Giroud answers his critics with goals, says Deschamps

The Arsenal man is now in the top-10 France goalscorers, leading to praise from his national team coach

Didier Deschamps has praised France forward Olivier Giroud for continuing to respond to his critics with goals.

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The Arsenal striker scored twice in France's 3-1 win away to Luxembourg in World Cup qualifying on Saturday, Antoine Griezmann adding the third from the penalty spot.

Giroud started the match despite a frustrating season at club level which has seen him limited to just seven Premier League starts, while he had failed to score in his two other Group A appearances for Les Bleus.

Deschamps felt vindicated for opting to stick with the 30-year-old, but stressed the credit was all his.

After being told he was right to keep his confidence in Giroud, Dechamps said: "Thank you, but that is his merit and I will not take it off him.

"The position of striker is always a big responsibility - it attracts a lot of criticism. Sometimes it is unfair like before the Euro, when he responded.

"I discussed it with him at length. He realises that he is not having his best season. He was a bit bothered by injuries, but despite everything, he scores.

"I trusted him by putting him in because I know what he can do in this type of game. Good for him."

Giroud moved into the top-10 of all-time top France scorers with his double in a win that saw his side take another step towards Russia 2018 without hitting top gear.

"It was a complicated game because of an opponent who defended well," added Deschamps.

"We had good control, but in the first half-hour we missed a bit of speed in our play.

"The pitch did not favour a fluid game, but we did what was necessary to create opportunities and score three goals.

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"This is positive for our qualification, even if the road is still long."

France, who sit three points clear of Sweden at the top of the group, host Spain in a glamour friendly match in Paris on Tuesday.

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