Gareth Southgate praises England players despite France heartbreak

Gareth Southgate admitted he felt his players ‘deserved more’ after suffering late heartbreak in a 2-1 defeat against France which saw them crash out of the World Cup.

England played well for much of the game and were arguably the better side at the Al Bayt Stadium, but fell behind to a wonder strike from Aurelien Tchouameni.

Harry Kane levelled the scores with a penalty, only for Olivier Giroud to win it for France 15 minutes from time with a powerful header.

Kane had a chance to score from the spot for a second time after a foul on Mason Mount, but blazed his spot-kick over the bar to hand victory to Didier Deschamps’ side.

Asked what he made of the clash, Southgate said: “Well I think the performance did [deserve better].

“Goals are decisive but I’ve just said to the players in there, I don’t think they can give anymore, they did well against a top team.

“It’s fine margins, things at both ends of the pitch have decided the game I think the way they’ve progressed through the tournament has been fantastic.”

England‘s quarter-final exit represents a worse performance than their run to the semi-finals at the 2018 World Cup. However, the consensus has been that the side has looked much stronger than the one that went to Russia that year, with greater depth and understanding as a team.

Despite suffering heartache tonight against the side that won the World Cup four years ago, there is certainly reason to be positive about this team if Southgate does remain in the job going forwards.

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