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Dublin: 6 °C Tuesday 18 February, 2020

Deschamps defends Pogba as fans whistle star during impressive win over Italy

The Manchester United man was out-shone by Les Bleus’ brilliant front three of Mbappe, Griezmann and Dembele.

Paul Pogba in action for France against Italy
Paul Pogba in action for France against Italy

DIDER DESCHAMPS TOLD France supporters to lower their expectations after Paul Pogba was whistled during a 3-1 friendly defeat of Italy.

Although strikes from Samuel Umtiti, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele saw Les Bleus win comfortably in Nice tonight, 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, Dembele and Kylian Mbappe provided the thrills ahead.

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,” Deschamps 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.”

Despite some sections of the France support being unimpressed, Deschamps’ men could have won by more, with Dembele and N’Golo Kante both striking the woodwork.

“We conceded more situations in the second half, we have the ability to break fast and create many opportunities,” Deschamps said. “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 June 16, prior to Group C meetings with Peru and Denmark.

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