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France striker Olivier Giroud was 'frustrated' to be sub against Australia

Frank Lebouef feels France "played like a small team" in the second half against Peru, and doesn't hold back in his opinion of Paul Pogba as a leader.
Argentina's chances of making the round of 16 took a blow after a huge loss to Croatia, while Kylian Mbappe became France's youngest-ever World Cup goal scorer.
ESPN's Steve Nicol believes Didier Deschamps only bares some of the blame for France lacking fluidity so far in the World Cup.

France striker Olivier Giroud has said he was "frustrated" by Didier Deschamps' decision to name him as a substitute for the World Cup-opening 2-1 win over Australia but "understood and accepted" it.

Giroud was brought on 20 minutes from time and was involved in the build-up to the Aziz Behich own goal that won the match 10 minutes later.

Deschamps started the Chelsea forward in Thursday's 1-0 win over Peru, when his shot led to the only goal of the game for Kylian Mbappe.

"For the first match, I was disappointed and frustrated," Giroud said at a news conference on Friday.

"I am a competitor and I want to play in every match. However, the most important thing is being able to reflect on that absence."

The win over Peru gave France six points from six and steered them into the round-of-16.

"1-0 wins, for me, are the most beautiful," Giroud said. "Obviously we enjoyed ourselves, even when getting back to help out defensively.

"Pleasure is not only taking it around your man and sticking the ball into the top corner; putting yourself in harm's way can also be pleasurable.

"I am happy -- I knew that I was waiting for this match. It is important to respond when the coach puts his faith in you and picks you. I tried to do my bit and I am happy with what I added.

"When I play I try to play with all of my qualities, notably to be the focal point, to add depth and to create space for the attacking midfielders to enable others to get into the game.

"My job is to play for the team, to put myself at the service of my teammates."

Giroud added that he had "understood and accepted" Deschamps' decision to leave him on the bench against Australia.

"He explained it to me -- it was not an injustice," he added. "I have had to deal with this through my entire career and it has always made me come back stronger. I has made me me."

Meanwhile, Paul Pogba said he was not surprised by Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe's decisive intervention against Peru.

"Kylian has so much talent, so we expect a lot from him," the Manchester United midfielder said.

"He is still young, just 19 years old. Of course he has talent, he is already a big boy. It is also to be expected that the media will be on him. We always want more from him.

"After a disappointing match, everybody will speak badly of him. After that, he will respond on the pitch and people will speak better of him again.

"Footballers like Kylian, who have great talent, have changed jobs. He is no longer a footballer -- he is in the business of shutting people up."

France can seal top spot in Group C if they beat Denmark in Moscow on Tuesday.

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