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Uefa Nations League

Deschamps: Giroud criticism unfair as striker goes fourth

The Chelsea striker moved on to 32 goals for Les Bleus as their post-World Cup campaign got off to a perfect start with a 2-1 victory over the Netherlands in Paris.

Deschamps: Giroud criticism unfair as striker goes fourth
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Didier Deschamps hailed Olivier Giroud for ending his international goal drought and securing a 2-1 Nations League win for France over the Netherlands.

Giroud went through the entirety of Les Bleus' triumphant 2018 World Cup campaign without finding the net but the Chelsea striker was on hand to net a 74th-minute winner in Paris after Ryan Babel cancelled out Kylian Mbappé's early opener on Sunday.

The 31-year-old Giroud is now France's fourth-highest scorer in history, with 32 to his name, and Deschamps warmly praised a selfless performer.

"I am very happy for Olivier Giroud," the head coach told M6. "He's very helpful for us and he's given us the win. He's often unjustly criticised. "He's very important to the team. We need him."

Giroud's volley from Benjamin Mendy's cross meant the Stade de France could enjoy the post-match World Cup celebration party with greater gusto.

"There's a great atmosphere and it's going to continue," Deschamps added.

"It was the first game at Stade de France after the World Cup. Having this communion with all the people present, we had to do it [win] and we will enjoy it."


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