Browse content similar to Match Replay: France v Albania. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Welcome to Marseille for this encounter between the house is
France and Albania who are playing in the competition for the first
time. With three points on the board after the opening game in Paris, a
win here would see France qualify for the knockout stages. Albania are
still looking for their first point after losing 1-0 to Switzerland on
Saturday. Didier Deschamps makes two changers.
Albania are without their captain who was suspended after playing
against Switzerland. France have one four of six matches.
They failed to win either of the last two games against Albania. But
it is tonight was my game that really matters on the big stage in
the European Championships. A first touch for Kingsley Coman who has
been playing for Bayern Munich in the past season and gets an
opportunity tonight. Anthony Martial has been brought into the side. A
nice early touch for both of those players brought into the team. Other
than those two, it is as you work for France.
Matuidi is a late addition to the squad given the injuries to the
other defenders. Didier Deschamps was keen not to be very unbalanced.
The capacity is 64,000 in the Stade Velodrome. There were a couple of
hundred tickets left for the opening match, not so here. It's sold out
very quickly. It was a bit of a struggle for Albania against
Switzerland at the weekend, down to ten men. But they battled well in
the second half and could have easily earned a late draw.
Sadiku, the Number Ten, is often an isolated figure.
Ajeti plays in Italy. Albania will be more than aware of the blistering
pace that Kingsley Coman has. The first chance for France to get the
ball into the Albanian penalty area. The Albanian keeper made a mistake
in the first few minutes of the game against Switzerland. He played well
after that, but the damage has been done.
It was whipped in dangerously and over the top of the head of Olivier
Giroud. He scored the opening goal against Romania in Paris. Eight
goals in his last six starts for France.
The number four for Albania is the only one who plays in one of the top
sides in Europe. And a free kick for Albania.
And a free kick for France which Patrice Evra will take. Didier
Deschamps said he was keen for the team to move the ball forward more
quickly in this second match. He wanted greater velocity and more
fluidity from his team, hoping they have got the first match out of the
way and all the pressure and the stress that comes with it. He is in
one of his old starting grounds as well. He lifted the European Cup as
the captain of Marseille in 1993 when they beat Milan in the final.
He came back and coached Marseille as well.
Kukeli has got that holding role in midfield for Albania.
Ajeti was waiting for Anthony Martial and he was backed up by
Lila, one of the three changes for Albania.
The first touch of the ball for Hugo Lloris. The French will be a little
wary of Lenjani. Sadiku does not get the throw he was
hoping for. He has done such a good job for Albania.
Kingsley Coman only turned 20 on Monday. He is a fantastic talent. He
played PSV at the age of 16. The Albanian fans are making
themselves heard. There is a contingent in this cavernous
stadium. Albania competing at a major
tournament for the very first time in their history. They qualified as
runners up in their group behind Portugal. Very tough side to play
against. Quick to get bodies up behind the ball, difficult to break
down. They do not tend to score many goals.
France bound to 10 men just at the moment.
They could consider themselves unfortunate not to have got a point
from that match with Switzerland in Lens on Saturday. Abrashi with the
ball into Memushaj, who is fouled. Trying to force his way past Blaise
Matuidi. He's got a share of the play in the opening 18 minutes of
this 1. No rain deposited on the venue as of
yet. Sadiku, hassling and harrying the
French. They are working very hard. Now perhaps a chance for France to
break. Here is Payet, who played many times here for Marseille, only
left last summer to join West Ham. A big night for him. Looking for
Coman, who had gone through the centre.
Matuidi, and now a bit of space for Martial. Giroud waits in the centre,
and mah Schalke can it get past. -- my shall.
The crowd were on the edge of their seats, in fact out of their seats as
France raced into the penalty area. Still looking for his first goal for
the national team, winning his 11th cap tonight.
Payet to take it. Dangerous looking ball in.
Kingsley Coman gets the better of Memushaj.
Martial of against Leila. -- Lila. Payet. That was shanked behind for a
corner off the boot of Ajeti. The first corner of the match. Ajeti
will have been relieved to see that going wide of his own goal.
