Blanc delighted to see Bordeaux prove quality
Laurent Blanc admitted his delight at seeing his Bordeaux side finally deliver a performance befitting their championship-winning status on Tuesday.
The reigning Ligue 1 champions put a string of below-par displays behind them to register a 1-0 away win over Olympiakos in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.
Prior to last night's victory in the Greek capital, Les Girondins have not been at their best in domestic competition, scraping unconvincing wins over St Etienne and Lorient on the back of losses to Monaco and Rennes.
The form of Blanc's troops in Europe this season has been exceptional, however, with the win over Olympiacos extending their unbeaten record in the competition - despite being paired with Juventus and Bayern Munich in the group stage.
The return to continental action appears to have galvanised Blanc's men, and the Bordeaux coach revealed his players were fired up for the encounter.
"They felt strongly, I told them it was time [to deliver],'' Blanc told Bordeaux's official website. "We expected this performance for a long time, it was a wonderful opportunity to again become a strong team. The team has shown me good things. It is encouraging for the future.''
Bordeaux centre-back Michael Ciani headed the only goal of the game on the stroke of the interval as the French side put themselves in the driving seat ahead of the second leg at Stade Chaban Delmas on March 17.
"We stayed organised,'' Blanc said. "We threatened Olympiacos soon as we could in the first half and we opened the scoring at the best time possible.
"In the second half we dropped off but my players have generally fulfilled what was expected and they were rewarded by the score.''
"Collectively, we played a good game. They were dangerous to the end but we had good stability and performed well defensively.''