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‘You need a bit of luck sometimes’ – Didier Deschamps after France beat England

AFP 333746C

France boss Didier Deschamps has admitted “sometimes you need a bit of luck” after the reigning champions edged England to reach the World Cup semi-finals.

Four years after lifting the trophy in Moscow, Les Bleus set up a chance for a second successive final against surprise package Morocco on Wednesday night.

France secured their return to Al Bayt Stadium for the semi-final after Harry Kane scored a penalty and missed another in a 2-1 win against Gareth Southgate’s side.

Aurelien Tchouameni’s excellent goal was disallowed by the England captain, before Giroud scored his 53rd international goal and Kane deflected a late penalty kick.

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“England had a very good team,” France boss Deschamps said. “What they showed in terms of their technical ability, their intensity, even though we put up a good fight, was impressive.

“I am sorry for the fact that we gave them a penalty and then we gave them another penalty that they missed, but also thanks to my team. We also showed some very good things and we can still be dangerous.

“We have great quality and a very impressive mental strength but, yes, we have experience. But to some extent the English team is also experienced.

“They have some young players in their squad, but they are players who play for some of the best clubs in Europe, so we could see that they were a good team from the start of this tournament.

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“In these big games, it always comes down to the very small details and luckily tonight went well for us and we did what we could to make sure we went all the way and won the game. Sometimes it takes a little luck.

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Head coach Deschamps’ contract is set to expire after the World Cup in Qatar, where the president of the French Football Federation, Noel Le Graet, has set himself the goal of reaching the semifinals.

The 54-year-old has been in charge of Les Bleus since 2012 and has not committed to its future as the focus is on Morocco.

“Well, I’ll be the manager for the semi-final, you already know that, and then we’ll see,” Deschamps said. “That is all.

“I don’t know everything in advance, of course, but we’ll address that issue when it arrives.

“It’s great to accomplish what the president asked me to accomplish and it’s great for me to know that he’s happy with it, but I’m sure there are plenty of other people who are happy and delighted as well.

“So, let’s savor this victory. Just four years after our last World Cup win, we’re now down to the last four and let’s focus on Wednesday’s game. I’m not really thinking about anything else right now.”

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