Headed away. A rearguard action from Albania at the moment, and they have
got a goal kick here. Abrashi, robustly challenging Payet.
Payet was taken off at half-time the last time France played Albania last
year. Lorries, quick to get things moving.
-- Lloris. Vesely penalised by the referee,
Willie Collum. The full-back is going to have his
hands full this evening with Anthony Martial. 17 goals in all
competitions for Manchester United in his first season. Just 20 years
of age. It has been a quiet opening 20
minutes for the Albanian goalkeeper, Etrit Berisha. Is that about to
change? Bacary Sagna. Matuidi. Payet. Now they are within range,
Martial, good challenge by Ajeti. He did well, lying in wait. And now
away comes Memushaj for our mania. Not the first player to slip on the
Stade Velodrome service in the opening 20 minutes. Suddenly the
match opens up a little. Payet. Intercepted by Albania. The forward
ball was not the best and France get a free kick. A little knowledge in
the back for Laurent Koscielny. Little being the operative word. --
little nudge in the back. This was a superb challenge by Ajeti. Ajeti,
another one of those born in Switzerland, born in Basel. He left
Basel last year for pastures new in Italy.
There are most experienced player and captain, Lorik Cana, the former
Marseille player, would have loved to come back here with our mania. --
with Albania. A bit of space, but just out of reach for Martial.
Agolli. He holds off Giroud. Towards Giroud by Koscielny. This
the third time that France have played a game in this stadium at the
European Championships finals, beaten 2-0 by Czechoslovakia in
1960, but maybe Portugal were re-to in 1984. -- they beat Portugal here
3-2 in 1964. Just past the midway point in the first half.
Good running by the Natalie player, El Cid Hysaj. And it Sadiku was
almost on the end of that. A real threat from Albania. The deflection
from Anthony Martial just took it away from Southee Q. -- from Sadiku.
That has quietened the home crowd momentarily.
Kingsley Coman. He has made a very confident start, Ajeti.
Mavraj, the Cologne defender. Albania keen to get on with this.
Here is Abrashi. Towards Memushaj. Ajeti.
He was rather hoping that Hysaj would continue the run ahead of him.
Albania have shown so far that they will be no pushover is at this
European Championship. They almost caught the French by surprise there.
Good blend of youth and experience in this French squad.
He asked a little too much of Patrice Evra.
Even if he was slightly less than his current 35 years, I still do not
think he would have been able to get that.
Albania are settling very nicely into this match. Neither goalkeeper
has very much to do at all. Sadiku is always willing to strain
every sinew in pursuit of the ball. Bacary Sagna is getting well forward
here on the near side. The pass was rather wayward and the
referee brings the game to a halt. Olivier Giroud is penalised. He is
already on a yellow card, so he would miss the next game if he was
booked today. Kukeli for Albania is also on a yellow.
Sadiku was up against Laurent Koscielny and he goes down. It would
appear as though France are going to put the ball out of play. The
referee comes across to have a look. And Sadiku is now getting grief from
three quarters of the stadium. It has been a frustrating opening
half an hour for the hosts. That was wildly optimistic from
there. He had options to his left and right. Hugo Lloris is keen to
get things moving for France. That was ruled as a stumble by the
referee. But he was caught on the back of the leg.
It was very hard to try and keep the ball in play.
A dangerous looking ball and Berisha confidently went up straightaway
anyway. The keeper kept his eye on that one. He has been the number two
goalkeeper this season. Berisha looked a little stressed
there. Not quite such a good cross. But
what a lovely touch to take Kukeli out of the game. Absolutely
brilliant. The French have not had much to
cheer about so far in this game. Dmitri Payet has got an opportunity
to put the ball into the heart of the penalty area. The big boys are
up from the back. France have had plenty of the ball,
but they have not been able to do much with it... Yet. Olivier Giroud
got his head on it. He is really frustrated with
himself. The referee blew for the first
challenge on Sadiku. You can see what Matuidi is suggesting to the
Scottish referee. He definitely got the ball. Then he most certainly got
Sadiku afterwards. That was a dangerous looking ball
in. A diving header behind from Laurent Koscielny. Could not take
any chances there. Sadiku was racing in behind him. It is the first
corner of the match for Albania. Just over seven minutes remaining of
the opening 45. The shots on goal was smothered at
the very last moment. France very nearly came unstuck there. Another
opportunity for Albania. It fell kindly for Matuidi. He asked
a lot of Laurent Koscielny. Didier Deschamps made the call before the
match leaving out Antoine Griezmann and Didier Drogba before the match.
