Didier Deschamps felt the “small details and a bit of luck” went France’s way as they edged past England 2-1 to secure a place in the World Cup semi-finals.
Olivier Giroud grabbed what turned out to be the winner with 12 minutes to go with England captain Harry Kane missing a second penalty of the night shortly after. His first was successful, cancelling out Aurelien Tchouameni’s opener.
Deschamps, whose side now face surprise package Morocco in Wednesday’s second last-four clash, was relieved to have squeezed through.
He said: “England have a very good team and what they showed in terms of technical ability and intensity, even though we put up a good fight, was impressive.
“Credit to my team as well, we also showed some very good things. We have great quality and we also have impressive mental strength. We have experience but so do England, they have some young players but they are players that play for the top clubs in Europe.
“We could see they were a good team at the outset of the tournament and it comes down to small details and luckily tonight it went our way. You need a bit of luck sometimes.”
Vive la France
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England were the better team for long periods at Al Bayt Stadium and Deschamps preferred to focus on the strengths of France’s opponents than criticise his own team for some of their failings.
“They have quality in all areas of the pitch,” he added. “There were certain things we could have done better but maybe it’s because they didn’t let us do them well.
“We still scored two goals and created several opportunities. We deserved it but the other team were very strong.”
Deschamps’ contract is due to expire at the end of the tournament but the president of the French football Federation, Noel Le Great, has expressed hope that he will continue.
Deschamps refused to go into any great detail regarding his future but did not commit to remaining at the helm of Les Bleus.
“I will be the coach for the semi-final and then we will see,” he said. “We will tackle that problem when it arises. It’s great that the president is happy, I am sure there are a lot of people that are happy tonight.
“Just four years after our last victory at the World Cup we are in the last four. Let’s focus on Wednesday, I am not thinking about anything else at the minute.”