Soccer News of Sat, 21 Jun 20140
Djourou: Switzerland made it easy for France
Johan Djourou felt Switzerland were deservedly punished for each mistake they made against France on Friday, arguing they made life "easy" for their opponents.
Ottmar Hitzfeld's side started solidly enough in Salvador but after losing centre-half Steve von Bergen to a head injury nine minutes in, they then collapsed, conceding two goals in the space of 66 seconds just after the quarter-hour mark.
France struck again before the break and went 5-0 up in the second half before Switzerland salvaged some pride with late strikes from Blerim Dzemaili and Granit Xhaka.
Djourou admitted afterwards, though, that the sixth-highest ranked team in the world had only themselves to blame for a demoralising defeat that leaves them on three points after two games.
"It's tough to take," the defender told reporters at Arena Fonte Nova. "We were expecting a better result. Or at the very least, a better performance.
"It was hard. Conceding two goals so quickly was a big blow for us. At this level, it's hard to come back from that. We kept on fighting but today France made us pay for our mistakes.
"With their high pressure, they made it difficult for us, but I think when you look at the game and the goals that we conceded you can see that they were all our mistakes. We made it so easy for them.
"We lost so many balls in dangerous areas. At this level, against any good team, but particularly one with the guys they have in attack, you're going to be punished. That was our problem.
"I think we have to be more cautious and also better on the ball in our next game, against Honduras.
"We're usually very good in possession, because that's our philosophy, but today we were lacking a bit of concentration. You saw that with the goals we conceded."
After starting with Antoine Griezmann alongside Karim Benzema and Mathieu Valbuena against Honduras, France boss Didier Deschamps opted to replace the Real Sociedad winger with Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud for the game against the Swiss.
It proved an inspired choice, as Giroud not only netted Les Bleus' opener, but Benzema also flourished after being pushed out wide, scoring one goal and creating two others during a man-of-the-match-winning display.
Switzerland looked completely unprepared for France's front three but Djourou insisted the inclusion of Giroud had not come as a surprise.
"We knew that they had done that against Jamaica in a friendly a few weeks ago, so we knew it was a possibility," the Hamburg centre-half explained.
"But obviously they are two different players and it's difficult against them. Giroud is very good in the air but he also controls the ball well and can hold it up well with his strength. Benzema is very good technically and can exploit space with his pace. They combined very well today.
"The best we can say is that France were very good, we have to give them credit but we were not that good today.
"We have to stay positive, though. This team has great potential. We've shown it before. We didn't today but France were very good.
"But we have to remain upbeat and keep on believing. We have three points and if we win our next game, we should qualify.
"At this moment now, though, we have to analyse this game, look at the negatives and take out some positives for the next game."