Deschamps sees Euro 2020 qualification as no excuse for France display

By Sports Desk November 14, 2019

Didier Deschamps was not impressed with France's first-half performance against Moldova, insisting Euro 2020 qualification did not justify a below-par showing in their 2-1 win.

France booked their place at next year's finals before playing on Thursday, as Turkey drew at home to Iceland to ensure the visitors could not catch either their opponents or the world champions.

But rather than celebrate in style, France started sloppily in a Group H qualifier packed with decisive errors in Paris.

Clement Lenglet handed Moldova's Vadim Rata the opener, but Raphael Varane profited from Alexei Koselev's mistake, before Olivier Giroud sealed victory from the penalty spot.

With France still battling for seeding in the Euros draw, head coach Deschamps was concerned by the substandard early display.

"I do not think [qualifying explains a poor performance] and I hope not because it's not enough to be qualified," he said. "The possibility of finishing first remained with a victory.

"We conceded the goal on an error, but our first half was insufficient. I am not satisfied with the attacking play in the first period.

"The second was more consistent, even if we lacked efficiency. We had 17 attempts, not always on target. But in the first half, we had too few.

"There was a tendency to ask for the ball only to feet and not in behind. There was not enough movement and availability. It was too static, there was a lack of mobility."

Deschamps confirmed he had delivered some home truths at half-time, adding: "I can sometimes be hard, very hard with them

"There is so much potential in this team that, when I do not see what I want to see, I say it."

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    "These are all things that represent a change of mentality at Juventus, so they do not come automatically. We've seen them in moments, for example the first half in Rome [against Lazio]."

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