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Deschamps defends Pogba after supporters whistle France star

FRANCE 3-1 ITALY

Deschamps defends Pogba after supporters whistle France star

Deschamps defends Pogba after supporters whistle France star

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Though France eased to a 3-1 win over Italy, Paul Pogba had a quiet game but was defended by Les Bleus coach Didier Deschamps.

Didier Deschamps told France supporters to lower their expectations after Paul Pogba was whistled during last night's 3-1 friendly defeat of Italy. Although strikes from Samuel Umtiti, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembélé saw Les Bleus win comfortably in Nice on Friday, some supporters whistled Pogba when he was substituted late in the game. The Manchester United midfielder had a quiet match as a lively front three of Griezmann, Dembélé and Kylian Mbappé provided the thrills in attack.

Griezmann and Paul Pogba before last night's friendly against Italy in Nice.

France fans "too demanding" sighs Deschamps

And Deschamps, whose side have one more warm-up match before the World Cup, suggested fans are expecting too much from France.

"The whistles for Paul Pogba? It's not just for him, at one point we kept the ball and they whistled too," the coach told TF1. "It had already happened. The public also prefers to score five, six goals but it's high level, there is a team in front of us. The players do the right thing. Are they affected or not, I do not know... I will not remember that, but if it maybe could not be the case, it would be better."

Dembélé celebrates after scoring against Italy at the Allianz Riviera Stadium last night.

Denied by the post

Despite some sections of the France support being unimpressed, Deschamps' men thrilled in Nice and could have won by more, with Dembélé and N'Golo Kanté both striking the woodwork. "We conceded more situations in the second half, we have the ability to break fast and create many opportunities," Deschamps continued. "You have to be more efficient to get away sooner. The players demonstrated the state of mind that is needed. But we will not get over-excited. A last part of preparation awaits us.  We must keep what this group has in terms of ambition and enthusiasm. We do not do everything perfectly, but the intentions are there."

France, considered among the leading contenders for the World Cup, open their Russia 2018 campaign against Australia on 16 June, prior to Group C meetings with Peru and Denmark.

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