The new look to the French team has not hit the ground running at all so
far in this game. A quiet night so far for Berisha in the Albanian
gold. Albania are right in this match.
Paul Pogba is limbering up. He will be like a greyhound waiting to get
out of the trap, desperate to get on the field.
It was just taken away from Sadiku by Laurent Koscielny.
Promising play from Albania. Five minutes to go until half-time.
France will have to be patient here. Kingsley Coleman was surrounded,
nowhere to go. Can France have a more productive
final five minutes of this first half? Anthony Marsh rolling it in
the general direction of Olivier Giroud. But the Albanians were lying
in wait. The referee was quick to step in, but he has given a free
kick to Albania. It was the challenge initially on Patrice Evra.
High boot, and they get a free kick outside the box. It has just been
pointed out why the referee as to why he has given it. Patrice Evra
just catching El Cid Hysaj on the side of the head. -- Elseid HYsaj.
Lucas Digne warming up in case Patrice Evra is unable to continue.
There is some suggestion that he would refer to stay on loan with
Roma from PSG, given a choice. Can Albania take advantage of this
situation? Both sides with ten men on the field at the moment. The free
kick, whistling over the top of the bar. How close was it? Hugo Lloris
looked to have it covered. The last minute of the opening 45.
Giroud was penalised for backing in, rather forcefully.
The French have not got out of second gear in this first half.
Casually across, and sliding in was Lila. I think that is a corner for
Albania. It has been given as a corner much to the consternation of
the Crown. It is their third of the game. It is Albania on the front
foot in added time at the end of the first half here. Nail-biting finale
to the first half for the French. It didn't quite fall for him, and
France will have the free kick. Should just about do it. The
half-time whistle can only be seconds away. The Albania fans will
be happy with what they have seen from their team in this first half.
There goes the half-time whistle. Not much to cheer for the home
crowd. Whistles in the style velodrome because France have
misfired in this first half against stubborn opponents who, on a couple
of occasions, have come close to creating real goal-scoring
opportunities. At the break, all to play for, it is 0-0.
Paul Pogba has been brought on for the start of this second after
replace Anthony Martial. France very disappointing in the opening 45
minutes. A misfiring performance as a team, and Martial is the one who
pays the price for that. Didier Deschamps making one change. No
changes made by the Albania coach, Di Biasi. His team have played well.
No surprises there. Pogba was one of two players dropped along with
Antoine Griezmann. On now for the second period. The referee, Willie
Collum from Scotland, gets is underway. Laurent Koscielny.
He has bodies to aim at in the centre. It is not the dawn by
Matuidi just past the far post with Kingsley Coman racing in. A
blistering start to the second half for France. Pogba went to ground.
Kingsley Coman able to get that header inside the front post. --
unable to. Albania acquitting themselves very well in the first
half. Carrying that extra threat going forward, troubling France on a
couple of occasions. Dimitry Payet. And Adil Rami almost
got his toe onto that. The Sevilla defender looking to add to the one
goal that he has scored for the French national team in his career
so far. His team winning the Europa League
and reaching the final of the Copa Del Rey, where they were beaten by
Barcelona. Lila. Evra. Showing that there showing against France last
June was no fluke, on their manager 's 60th birthday.
That was decisively won by Patrice Evra. Matuidi will chase, Eric comes
out, and it is away. Payet, for once, unable to control the ball.
Kukeli brings it clear. You will get the free kick. -- he will get the
free kick Matuidi chasing into the pen of late area. -- penalty area.
He has support outside. He was a little heavy footed there. Generally
a defensive midfielder or right back who sometimes, as today, is deployed
on the right wing by Albania. Winning his 50th cap today. He has
been part of the squad since around 2008.
Kingsley Coman has not been able to make an impact on the match so far.
