners in Tangiers.
Lille led through goals early in each half through Florent Balmont and Eden Hazard, with keeper Mickael Landreau thwarting OM time and again. Moussa Sow then restored the two-goal cushion after Andre Ayew had pulled one back for Marseille to begin a fascinating final twenty minutes.
Jeremy Morel (85) and Loic Remy (87) drew OM level before Ayew converted two penalties to complete his hat-trick - with Marko Basa drawing Lille level in between spot-kicks in a remarkable finish to the game. The first penalty also saw the league champion's Aurelien Chedjou dismissed as he collected a second yellow card.
"It was a crazy match," said Deschamps. "Our best spell game in the first half but we found an inspired Landreau in our way. We pulled a goal back when they switched off but they went 3-1 up, that was a blow to the head. And then when Lille thought they had won the match, we came back.
"I cannot be satisfied with our defending when we conceded four goals, but there was a bit of tiredness and you also have the quality of Lille's attackers. I am happy because I am on the right side of it. If I put myself in Lille's place, it is cruel. But it was a good advertisement for French football, in terms of spectacle and emotion. That's a good thing."
Controversy surrounded the award of the spot-kick from which Ayew settled the match once and for all. But Deschamps added: "The second penalty was booed... I haven't seen it since, I was told that 'one penalty was more legitimate than the other'. It was in my favour, so it's easier for me to smile about it."
Opposite number Rudi Garcia acknowledged the contentious decisions but refused to blame them for his team's dramatic late capitulation. "We can only blame ourselves," he said. "We were at fault, even if there were some dubious decisions. We have to regain our composure when we are tired, as we clearly were in the final quarter-hour. The dark point is the dismissal of Aurelien Chedjou, as this could affect us in the league."
Nevertheless, he drew encouragement from his side's attacking prowess. "We managed to score four goals in 90 minutes," he said. "I hope the players can make a good start in Ligue 1. Psychologically, it is important to move on to other things, and to our next game at Nancy."
Landreau added: "We are disappointed because we missed out on a trophy we really wanted to win. Disappointed to have led 3-1 and been pulled back, and to have received the red card. We had the game in our hands and we should have held on."
Deschamps however has revealed he is unsure of his chances at keeping midfielder Lucho Gonzalez with the club. The Argentinian is keen to leave the Stade Velodrome for pastures new and has been linked with ambitious La Liga outfit Malaga, but featured in last night's thriller.
Deschamps insists the 30-year-old will continue to be a part of his plans as long as he remains at the club, but said: "Keeping him? That is not up to me. It changes nothing. I wouldn't want to leave a player like him on the bench. He will give his all to help the team perform as best they can. While he is here, I will use him."