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Deschamps not unhappy despite France faltering again

Robert Lewandowski cancelled out Kylian Mbappe's opener in Dortmund

Didier Deschamps

France coach Didier Deschamps wasn’t disappointed by Les Bleus’ performance as they laboured to a 1-1 draw with Poland, a result that meant they failed to secure top spot in Group D at Euro 2024.

Despite Kylian Mbappe marking his return from a broken nose with the opening goal – scored from the penalty spot – France were unable to hold on to their lead and Robert Lewandowski levelled, also from the spot, with 11 minutes to go.

It meant France finish second in the group behind Austria and will now play the runners-up from Group E on Monday in the last 16.

Deschamps said: “I’m not disappointed at all. Of course we wanted top spot but [Poland goalkeeper Lukasz] Skorupski was excellent, he made a lot of saves and we couldn’t make the most of our chances. 

“We had five in the first half. But it’s not just a case of taking our chances; you have to give credit to the goalkeeper.”

Despite Deschamps focusing on the positives, France’s display will create more negative headlines at home. The 2022 World Cup runners-up have now scored just twice in three games, and one of those was an own goal from Austria’s Max Wober.

The former Juventus midfielder added: “We need to be playing quickly, with the ball on the deck. We were never going to win in the air as they are stronger than us. You can have two chances and score two. You can have seven as we did today and not score. Of course we can improve but I’d be more worried if there were no chances.

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“The squad is together. The fact we haven’t scored limits our performance but, ultimately, we’re into the last 16. We were in a really tough group. We’ll get some time off now.”

Deschamps opted to start with Antoine Griezmann on the bench, although the Atletico Madrid midfielder did come on shortly after the hour mark.

“I know what he can do but I decided that he could have a bit of time off today,” said Deschamps. “He took the news with a smile. 

“For the second game, if he had scored one of his two chances it would have been a different result. Next time we’ll see.”

Poland coach Michal Probierz was pleased with his side’s display as they picked up their first point of the tournament.

He said: “I would like to thank the fans for turning out today despite us being eliminated. We fought until the end, and we had some really good spells – that’s how I want to play football. 

“There were parts of the match when we played pretty well, but we need better structure.

“This has been a difficult tournament. We wanted to stay longer and were prepared to stay longer. It’s a shame we couldn’t qualify. It’s a pity we have to leave.”

He reserved special praise for Skorupski, who made a string of fine saves and now looks set for a spell in the side with Wojciech Szczesny heading into international retirement.

“He has been consistently with the national team for eight years, always helping, always committed, and he deserved his chance. The way he played today underlined that.”

 

Picture of Jon Fisher

Jon Fisher

Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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