PARIS, September 8- France coach Didier Deschamps has defended striker Olivier Giroud, but admits that the Arsenal forward should have scored against Serbia on Monday.
As hosts of Euro 2016, France have no need to qualify, but took on the Serbians in a friendly at Stade Bordeaux-Atlantique where Blaise Matuidi struck twice for Les Bleus before Newcastle United forward Aleksandar Mitrovic pulled one back for Serbia.
Giroud started as a lone striker but was unable to find the net before being replaced by Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, who was reportedly being chased by Gunners boss Arsene Wenger to compete with Giroud at club level.
“He got unlucky on a few chances because the goalkeeper made a great save and he got three clear opportunities,” Deschamps said. “One was not on target, a header close from the goal-frame.
“Obviously if he had been more efficient the score would have been much higher. In his role he made a lot of effort. I always leave a lot of freedom to the three attacking players so he also had to counterbalance.
“Obviously he knows about his performance. He’s the first to be sad about his lack of efficiency. But it happens sometimes. If it’s not Olivier, it might be Karim Benzema. The performance of the entire team remains of a great level.”
Giroud has one goal in four Premier League appearances this season, having notched a respectable 14 in 27 games last campaign, ahead of Stoke City’s visit to Emirates Stadium on Saturday.