France need Pogba in peak form at Euro 2016, says Deschamps

by Steven Clarke July 10, 2016, 13:10
France need Pogba in peak form at Euro 2016, says Deschamps

It seemed as though the contest was already effectively over when Payet turned the screw two minutes before halftime, sweeping home a low leftfoot strike from the edge of the area for his third goal of the tournament.

Deschamps will have been satisfied with a few things he saw on Sunday, notably the fact that his side scored plenty of goals and took the game to their opponents straight away, which they had failed to do in previous matches. "They fought with valour and they were very determined", said the Arsenal striker. "I think the fans, how appreciative they are to the players, and what is also fantastic is that the players showed their appreciation to the fans", he joked.

He could well have had a hat-trick but was brought off after his second goal because he has a yellow card hanging over him and could not risk a second booking and a suspension. "Sadly, it all came to an end against France, but I'm sure we'll have very fond memories of it all".

After beating the Netherlands to a place in France during qualifying, coach Lars Lagerback led the team through a hard group before masterminding a shock victory over England in the round of 16 as Iceland set up a quarter-final with France.

But Giroud faces Gunners team-mate Mesut Ozil and the world champions in the global form of his life - after netting ten goals in 11 games.

Iceland has only a population of 3,30,000 but Euro 2016 has put the country “on the map”, according to Arnor Ingvi Traustason.

"We're looking better, but Germany remains Germany", said Deschamps, whose side lost to the eventual winners in the 2014 World Cup quarterfinals, not to mention painful semifinal exits from the 1982 and 1986 World Cups.

The quarter final weekend saw, among other occurrences, 18 year old Bayern signing Renato Sanches announce his arrival on the worldwide stage, while Itay's Simone Zaza took one of the worst penalties ever seen at a major tournament in their shootout against Germany.

"It's not ideal even if I made some changes but there are so many positives to take from tonight", he said. In a France team that is utterly dictated by their attacking flair in Dimitri Payet and Paul Pogba, it's clear that Giroud does offer them a different sort of striking outlet compared to some of the players on their books. Though France advanced to the semi-finals with a relatively easy 5-2, it was a scoreline that did not do Iceland justice. Awaiting in the semi-final is a potentially enthralling game against neighbors and rivals France.

It's a post-match celebration Iceland's players have performed ritually with their fans at the Euros and one that has stunned people the world over.

The board was hoisted on the hour with the giddy celebrations for France's fifth goal against Iceland still in full swing. Griezmann raced onto Giroud's flick-on before dinking a shot over the advancing Halldorsson.

The fourth goal saw Giroud and Griezmann combine again. Sigthorsson, who netted Iceland's victor against England, scored for the second game running after poking in Sigurdsson's cross on 56 minutes.

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