Didier Deschamps praised France’s determination after defeating Finland 2-0 in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier.
Les Bleus ended a five-game winless run with victory in Lyon as they continued their unbeaten streak and created a seven-point gap over second-place Ukraine in Group D.
Despite an underwhelming return after a poor Euro 2020 showing, it is the first time since 2006 that France have not lost any of their first six matches in qualifying for a major tournament (W3 D3).
Indeed, consecutive draws against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Ukraine had placed pressure on Deschamps, which is why he hailed Tuesday’s win as crucial.
“It’s easy to talk, I’m doing what I think is good for them and the interests of the France team,” Deschamps told TF1 post-match.
“Even if we didn’t do everything well, today there was more determination and from there, the technical quality is there.
“It was a very important result, but the job will have to be finished in November.
“We have never stayed for such a long period [without a win], it can happen.
“We must therefore appreciate this victory and especially during the last two qualifying matches in November, finish the job.”
0 – With three wins and three draws, France have not lost any of their first six qualifying matches for a major tournament (World Cup + EURO) for the first time since the 2006 World Cup qualifiers. Unbeaten. #FRAFIN pic.twitter.com/laVL6736iB
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) September 7, 2021
Antoine Griezmann’s brace proved the difference, his first making him the fourth France player to score 40 goals, while his second saw him join Michel Platini in third on the list of all-time goalscorers.
The 30-year-old thrived after a change in system by Deschamps to a three-man defence and the Atletico Madrid loanee also recognised the importance of the result.
“We wanted this victory, to show that we are solid and that we had not lost anything,” Griezmann said to TF1.
“Now we must keep this state of mind, this desire to give everything on the field, to win the duels and having to hurt like we did.
“Maybe we found a system that suits us best. We’ll see. It’s the coach who’ll decide. But tonight, we were strong.
“Five draws was a long time. We wanted to win and we did it in the right way.”
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