Gignac: Late goals are France's strength


Andre-Pierre Gignac wants France to maintain their never-say-die attitude after securing a second consecutive last-gasp win at Euro 2016 against Albania.

Gignac came off the bench at Marseille's Stade Velodrome along with surprisingly dropped star men Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann, as Didier Deschamps' team appeared set for a night of frustration against the Group A outsiders.

But Atletico Madrid star Griezmann coolly glanced home to break the deadlock in the 90th minute before Dimitri Payet - France's hero in the tournament opener against Romania last Friday - made the most of a sumptuous Pogba pass and a Gignac assist deep into stoppage time.

It proved a euphoric conclusion to plenty of toil for the tournament favourites, but Tigres striker Gignac acknowledged that the lesser lights turning in impressive displays is becoming something of a theme for the competition

"What I see is that all teams are equal in this Euro," he said. "We have seen since the beginning of the competition, small teams bothering the big ones. 

"There were well organised. They defended well. As in the previous game, we had a snatch victory in the final moments. 

"This is our strength right now, we must keep it. Even if we would rather score early in the matches and make things easier. It's like that, that's football."

Gignac revealed the prospect of securing a last-16 berth with a game to spare formed a key part of Deschamps' half-time team talk as the deadlock remained intact.

"We want to win. The coach instills the wins in us," he said.

"At half-time, we were re-motivated, and we thought we must qualify tonight and snatch the win. There, that's done. In the last moments and in pain, but we are qualified and that's the most important thing. 

"But we will have to think about [the closing group game against] Switzerland right now and win again."

Gignac spent five seasons with Marseille and was afforded a rapturous reception when he was introduced in place of Olivier Giroud.

"There is no atmosphere like at the Velodrome in the Europe, honestly," he added. 

"The stadium is fantastic. For me, it was good to be acclaimed by the fans."