- France 2 – Albanie 0
- Roumanie 1 – 1 Suisse
- Russie 1 – 2 Slovaquie
Les Bleus battent l’Albanie 2-0 grâce à des buts tardifs d’Antoine Griezmann et de Dimitri Payet. A la 90e minute, l’attaquant de l’Atlético Madrid, entré en jeu en deuxième mi-temps à la place de Kingsley Coman, trouve la faille de la tête sur un centre d’Adil Rami. Il délivre ainsi le public du stade Vélodrome de Marseille et envoie l‘équipe de France en huitièmes de finale avant même son dernier match de poule dimanche prochain face à la Suisse. Dans les arrêts de jeu, à l’issue d’une contre-attaque, Dimitri Payet double la mise pour inscrire son deuxième but du tournoi.
Avant ces dernières minutes de folie, les protégés de Didier Deschamps (alignés pour une fois en 4-2-3-1 et non plus en 4-3-3) déçoivent en ne cadrant pas le moindre tir. Symbole de cette maladresse : Olivier Giroud, qui place plusieurs têtes à côté puis trouve le poteau d’Etrit Berisha à la 69e minute avant de céder sa place à André-Pierre Gignac. Sans être convaincants, les Bleus en sont quand même à deux victoires en deux matches…
Trois choses à retenir
- Didier Deschamps avait choisi de titulariser Kingsley Coman et Anthony Martial en lieu et place de Paul Pogba et d’Antoine Griezmann
- Griezmann est devenu le premier remplaçant français à marquer lors d’un Euro depuis Sylvain Wiltord et David Trézéguet en finale en l’an 2000
- Il n’y avait eu aucun tir cadré en première mi-temps d’un côté et de l’autre
Nerves shredded as France progress
France became the first team to qualify for the knockout phase of Euro 2016 after a nervous 2-0 win over Albania in Marseille.
Having beaten Romania in their Group A opener Didier Deschamps men needed a win to assure their last 16 place with one match spare.
Just as Albania thought they had done enough Antoine Greizmann struck with his head on the 89th minute while Dimitri Payet sealed the win in added time to send the hosts through.
After a disappointing Euro 2016 debut for Paul Pogba and Griezmann France coach Didier Deschamps prefered Manchester United’s Anthony Martial and Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman instead to start this one.
In France’s first competitive match in Marseille in 18 years, the tournament hosts kicked off at a frantic pace and did most of the running early on in the first half.
But ‘Les Bleus’ struggled to make much of an impact in the Albania box with both a nervous-looking Martial and Olivier Giroud denied.
Coman and match-day one winner Payet showed flashes of their talent in midfielder but the end product didn’t match up.
Albania showed they had not turned up just to defend and were dangerous on the break and at set plays.
On 24 minutes Armando Sadiku only just failed to connect with a dangerous and powerful Elseid Hysaj cross at the near post allowing Hugo Lloris to gather while Ermir Lenjani had a decent shot blocked moments later.
Albania finished the half strongly with Ledian Memushaj rattling the netting on top of the goal following a sweetly struck free-kick and although Lloris had it covered, Deschamps sat on the sidelines biting his nails during a period of Albanian dominance.
A half-time manicure and a half-time hair-drying speech was needed by the France boss after the teams went back down the tunnel with the scoreline goalless and the home fans loudly voicing their discontent.
The experiment of leaving the more established Pogba and Griezmann out of the starting line-up appeared not to work for the first 45 minutes.
To no great surprise Pogba took over from Martial for the second half.
With Pogba on, Payet moved to the left with France back to 4-3-3 formation.
They were on the attack straight away and came close when Blaise Matuidi flicked on to Coman, who flung himself at the ball at the far post but his header bobbled just wide.
Not to be outdone Albania replied to the threat almost immediately and hit the post at the other end as Lenjani tried to bundle in – the rebound struck the midfielder and then went behind.
In an end-to-end first 15 minutes minutes after the re-start Payet had a shot deflected wide while Pogba missed a great chance and fired just over on the half-volley.
The hosts were finally starting to find their stride and were asking more and more questions of the Albania defence.
Griezmann came on for Coman on 67 minutes as France desperately hunted the winner that would send them through to the next phase of their home competition.
The oohs and ahhs were soon to be heard around the Stade Velodrome as Giroud headed onto the base of the far post from 12 yards out with the keeper beaten.
That would be the Arsenal ma
The French continued their increasingly desperate assault on the Albania goal and as the clock ticked down they finally made the breakthrough.
Just like Payet in the opening victory against Romania, Griezmann fired the French ahead in the 89th minute which sent the Stade Velodrome and the entire host nation into mass delirium.
Albania thought they had done enough but The Atletico Madrid man found himself unmarked and clear to nod home from six yards following an inviting cross from Adil Rami.
Albania were understandably shaken and frustrated by the goal and that left them vulnerable.
The French then turned defence into attack as Pogba set Gignac on a break.
The second half sub slipped a pass to Payet who cut inside Taulant Xhaka before unleashing his shot into the far corner for his second of the tournament.
n’s last chance as on 76 minutes he was taken off and replaced by Andre-Pierre Gignac.[:]