Olivier Giroud has insisted criticism from France fans will not damage his confidence with the national team after a below-par showing in Sunday's defeat to Belgium.

Giroud, 28, was jeered by sections of the Stade de France crowd during Les Bleus' 4-3 loss to their northern neighbours.

The Arsenal striker earned his side a second-half penalty that threw them a lifeline as Mathieu Valbuena reduced the scoreline to 2-1, and he had already seen Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois brilliantly save one of his efforts.

But it was a rare sight of goal for Giroud in a disappointing evening in which he did not seize the opportunity to make up ground on rival Karim Benzema, who was rested for the game and next Saturday's European Championship qualifier in Albania.  

"Personally, I lacked a little ruthlessness and luck, but strikers are judged on their ability to put chances away," Giroud explained. "And this evening, I had one or two, and not one of them ended up in the net. I got the penalty, but that's not going to console me. Whistles or no whistles, I've heard it before, and that won't stop me.

"When I'm called on, I have to contribute decisively and do my utmost. This evening, I didn't get the rub of the green, but we're going to get back to work to go and get the win in Albania, because we have to react."

France did stir late in the game to reduce the deficit to 4-3, but only after going 4-1 down through a brace from Marouane Fellaini, a Radja Nainggolan strike and an Eden Hazard penalty.

"We were dominated physically. This Belgium team aren't where they are by accident. They were ultra-clinical, because they scored four goals from five shots on target," France coach Dider Deschamps said, with the visitors also striking the bar through substitute Romelu Lukaku before Nabil Fekir and Dimitri Payet scored for the hosts to give the scoreline a cosmetic gloss.

Older Articles


Make a free website with Yola