Berisha taking as much time with this as he can get away with.
The free kick quickly taken. Kukeli. Abrashi alongside him. Agolli
switching the player. This is recent from Albania. Decent looking cross.
France really struggling, and save either post. -- saved by the post.
France at full stretch, as the ball ricochets off the post and bounces
off the head of Elseid Hysaj. The ball bounces off their head of
Memushaj inside the six yard box. Albania again showing that they are
more than capable of causing problems for the French. Coman has
done well here. Dimitry Payet within shooting range, he tees it up, and
it is a corner. Cheers from the home crowd. We haven't heard many of
those so far this evening. It is only the second corner that the
French have one in the hole game and we are my minutes into the second
half. -- nine minutes. Payet quips it then. -- whips it in.
Evra towards Giroud. Payet, lovely, outside of the boot. Great chance,
and Sky Ride by Pogba. -- skied by. Pogba was there, on the half volley.
Couldn't quite keep it underneath the crossbar. France are getting
closer. Not quite as close as Albania were just a couple of
minutes ago. Albania one of two countries, along
with Iceland, making their tournament debut this year. Sadly
too. -- Sadiku. Hugo Lloris was committed. It is a
yellow card for the first time this evening. He will miss the final
group match. The French are one of three nations
to win as hosts along with Spain. That shot was some distance away.
Kingsley Coman is coming into the game a little more in the second
half. Antoine Griezmann is one of the
substitute is warming up for France at the moment.
Matuidi sticks to his task and ultimately comes away with the ball.
Matt Tweedie is so strong. But now it is back with Paul Popper. That
Paul Pogba. It was certainly worth a try from that range.
This Albanian team is totally committed.
That was a little loose, almost leaving the door open for Olivier
Giroud. Can any of those players score a
goal against France? Or will it be the French who prevail?
Advantage played by the referee. The referee was well placed. He says
they played the ball. Tidy and composed for the most part from
Albania. France are looking to up the tempo and the pressure. Again
very quickly players are back behind the ball for Albania.
France have potentially got many match winners in their team. And
they have a corner. Less than half an hour to go.
All hands on deck for Albania once again and it was Koscielny who got
his head to that one. No threat to Berisha's goal.
Again they survived that little flurry.
Gianni De Biasi has certainly got Albania very well organised and well
prepared. It is a throw in. So the referee
says. It is a corner. France are upping
the tempo. The second corner in the last couple
of minutes for France. Albania's stubborn resistance is
still holding. France are preparing to make another
change shortly. Antoine Griezmann will come on.
Perhaps there is room for Patrice Evra. He just waited half a second
too long. The blue shirts were queueing up. It goes wide. Howls of
frustration cascading down from the stands at the Stade Velodrome. It
was a hint of an opening. And Kingsley Coman is replaced by
Antoine Griezmann. The two players brought into the side by Didier
Deschamps tonight have both been taken off and replaced by the two
big-name stars who were left out. Antoine Griezmann has had a stunning
season at Atletico Madrid. 32 goals in all competitions. On the opening
night against Romania he was substituted. Has had 62 games in his
legs already be for tonight. Oh! Of the post! The closest France
have come to scoring tonight. Dmitri Payet looks to pile on the pressure.
Olivier Giroud looks to the heavens. He cannot believe that the ball did
not go in. It was a firm, powerful header.
For France in this Championship there is no Karim Benzema.
The former Stade Velodrome man only left just over a year ago to go to
Mexico. We are past the midway point of the second half. Into the final
quarter of the game. Some tired legs out there. Pogba,
gaining ground all the way. Albania get the ball clear towards the
halfway line. Adil Rani. Griezmann is coming fairly short. I had a
Payet. Pogba, we saw what a great athlete use, moments ago. Pogba with
the ball in. Matuidi almost on the end of that. Suddenly, France are
starting to play. This is the header from Giroud once again. Off the foot
of the post. President Francois Hollande
among those in the stadium watching the match tonight. Andi Lila off,
replaced by Odise Roshi. Odise Roshi started the first match against
Switzerland and lasted 74 minutes. He is on for what remains of this
one. Only one of 20 league appearances for his club side Rijeka
was a start this season. France, knocking on the door. The pressure
starting to build. Payet. He sends that one swelling into the box. --
swirling. He has done well, Memushaj to get away from Pogba. He goes over
the lake of Ngolo Kante, but he was not fouled. Stayed on the ground.
