|Sunday, 24 June 2012 16:33|
DONETSK: France coach Laurent Blanc (pic) admitted his tactical plans did not work in the 2-0 defeat to Spain in the Euro 2012 quarter-final this morning.
A double from Xabi Alonso was enough for Spain to march to the four, bit while Blanc is convinced his side had enough talent to inflict damage on the Spaniards, he confessed that his team set-up, which involved Mathieu Debuchy in midfield role, had not been successful.
'It was possible to beat Spain. We planned some things but they didn't work out. Still we have shown much solidarity and we ran a lot to fill the space," he said.
"We had a few opportunities to score, and I'm sorry that Spain scored with their first chance.
"If the game was 0-0 at halftime, we would have had a little more drive for the rest of the match. When we lost a game, it seems that we lack something. It might be our ambition or a technical issue.
"The players gave everything but it's certain things are missing.
"Nevertheless, what I know is that the great nations of Europe will be present in the semi-finals but not us."
Striker Karim Benzema, meanwhile, said Spain are the best team in the world following France's exit.
"What evaded us this evening? Goals," Benzema told TF1.
"We lost to the best team in the world. It was difficult, but we played well and had a great game.
"We conceded a goal through their only genuine chance of the game. We are disappointed but pleased to have made the quarter finals. We are very disappointed, because we know we could've beat them.
"In certain instances, we were better than them, but this is football.
"It's not a disappointment not to have scored. The only disappointment is that the team did not win, but we showed tonight that we are a good team," said the Real Madrid man.
Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was similarly despondent after the match, but hopes France use the defeat as a reference point for future.
"There is inevitable disappointment. We wanted to accomplish the feat, but we lacked spark in the final third," he said.
"But, there is nothing to be ashamed of, Spain were very strong. Now, we must use this performance to build for the future.
"The choices of the coach? I didn't discuss them. We tried a few things to help us adapt to our opponents' game, but this is normal.
"I think we did well in limiting their chances in front of goal, but there is much to reproach to ourselves."
Defender Adil Rami shared Benzema's view of the match, alluding to the opinion that his side had faced the world's greatest outfit..
"From my point of view, we performed pretty well defensively. It is true that we had some difficulties throughout the game, but we expected that," said the Valencia centreback..
"I must say that we played against the best team in the world, even though Spain didn't have that many chances, but when they had one they took it and that made the difference.
"There is nothing we can do about it. There's nothing more to say – now - we'll pack our bags and go back home.
"We can only congratulate Spain. The only regret we can have was our performance in the 2-0 defeat by Sweden. We have to move on and we shouldn't be too down about our game against Spain."