Deschamps: Maignan save 'worth a goal'
Didier Deschamps was not surprised by Mike Maignan's superb save in France's 1-0 win over Republic of Ireland, which he described as "worth a goal".
Milan goalkeeper Maignan preserved France's victory in the Euro 2024 qualifier with a sensational late stop, somehow clawing away Nathan Collins' goal-bound header.
That save followed him keeping out a penalty in France's 4-0 win over the Netherlands in their opening Group B clash, with Maignan quickly justifying his promotion to France's number one between the posts following Hugo Lloris' international retirement.
Having seen his side claim six points from two games, Deschamps was left with plenty to smile about as he reflected on their excellent start, including the shot-stopping prowess of Maignan.
"There is a lot of positive with six points, five goals and none conceded," said Deschamps in quotes reported by L'Equipe.
"The calendar had not given us gifts with the Netherlands and Ireland. We were less radiant today than Friday. We had fewer opportunities but we have to win these matches.
"The team showed a very good state of mind and character. There is Mike's stop. It's worth a goal. We were able to answer and being less brilliant than in the first game. Ireland defended well. I am happy and proud of this group against two opponents like that. It's really good to have already taken these six points."
Of Maignan's save, he added: "It's an exceptional stop. But I'm not surprised. I know what he is capable of doing. Hugo was also capable of such stops of his kind. Mike has all the qualities, the wingspan and the mind. He is a leader.
"There was already the penalty stopped against the Netherlands. But this stop is even more expensive. I had no doubts and uncertainties about the succession. When Mike is in full possession of his means, he is of a very high level."
Prior to Maignan's save, Benjamin Pavard scored what proved the decisive with a rasping strike from outside the area that flew in off the crossbar.
Pavard's goal marked his first appearance for France since their opening game of the 2022 World Cup against Australia.
"He had a very complicated match at the beginning of the World Cup," Deschamps said of Pavard.
"He had been a starter in previous years. He played the first game and Jules [Kounde] took his place.
"After this goal, I told him that I was very happy for him. Despite his personal disappointment, he has always kept the state of mind.
"He enjoyed his playing time in his club. It's very good for him and especially for the group."