This is Dimitry Payet. Albania affectively down to ten men at the
moment. Pogba sends it into the box, met by the head of Ajeti. Down goes
Pogba. The referee has a look. Gives the free kick to Albania.
Are we going to have a change for the Albanians once again? Their
second change in quick succession. Willie Collum, the referee, just
checking on the player on the ground. He is Memushaj. He ran into
the challenge from Ngolo Kante. Looks like it is Kukeli who is down.
Albania, using the opportunity to have a drink and, no doubt disrupt
the flow of the French game. Was starting to carry a real threat.
They have done so well for so long in this match. 17 minutes to go.
Taulant Xhaka. He is about to come on. Xhaka on, with Kukeli the player
going off, he was the player on the ground moments ago.
Xhaka was substituted on Saturday. He had a bit of a tantrum as he left
the field. The Albanian fans still in high spirits. 15 minutes away
from what would be an excellent point, if they could hang on.
Di Biasi, you can see on the bottom of your screen is very animated in
the technical area. The free kick given away by Patrice
Evra for the challenge. These set plays are the things that the
Albanians need to try and make it count.
Not a great free kick, it must be said. Easily away by Patrice Evra.
15 minutes to go. Berisha. France still stuttering. Can't find
a way through to break the deadlock. Hysaj. That was too high for
Lenjani. Abrashi chasing. He was unlucky not to get the throw-in. We
are going to have a change now. And the Marseille public like the look
of this one. Olivier Giroud is going to be replaced by a real crowd
favoured here, listen to the raw for Andre Gignac, the former Marseille
striker who only left the club year ago. He gets a chance for the final
15 minutes. Gignac has had a great year in Mexico with Cop, they got to
the final of the Copa Libertadores, and he scored 33 goals. The move was
questioned at the time but it has turned out to be a good one. Good
skill initially from Paul Pogba. The flag up. Offside. Albania have a
free kick. Gignac winning his 20th cap, seven goals in the games so
far. -- 28th cap. Taulant Xhaka. Albania in possession
now. And caught out in possession. Pogba with that long stride finding
Gignac. Not the best first touch, not a bad ball. It finds Payet.
Alarm bells ringing at the back for Albania. Towards Griezmann, but over
the top from Sagna. Still looking for his first goal for France in his
59th appearance. He struck it well, just not accurately enough. There is
a relieved man, Taulant Xhaka. He was relieved of the ball in the
middle third of the field. It doesn't add to the spectacle, but
you cannot blame Albania for taking their time.
Have Albania got enough about them to maybe stun France late on? Space
here for Xhaka. Knocks it clear, away from Blaise Matuidi. Odise
Roshi, fresh legs, only been on for a few minutes. Good, combos play
from Albania. -- composed play. Matuidi was fouled. That will be a
yellow card. Abrashi saying it was my first foul.
The referee saying it was enough to get you in the book. Yellow cards
for Kukeli and Abrashi. The noise really does just echo around this
stadium. Inside the last ten minutes of the
game. Berisha, scuttling across his goal, as Koscielny raced in. It was
a chance. The central defenders getting in behind the defence.
Didn't make any contact of any great note at all. Very sure, happy to see
it go behind. -- Berisha. 82 minutes on the clock. Xhaka,
looking at the referee, hoping for a free kick. The Albanians still
digging in. France, probing, looking to break the deadlock. Griezmann
almost on the end of it. And Berisha, just grateful to drop down
on the ball. Left out at the start of the match, Griezmann. Almost
getting on the end of it. As another Albanian player goes down with
cramp. Real frustration for the French President. Albania are going
to make their third and final change any moment now. Frederic Veseli is
going to come on. Matuidi, it is opening up here. Pogba, to
Griezmann, Payet, this looks threatening. Payet still going.
