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:
— Copa90 (@Copa90) June 15, 2016
— Ruud Gullit (@GullitR) June 15, 2016
Antoine Griezmann: Has scored with France’s 21st shot against Albania, it was their first on target #FRAALB
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 15, 2016
Giroud removed. He (and France) yet to actually have a shot on target. At home. To Albania. #FRAALB
— Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon) June 15, 2016
Albania proving that last years friendly win over France was no fluke. Still my surprise package to get out of the group !!
— Danny Higginbotham (@Higginbotham05) June 15, 2016
13 – Anthony Martial lost possession 13 times (of 28 touches), more than any other player of France in the first half v Albania. Tense.
— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) June 15, 2016
— Firangi Mulga! (@drinkkwater_) June 16, 2016
— Sportwalla (@Sportwalla) June 16, 2016
Match report from Marseille: France bailed out again after unconvincing display against Albania https://t.co/YIgBsqdYUO
— Jack Lang (@jacklang) June 15, 2016
@omid9 France have abandoned the 4-4-2 diamond for 4-2-3-1 as Diamonds Aren’t For Evra.
— Nick Parry (@NickJParry) June 15, 2016
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) June 15, 2016
— UEFA EURO 2016 (@UEFAEURO) June 15, 2016
This is 3rd time #FRA has won its first 2 group games at European Championship. The other 2 times, France won its only 2 European titles.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 15, 2016
France have become stoppage-time merchants.
— JamesGooner88 (@JamesGooner88) June 15, 2016
France saved it all for the last 5 minutes. They are killing teams off in later stages. #MiseryCompiler
— Spencer FC (@SpencerOwen) June 15, 2016
— UEFA EURO 2016 (@UEFAEURO) June 15, 2016
GRIEZMANN! France have done it again! Another late winner. pic.twitter.com/VwgWl7kO4w
— UEFA Euro 2016 (@TheEuro2016) June 15, 2016
Feel a bit sorry for #ALB because they have fought so well! But France had the goal coming
— MGH (@OfficialMgh) June 15, 2016
Yeah yeah, it was well overdue that goal haha… France just getting the job done in the 2 games… fair play.
— Ethan Payne (@Behzinga) June 15, 2016
France: 19 shots, 0 on target.
— Get French Football (@GFFN) June 15, 2016
France are going to play dubstep through the speakers in their next game so that Pogba can play better
— ㅤ (@TrapHouseFu) June 15, 2016
If France had Benzema tonight….
— Troll Football (@TrollFootball) June 15, 2016
Albanians haven’t looked this dangerous in France since Taken
— Busby MUFC (@SirMatthewBusby) June 15, 2016
How can you call Martial a fraud after one bad half, the fact people are focusing on him rather than other France players shows he’s elite.
— Paul. (@VintageDeGea) June 15, 2016
France could also do with Koscielny playing some penetrative forward passes from deep.
— Michael Cox (@Zonal_Marking) June 15, 2016