Was this part of Laurent Blancís clandestine plan to take France deep into Euro 2012?
France slumped against Sweden on Tuesday night but they have still managed to go through to the quarterfinal stage of Euro 2012. Many analysts believe the defeat was self-inflicted by France as winning against Sweden meant France had to play against the 2010 World Cup winners Spain.
Instead of France, its England that has topped Group D. England defeated the co-hosts of the tournament Ukraine by 1-0 last night. France had to sacrifice their 23-match unbeaten run to increase their chances of running deep into the tournament. This is a clever move by the France manager Laurent Blanc but will it pay off?
Laurent Blanc wants his men to remain “optimistic” despite the 2-0 defeat to Sweden. Laurent Blanc admitted that France made mistakes in the game which eventually imploded to cause an embarrassing defeat.
Laurent Blanc admitted that his men were “disappointed because of the defeat and that they “wanted a different result”. France will now play against Italy instead of Spain. Deep down even Laurent Blanc knows this move was better for France.
The French manager Laurent Blanc wants his men to re-position themselves for a comeback this weekend when they face Italy. Laurent Blanc also confessed that Sweden were the superior team on Tuesday night.
Sweden has already been eliminated from competition. Therefore, France is the only one that benefits from this result although the game will be counted as a defeat in their books.
Strikes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sebastian Larsson were the reason behind France 2-0 defeat. Laurent Blanc admitted Sweden showed superb form and coordination against them. The Frenchman was also critical against his defense.
AC Milan center back Philippe Mexes performed poorly. Laurent Blanc reckons poor tackling was a major reason behind the woeful performance France recorded.
“We were weak in certain areas of the pitch, too weak in the tackle,” Laurent Blanc said. “Sweden put everything into the game, they were better prepared physically and they have a player [Ibrahimovic] who can make the difference - a lot of factors that meant we couldn't win.”
“I don't think we struggled going forward, we struggled at the back and in midfield. Sweden had a big physical impact,” Laurent Blanc continued. “We hoped in the second half their intensity would drop but that wasn't the case.
“We conceded a lot of space but we also created a lot of chances so we could have had a 1-1, a 2-1 or even a 2-2.”