Failure in front of goal costs France at Euro 2024, says coach

football09 July 2024 22:39| © Reuters
article image
Didier Deschamps © Getty Images

Inefficiency in front of goal cost France at the European Championship, coach Didier Deschamps said after Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to Spain saw them go out at the semifinal stage.

France scored four goals in six matches at the tournament and Randal Kolo Muani’s early effort in Munich on Tuesday was the first they had scored from open play after two own goals and a penalty.

Wayward shooting, notably from out-of-form captain Kylian Mbappe, did not help their cause after they went 2-1 down and were searching for an equaliser.

“I am the one who has to take responsibility,” said Deschamps after questions about the poor form of Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, previously another key player for France.

“We didn't have all the offensive weapons either, we had to adapt for different reasons. We didn't have the usual influence. The pair of them didn’t play as well as they usually do, or to 100 per cent of their capacity, but they were coming off long seasons and it was difficult for them to find their efficiency,” Deschamps told a press conference.

"We came up against a very good Spanish team, who confirmed all the potential they had shown before. We could have done certain things better against an opponent, who had a lot of control of the game... we fought until the end, but we had our limits too, for different reasons. We had complicated situations, we're playing a sixth game and so maybe we had a little less energy too.”

Mbappe’s decision to play without a mask had been cleared by the French medical team, explained Deschamps, after the attacker ditched the protection he had used since returning to the side after breaking his nose in France’s opening game of the tournament against Austria.

Mbappe had previously said it had irritated him, hampering his vision and became difficult to wear with all the sweat during the game.