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Blanc buoyant after ending France's barren spell

Laurent Blanc is delighted to have ended France's long wait for a win in a major tournament after beating Ukraine, while his counterpart Oleh Blokhin noted: "We still have one game left."

Blanc buoyant after ending France's barren spell
Blanc buoyant after ending France's barren spell ©UEFA.com

Laurent Blanc is savouring France's first win in nine major international tournament  matches after his side beat co-hosts Ukraine 2-0  in Group D. Jérémy Ménez and Yohan Cabaye got the goals for Les Bleus, who had to wait 58 minutes to resume the game while a storm interrupted proceedings in Donetsk. Afterwards Ukraine coach Oleh Blokhin labelled his opponents "one of the best teams in the world".

Oleh Blokhin, Ukraine coach
The first half was quite even. France were scored in the second half and we couldn't. I'm satisfied with how we played, but we didn't do everything we planned. As I said, the win against Sweden didn't mean anything, so if we thought we were through, we were wrong. I think some players thought that, and we'll have a serious conversation with them. This European Championship isn't the Ukrainian league; we have to play at a higher level and game after game.

I didn't like how my team stopped playing after the second goal, but we lost and France are one of the best teams in the competition. Everything went wrong from the break and that led to first goal. After that, we conceded the second and it was all over. We will analyse this. Of course, we are not happy. The fans aren't happy and nor am I. But I can't change anything; I can't change the result.

The conditions were the same for both teams. Maybe the French got used to these conditions quicker, but they're one of the best teams in the world and among the favourites for the competition. I'd say that, even if we'd won. We still have one game left against England and we need to prepare properly for that.

Laurent Blanc, France coach
When the game was suspended, our fear was that we wouldn't get to play it. We really wanted to play; we'd prepared for it. After our slow first 30 minutes against England, this time the weather stopped us making a proper start to a game in this EURO. The stadium staff responded well and everything went how it should. We were worried the condition of the pitch would make it difficult to play our game, and we had some plans in place in case it did, but we quickly saw that the pitch was in good condition.

We studied our opponents' habits and watched their game against Sweden a few times. Sweden felt they could have equalised late in that match, so we didn't want to let Ukraine get too confident. We wanted to play a high line and attacking football. As they're solid in the middle, we tried to get the ball on the wings. In the end, they found themselves in a lot of trouble.

We'll prepare very well for the Sweden match, which we knew would be decisive after our draw in the first game. We'll enjoy this one first, though. As the French know very well, it's been a long time since we won a game at a major tournament. We're very happy to have won. Six years in major competitions and to not win a game is a long time. I hope our next win isn't in six years. If it is, then I want be here to talk about it because I'll have been fired long before.

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