Didier Deschamps refused to blame Kylian Mbappé for the missed penalty that sent France to a shocking defeat against Switzerland on a dramatic night in Bucharest. Switzerland scored two goals at the end of 90 minutes to send the game into extra time, after which the PSG striker was the only man to miss the penalty shoot-out.
“Nobody can be angry with him,” said the France coach. “When you take responsibility, it can happen. Obviously, he’s very affected by it. “
Mbappé was comforted by his teammates after Yann Sommer repelled his shot from the spot, which followed nine perfectly executed penalties on the penalty shoot-out. “Kylian takes responsibility, he feels guilty, but he shouldn’t,” Deschamps continued. “The squad is united, it always has been.”
France’s captain Hugo Lloris struck a similar note. “We win together, we lose together,” he said. “We are all responsible for being eliminated at this stage of the competition. You don’t have to point the finger. “
It was certainly a collective disaster for France, who rebounded from a poor start to open a 3-1 lead as the game entered its final 10 minutes. The Swiss race appeared to be already contested, but Mario Gavranovic pulled off a spectacular draw and Lloris admitted that France “should have been able to close the game.”
Attention may now turn to Deschamps’ future after the world champions, who were clear favorites to win Euro 2020, departed after an abject failure. France looked disjointed in the first half with an unknown back 3, partly due to injuries; Deschamps, who is hired to lead France at next year’s World Cup in Qatar, said he would take any blame.
“That is not the question,” he said of his future. “There is unity and solidarity in this squad. I am responsible, when things go wrong, I am with them, they are with me. We will need time to manage this. There are no magic formulas, there are balances that we must find in the future. “
An excited Granit Xhaka, the captain of Switzerland, said his country’s first progression to the quarterfinals of a major tournament since 1954:
and his first competitive victory over France – it was a vindication.
“I always said that this team deserved a lot more than what you read,” he said. “There was so much discussion about this team that they even said that we are arrogant. But I can guarantee you one thing: we really did write history tonight. All Swiss, no matter who they are or where they live, all players, we achieve something. It is impossible to describe it in words. We write history and we can be very proud. “
Their coach, Vladimir Petkovic, described the result as “very nice and very significant” and suggested that Switzerland was getting stronger as time ran out. “The team did a fantastic job with their willingness to fight,” he said.
“We managed to impose our game and follow our game plan. We had enough fuel in the tank and perhaps more than France; we demonstrated it during the 120 minutes. “
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism