What went wrong: 5 reasons behind France's loss

Sport360 staff 16:56 12/07/2016
Devastating: France got defeated in its home soil.

The moment was there for France to claim a glorious triumph on home soil in the Euro 2016 final against Portugal.

The stage was set for what was seemingly a scripted victory for the French but Portugal had other ideas.

Here, we look at where it all went wrong for the host nation.

DESCHAMPS WAS TOO RIGID

After chopping and changing in the group stage, once Deschamps found his XI that was it. Dimitri Payet’s influence was declining with every game, yet he retained his place, while bar Iceland, Olivier Giroud was average.

Okay, you don’t change a winning team but a few tweaks wouldn’t have gone amiss.

GRIEZMANN’S TOUCH DESERTED HIM

In fairness to Deschamps, up until the final most of what Antoine Griezmann touched turned to gold and he had at least two very scorable chances at the Stade de France, passing up both of them.

Was it nerves? Or just one of those nights where his radar wasn’t quite tuned in correctly?

POGBA’S MUTED ROLE

On his day, Paul Pogba is among the most devastating midfielder players in the world. He can tackle, run at players and shoot with tremendous ferocity, yet bar the first half against Switzerland we saw little of that.

In the 4-2-3-1 he was stationed too deep, and when he was on the ball it was largely out of harm’s way.

WHERE WAS MARTIAL?

Given the brilliant season Anthony Martial had just enjoyed, it’s bizarre how little he played. Deschamps, after bringing Andre-Pierre Gignac on in the 78th minute in the final, waited until the 110th for Martial.

His pace, physicality and unpredictability was perfect for finding a way through Portugal’s tight defence.

PAYET FAILED TO RISE TO THE OCCASION

Dimitri Payet was one of France’s best players at Euro 2016 and seemed to be a front-runner to be named Player of the Tournament. However, the West Ham United playmaker’s biggest contribution in the final was injuring Portuguese talisman Cristiano Ronaldo.

Apart from a few good deliveries early on in the game, he failed to create enough opportunities and his reluctance to hug the touchline played into Portugal’s strategy of maintaining a compact defensive line.

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