France only just managed to hold off Luc Holtz’s Luxembourg at the Stade Josy Barthel to ensure that they remained at the top of Group A with a 3-1 victory.

Goals from Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud and Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann helped Les Bleus only just edge past Luxembourg. The hosts put up a spirited performance, but had it not been for some costly errors, the scoreline would have been more favourable to them.

Speaking about his side’s victory, Deschamps said,” It was a complicated match because of an opponent who defended well.” He went on to say that the quality of the pitch restricted the pace of their game and didn’t allow them to be as fluid as they would have perhaps liked,” as quoted by Léquipe

However, the former Chelsea midfielder didn’t dwell on the negatives for too long and insisted his side did only what was required of them. ” We did what was necessary to create opportunities and score three goals. This is positive for the qualification, even if the road is still long.”

France's forward Olivier Giroud celebrates his goal during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying football match Luxembourg vs France on March 25, 2017 at Josy Bartel stadium in Luxembourg. / AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
In good company. Olivier Giroud celebrates his goal during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying football match Luxembourg vs France on March 25, 2017 at Josy Barthel stadium in Luxembourg. (Picture Courtesy – Getty Images)

Olivier Giroud has not had the best of seasons with Arsenal, but the 30-year-old Frenchman played a key role in last night’s victory. Deschamps was asked about how he felt when his confidence in his striker was justified after a performance like this, but the 48-year-old refused to take any credit.

” Thank you. That is his merit. I will not take it off.”

Deschamps revealed that he and Giroud have had discussions about the his form and his critics and that the 30-year-old understands that he isn’t having the best of seasons. ” He was a bit bothered by injuries, despite everything, he scores. I trust him by putting him today, because I know what he can do in this type of game.”

His goals were his 21st and 23rd, making him France’s 10th highest goalscorer; a feat made even more outstanding, given that he has achieved it in a mere 60 appearances, having made his international debut in 2011.

As things stand, France are currently 3 points clear at the top of Group A. Sweden are at second place with 10 points. Netherlands, the only other big player in the group are currently placed 4th, after being beaten 2-0 by Bulgaria last night.

Speaking on the precarious position that the Dutch find themselves in, he said,” There could be something complicated for them. There are fifteen[points] left in play. We will have to continue to take them. Our next game in Sweden will be important. If we take our points and our opponents lose, so much the better.”

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