It wasn’t smooth sailing for the hosts as Albania defended with their backs to the ball, wihtout conceding a goal until the 90th minute. However, France did manage to break through twice in injury time to ensure their qualification to the next stage.

The result says that France beat Albania 2-0. As comfortable as a win that may seem, it was far from it. Albania coach Gianni De Biasi set his side up in a very organized manner making it difficult for the likes of Olivier Giroud and co. to find the back of the net. In fact France needed assistance from the substitute’s bench to draw first blood when Antoine Griezmann’s towering header found its way into the goal. Minutes later, in injury time, last game’s man of the match Dimitri Payet scored another goal to ensure maximum points for his national side.

Talking to the press after the match, Payet said, “I’m happy because once again  we pushed harder in the second half and our efforts paid off, although it didn’t go our way until late on. It felt special to me to come back here. Scoring a goal at the stadium where I used to play my club football was very emotional for me.They defended well.”

Meanwhile, coach Didider Deschamps also shared his jubiliation, after his team’s spirited perfromance –

“It is not really surprising to me as even during the preparation games it was similar. It shows that our guys give everything until the end. We played a very capable Albanian team. They defended really well and as long as they kept the score level, they were always going to cling on to it. I am so happy for the players because they got the reward at the end. To earn qualification today, after two games, that was the objective, so that’s good for us.”

Albania’s man in charge De Biasi also had a tremendous amount of praise for his side after the final whistle. He said, “My team resisted until the end, but we didn’t defend throughout. In the first half, and the start of the second, we had the clearer chances. I’m very happy with his performance and the team’s. When I went into the dressing room heads were down, but I told the players to pick them up and be proud of the way they played against a side with a lot of ability. We really caused problems for France tonight.”

This how the buzz on Twitter unfolded: