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Substitutes key for Deschamps, De Biasi 'proud' in defeat

Didier Deschamps praised the impact of substitutes Paul Pogba and goalscorer Antoine Griezmann against an Albania side that, according to Gianni De Biaisi, "caused France problems".

France celebrate their late, late victory
France celebrate their late, late victory ©Getty Images

Didier Deschamps, France coach
Albania played with a lot of heart and spirit. They defended well and have the ability to counterattack. We might have scored earlier, we had a lot of chances. While it was goalless it was a good result for Albania. It's always difficult against teams that keep it tight. Once we finally got going we let loose a bit, albeit slightly late in the day.

Paul Pogba [being on the bench] was more of a tactical decision. With that system I thought we needed two scrappers in the middle of the park. As for Antoine Griezmann, I'm managing him. Neither he nor Pogba is happy. Often players who come off the bench can make the difference. That was the case in the opening match and again tonight.

Dimitri Payet has become more consistent. He's always had ability and a lot of confidence. Now, in one-on-one situations and challenges, he's always up for the fight. Clearly we didn't do everything well. If you've seen a team that have, please tell me. We were a bit laborious in the first 45 minutes because Albania were physically fresh.

Man of the match Dimitri Payet

Dimitri Payet, France midfielder and man of the match
Once again I made the difference and I've known for a while that my island [Reunion] is right behind me and there is fervent support for Les Bleus. They're very proud that France have made it through to the last 16.

What's great is that the late goals are nothing new. Since March, when we played the Netherlands, we've shown we can go out and win games late. We had to be patient.

Gianni De Biasi, Albania coach
My team resisted until the end, but we didn't defend throughout. In the first half, and at the start of the second, we had the clearer chances. If you don't score, you won't achieve results. We performed well and stood up to France.

Rami: We never stopped believing

Arlind Ajeti [deputising for Lorik Cana] played well. He can have a significant future in Albanian football because he has good qualities. 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 lads to pick them up and be proud of the way they played against a team with a lot of ability. We really caused problems for France.

We can beat Romania to qualify. If we can score the goals we haven't so far we can definitely get the points we need to get into the next round. We've shown we're a proper team and play good football.