Mikael Silvestre has fired back at Gabby Agbonlahor after the pundit referred to Ligue 1 as the ‘farmer’s league’, following Tottenham‘s dramatic 2-1 victory against Marseille on Tuesday.
Spurs advanced to the Champions League knockout stage and sealed top spot in Group D thanks to Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s 95th-minute winner at the Orange Velodrome, having fallen a goal behind at the break after a dismal first-half display.
Unimpressed by Tottenham’s negativity during the first 45 minutes, Agbonlahor criticised Antonio Conte‘s tactics and insisted the manager should have been more attacking against a group of ‘Premier League flops’ from the ‘farmer’s league’.
Gabby Agbonlahor labelled Ligue 1 ‘the famer’s league’ after Spurs’ 2-1 win against Marseille
Ex-Manchester United star Mikael Silvestre came to French football’s defence on social media
The 36-year-old’s comments on talkSPORT prompted former Manchester United star Silvestre to take to social media and defend French football.
Agbonlahor said on Wednesday: ‘In the first half I thought Tottenham were playing Real Madrid.
‘It was like they were playing the best ever Real Madrid team. The way they parked that double decker bus in the first half was like nothing I’ve ever seen before.
The French international played at Manchester United for nine years between 1999 and 2008
‘This wasn’t even defensive. It was ultra-defensive. Harry Kane was probably halfway through his own half defending.
‘You can play defensive tactics and play on the counter-attack, but you’ve got to leave one player forward. They didn’t have anyone forward and Marseille are fifth in the farmer’s league.
‘They’ve conceded nine goals in the last 12 games and they’re conceding first. They won’t keep getting away with it because they’re parking the bus but they’re still conceding shots.’
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s 95th-minute strike sealed top spot for Spurs in the Champions League
The former Aston Villa striker also insisted that Marseille’s team consists of a group of Premier League rejects.
‘If you look at that Marseille team… (Pau) Lopez the keeper, flop at Spurs. (Chancel) Mbemba, flop at Newcastle. (Nuno) Tavares, flop at Arsenal. (Jordan) Veretout, flop at Aston Villa. (Mateo) Guendouzi, flop at Arsenal. (Sead) Kolasinac who came on, flop at Arsenal.
‘These are Premier League flops and you’re going into the game parking the biggest bus you’ll ever see for the first half.’
Keen to reinforce the value Ligue 1 adds to world football, Silvestre took to social media to hit back at Agbonlahor, referencing French superstar and 2022 Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema, who began his career at Lyon before moving to Real Madrid in 2009.
Defender Clement Lenglet equalised for the visitors with a header early in the second-half
Silvestre said on Twitter: ‘The farmer’s league provides the biggest foreign contingent in the Premier League! As well as the latest Ballon d’Or… Watch your tongue please!’
Ligue 1 has managed to attract some of the best footballers on the planet in recent seasons, boasting the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar, who each star for Paris Saint-Germain.
PSG’s dominance and superior wealth in Ligue 1 has caused some fans to label the division a ‘famer’s league’ in comparison to the Premier League.
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group