After France struck back to earn a 1-1 draw in their Group D opener against England, Yohan Cabaye lamented the fact his side only woke up once they had gone a goal behind, but goalkeeper Hugo Lloris still considered it a useful point gained.
Yohan Cabaye, France midfielder
We took our time to really start playing and that’s a pity – we only got into our stride after the goal we conceded, but afterwards we showed our trademark style. We got the ball – we love having the ball – and the coach does too. We’ll have to do this in our next match [against Ukraine], which won’t be easy at all – it will be a very important match.
We were expecting a well-organised back four, but at the end they were coming forward. We couldn’t find a way to push them back unfortunately, they laid down a really strong defensive line. It remains a point on the board. We wanted to start with a victory, but we didn’t lose and that’s also important. Now the second match will become even more important – we will try to put pressure on them and it will be crucial to win.
Hugo Lloris, France goalkeeper
The English players defended well, but we had done the most difficult thing when we equalised just before the break. Unfortunately we did not succeed in scoring another goal, which would have won this game.
They had maybe two or three scoring chances. We knew we would keep possession during the game and that the English would do well from dead-ball situations and play on the counterattack. We managed to break up their counterattacks, and from set pieces they were only dangerous when they scored – they knew how to take advantage of that opportunity. It really comes down to details during matches, but what we have to take from this game is our very good attitude on the field.
Tonight our display was good, but we lacked decisive chances to score a goal. We did not make it tonight, the English defended very deep, so it was difficult for us to find open spaces. That’s it: we won a good point, and we will have to take the three points during our next two matches.
Alou Diarra, France midfielder
England defended our attacks quite well. Then they were lucky with that free kick and took the lead, but we responded well. Then we were on the front foot, but unfortunately we weren’t dynamic enough to score a second goal. It’s a pity but I think, all in all, we can be satisfied with the match, because we dominated. We conceded a goal that we could have prevented by not conceding the free-kick, and by being more diligent in marking the opposition. But I hope we can develop a rhythm and pick up the pace during this competition and that we will be on the ball from the first minute of the next match.
The heat is incredible and it is not easy to get used to these conditions. But, of course, England are a very good team. England managed to create a lot of pressure by pressing very high up the pitch. That did not make it easy for us to get the ball out of our half. But, eventually, they got a bit tired as a result and we managed to play our game. So I think we deserved to equalise. With a little bit more accuracy towards the end, we could have won.
I have waited a long time for this competition. I am very motivated – I want to have a great campaign with my country and experience great moments like in 2006 with the national team. I’m really motivated and so are my team-mates. We have a lot of ambition. The aim is to get through the group stage.