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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 14 November, 2019

'I don't remember the last time we were so bad' - Pogba at a loss to explain shock French defeat

Turkey stunned the world champions in their Euro 2020 qualifier.

France's Paul Pogba.
France's Paul Pogba.

PAUL POGBA STRUGGLED to find an explanation for France’s dismal performance in the wake of their 2-0 defeat against Turkey in Euro 2020 qualification.

Goals in the first half from Kaan Ayhan and Cengiz Under brought no response from Les Bleus, who failed to muster a single shot on target in 90 minutes despite the star quality of players such as Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe at the Torku Arena.

The defeat sees Turkey go three points clear at the top of Group H after handing Didier Deschamps’ men their third defeat in almost 15 months.

Pogba claims he cannot recall a time when his side struggled to make an impact on a game in such a manner, telling L’Equipe following the game: “We were ready, we knew it was going to be a high-level match and that the fans would be pushing them [Turkey] on. 

“We could not make the simplest passes, so we were not dangerous in front of goal. I don’t remember the last time we were so bad. We have to think and find the solution or find the answer. We need a reaction as soon as possible, from the next match.”

Nine of the 11 players who started France’s World Cup final win over Croatia made the starting line-up on Saturday, with only N’Golo Kante and Lucas Hernandez missing out as they were replaced by Moussa Sissoko and Lucas Digne.

The World Cup holders’ next match comes in the form of minnows Andorra, who have won just two competitive matches since 2004 – against Macedonia that year and Hungary in 2017.

Andorra currently sit bottom of Group H with three defeats and no goals to their name after playing Iceland, Albania and Moldova, but Pogba knows France must improve from their Turkey showing or risk a further upset on Tuesday evening.

“It was a day where we tried the simplest passes that did not work,” the Manchester United midfielder added. “As soon as we concede an opportunity, it’s a goal. With the ball, we are not dangerous, we do not even have a shot at goal.”

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