France ensured progression to the knockout stage of the UEFA Euro 2016 with a dramatic 2-0 win over Albania courtesy of goals from Antoine Griezmann and Dimitri Payet in the dying stages of the game. The loss means Albania have almost been knocked out of the tournament.
This was Les Blues’ second consecutive victory in the tournament, having already won their opener against Romania when Payet lifted the roof of the Stade de France with his 89th-minute screamer.
France dominated the game, but were unable to find a way past the resilient Albanian defence. Griezmann, who was dropped to the bench for the clash after a dismal performance in the opener, came on as a second-half substitute to open the scoring for Didier Deschamps’ side in the 90th minute heading home Adil Rami’s cross.
Payet continued his brilliant vein of form in the tournament and scored a superb counter-attacking goal in the 95th minute to put the game beyond Albania’s reach.
Here are how the players fared during the game:
Hugo Lloris – 6/10
The Tottenham Hotspur man didn’t have to do much the entire game as Albania were happy to sit back and absorb pressure. He was at hand to keep out a deflected cross before being saved by his post.
Bacary Sagna – 6.5/10
Was solid on the right and carried out his defensive duties with relative ease. Made a vital block to deny Lenjani in the second half.
Adil Rami – 6.5/10
Delivered an excellent cross for Griezmann to head home the opener but otherwise didn’t have much to do.
Laurent Koscielny – 7/10
The Arsenal defender was solid at the back winning aerial duels comfortably but squandered a few good opportunities to help France take the lead as he couldn’t keep his header on target.
Patrice Evra – 5/10
The former Manchester United left-back’s poor start to the Euro 2016 continues as he endured a torrid time against Lila and Hysaj on the left-hand side of France’s defence.
Blaise Matuidi – 6.5/10
Was relentless in midfield, pressing opponents into making mistakes and was at hand to break up Albania’s play.
N’Golo Kante – 6.5/10
Marshalled the midfield alongside Matuidi and apart from letting Lenjani to get away from him in the first half, didn’t do much wrong.
Kingsley Coman – 5.5/10
After impressing with his cameo against Romania, the 20-year-old was handed a start but he didn’t do justice with his opportunity. Headed wide from close range and produced a magnificent piece of skill, but was subdued mostly.
Dimitri Payet – 8.5/10
The star of the first match is looking unstoppable at the moment. Created many chances for his side before scoring with the last kick of the game after a brilliant counter-attack by his side.
Anthony Martial – 4.5/10
The Manchester United man took too long to pull the trigger having been played through on goal by Payet. He was anonymous for most parts of the game on the left wing.
Olivier Giroud – 5/10
The 29-year-old missed a number of chances to break the deadlock, but couldn’t manage to get his header on target. The one time he did manage to direct it towards the goal, it cannoned off the post.
Paul Pogba – 6/10
Came on to replace Martial at half-time and played an excellent pass in the build up to Payet’s goal. The Juventus midfielder did miss a few chances.
Antoine Griezmann – 7/10
Came off the bench to replace Coman in the 68th minute and repaid his manager’s faith with his headed opener in the 90th minute.
Andre-Pierre Gignac – N/A
Came on as a 77th-minute substitute for Giroud and caused problems for the opposition with his movement.