EURO2016 : Deschamps pays tribute to Payet quality
Didier Deschamps acknowledged Dimitri Payet “made the difference” for France with his stunning winner that left Anghel Iordănescu with the tricky task of lifting Romania.
Payet was a bit emotional when he was taken out and tears could be seen rolling down his cheek.
Didier Deschamps, France coach
It’s good to have won. Romania aren’t easy to play against – and we knew that. They give away a lot of fouls and defend well. We had chances but we gave them a few as well.
We had a bit of trouble letting our hair down but we got our reward in the end. I made sure we played to win, with four attacking players on the pitch at the end. Given the context, an opening match is never easy.
It was a tricky game, made complicated by Romania. The opening match of a tournament is a bit like playing a cup final, so perhaps we were a little timid. We ground out a victory, we put four attacking players on the pitch, and it was a wonderful goal from Dimitri Payet.
Not everything was perfect, far from it. Romania showed they are well organised and they caused us a lot of problems, but it’s very important to start with a victory.
Payet made the difference today. He’s an attacking player but he’s also someone who helps out the team. It’s quite easy in football when you can bang it in the top corner – it solves quite a lot of problems!
The match was very emotional. Perhaps we were made to pay for that slightly – the opening ceremony, the first game of the tournament. I didn’t say it but we had everything to lose and the Romanians didn’t have anything to lose.
There’s so much passion and fervour behind the French national side and the players are aware of that. But the players have certain duties. It’s not mentally easy to manage but we were rewarded. That’s going to give us even greater confidence and calmness.
Anghel Iordănescu, Romania coach
We started the first half in excellent fashion and had a rare opportunity that the keeper was able to keep out. If we’d scored, that would have changed the whole match. At the start of the second period we got into their area a lot and unfortunately [Bogdan] Stancu missed another chance.
I’d like to congratulate my players for having implemented all the tactical instructions I gave them. I thank them for the quality of their play despite the fact we lost. It really hurts to lose in the 89th minute but it was a fabulous strike from a wonderful player.
If you’d been in the dressing room you’d have seen just how disappointed the players were. It will be difficult to rekindle the players’ form and fitness because they’re exhausted.
Hugo Lloris, France captain
The most important thing was to get the three points tonight. It was a tough game with a lot of pressure and we also felt quite a lot of tension in our team. But we managed to find the resources to win the game and we must congratulate Dimitri Payet, who scored a fantastic goal.
[Lloris’s first-half save] is just a goalkeeper’s job, we always try to do our best for the team. It is true that it prevented us finding ourselves in a losing situation straight away, especially as that was a tough spell for us and we did not start the game as we wanted to. But as the game progressed, we took the upper hand.
Just when we thought we had got through the most difficult part, the Romanians were awarded a penalty and they scored. And then Dimitri Payet managed to save us all with this amazing goal.
Be it with France or West Ham, everybody knows how talented [Payet] is. Plus, it was good for him to kick-start his tournament. And we can sense that he is doing well and is full of confidence. Even if a win is always a team effort, you always need your top players to perform at their best.
Source : UEFA