Matuidi looking for an opening. He cannot find it. Ngolo Kante, and it
takes a deflection, wide. He got a goal against Russia earlier this
year. This time, when he let fly, a deflection carried it well wide of
the post. France firmly rapping on Albania 's door. Ajeti looks as if
he is going off. He has had a good game.
Veseli is coming on to replace him. Straight into the thick of the
action now. And Albania get it away once again.
What a tough nut to crack they are. They are a difficult team to play
against. We are about to go into the final
five minutes of the 90 and still we await our first goal. France look
the more likely. Goalkick. Albania are inching towards a point. France
are five minutes away from real frustration.
Berisha is pushing his luck with the referee here. Gianni De Biasi can be
proud of the effort of his players. Not the spectacle that many would
have hoped for around the world from the favourites. But if you look at
it from Albania's point of view, so far it has been an excellent night
's work. But they are not there yet. Still time for a chance or two.
Remember France left it late to find a winner against Romania in the
first game, 97 minutes for the 2-1 win. Dmitri Payet had to find
something special on Friday night. We are in the 87th minute now.
Real disciplined defending from Albania.
What an untimely slip. Unfortunate for Paul Pogba.
Konte will have his name taken by the referee. His first yellow of the
tournament. From Albania's point of view it will eat up a little bit
more time. Albania are fighting for all they
are worth here. Here come the French, roared on by the crowd.
Gignac was unable to turn it goalwards. France have a corner.
Just over one minute remaining in the 90.
A gargantuan effort from the Albanian defence today and it is not
over yet. And Antoine Griezmann saves the day
for France in the last minute of the 90. Left out of the team by Didier
Deschamps at the start tonight. He is the hero of the hour. Relief
echoes around the Stade Velodrome. The favourites are set to squeeze
home against Albania. They went so close to keeping a clean sheet and
securing a precious and memorable point. But the French kept proving
and in the end they found a way through.
He was unmarked. I doubt whether Didier Deschamps will leave him out
of the next match. But we are going into five minutes
of added time. What a relief for Didier Deschamps, what a relief on
President Hollande and three quarters of the stadium here.
Antoine Griezmann delivers a potentially knockout blow to
Albania. Right at the end of this contest we are in added time now. If
France win this match, they are into the knockout stages with a game to
spare. Suddenly the crowd are absolutely full of it. But Albania
do have time to create a chance or two.
Loric Cena is forced to look on from the stands. He can do nothing to
help his compatriots. You can just sends the relief all
around the stadium. But the points are not secured yet for the hosts.
Albania have not threaten Hugo Lloris's goal for a while in this
second half. Have they got enough craft and guile to carve out an
opportunity? They had a good chance to equalise against Switzerland's
late on on Saturday. The referee is quick to halt the
match. There was a head clash with Koscielny. It was a hefty one as
well. Here is the goal. It is so frustrating for Gianni De
Biasi. He looked out of sorts on Friday against Romania. He will be
on the front pages for all the right reasons. It is heartbreaking for
Albania, having done so well. They could easily have got a draw against
Switzerland, probably should have done, even with ten men. They have
come mighty close to getting a point against the hosts here.
Both players are OK and back in the game. Deep in added time. Last
chance saloon surely now for Albania.
Matuidi is busting a gut to get there. Dmitri pie can seal the deal
here and he has. And that has put a better gloss on it from the French
point of view. Two goals right at the death. Gianni De Biasi reflects
on what might have been and what so nearly was. A hard-fought goalless
draw has slipped to Albania's fingers. First the header from
Antoine Griezmann, and now this finish from Dmitri pie yet secure
the points for France. They go through to the knockout stages.
Dmitri Payet has his second goal of the European Championships.
Unconvincing and out of sorts for a long while in the game, France. The
score line will say that they won it with a little room to spare, but it
will not tell the whole story of the game. There goes the final whistle.
The goal was the last kick of the match. Cheers of joy and relief from
the French crowd here. Bitter disappointment for Albania who
fought so hard and came so close to what would have been an excellent
week. But France have got matchwinners in their side and so it
proved on the night, albeit very late. Their 100% record continues,
two wins out of two. The England Men's and
the England Women's cricket teams