Euro2016: Mission accomplished but Deschamps aware France can improve
- Author: Rosalie Stanley Jun 21, 2016,
Jun 21, 2016, 1:33
The host nation largely controlled the game at Lille's Stade Pierre-Mauroy, with Paul Pogba twice hitting the bar and substitute Dimitri Payet also leaving the woodwork quivering with an emphatic late volley.
Stoke midfielder Shaqiri tried and failed to find a way through France but resilient Switzerland continued to battle away and deserved a point, although they survived a scare with 15 minutes remaining.
"Today we managed to get what we didn't get in the first fist games", he said.
"He only didn't start the last match (against Albania) because we had three matches in nine days and we got back very, very late from Marseille".
The pair of Laurent Koscielny and Adil Rami now looking safer after showing signs of nerves in warm-up games and against Romania, the defence his less of a worry for Deschamps, even if left back Patrice Evra is looking his age and might be targeted by opponents to come.
Sadiku's header two minutes before half-time clinched Albania a 1-0 win over Romania to finish third in Group A, potentially earning them a place in the last 16.
Wasteful in front of goal here, the French will have to be more clinical in their finishing if they are to repeat their 1998 heroics, when they won the World Cup on home soil.
"It can happen", said Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer, who was chosen as man of the match by former France striker David Trezeguet.
We're still waiting for the games it comes together to suggest they're on the brink of something brilliant, for something even like the Belgians' own 3-0 win over Ireland.
"Will I call Conte to help out Albania?"
The Newcastle legend (Shearer not Sissoko...) believes that the Newcastle midfielder did himself the power of good in the France v Switzerland match on Sunday night.
Three games played, seven points collected and through to the knockout stage of the European Championship in first place. (On reaching the knockouts for the first time) History is behind us, in the past; it's important but you don't live on your past achievements.
All they have done so far is win one of the weakest groups in the tournament and it remains to be seen how their back four, arguably their weakest point, will hold against more unsafe opponents.
"Paul was the animator of the game in the first half", said Deschamps, whose side progressed to the last 16 as group winners. It ended; France 0-0 Switzerland.
France, and especially Paul Pogba, began the match looking like they had a point to prove and 23-year-old had three good chances to put his side ahead in the first half but, despite their early dominance, the teams would go into half time deadlocked at 0-0.
Armando Sadiku scored the only goal with a far post header over goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu, who had left his line.
"We spoke with the referee about it", Switzerland midfielder Valon Behrami said.