France hero Aurelien Tchouameni has hit back at the English media for claiming Hugo Lloris was a weak point in the team following Saturday’s quarter-final win.
The reigning champions progressed to the semi-final of the competition after a cagey and cautious performance at the Al Bayt Stadium, sneaking into the last four courtesy of a 2-1 win.
Tchouameni gave his side the lead with a ferocious long-range effort but it was England who dominated much of the contest, having more of the ball and creating twice as many chances.
Lloris was forced to make a number of saves, particularly off England skipper , though could do nothing to stop his Tottenham team-mate’s first penalty.
France re-took the lead through Oliver Giroud in the 78th minute and Kane was given a second penalty late in the game but skied his effort, with Lloris appearing to win the psychological battle as his team-mates rushed to congratulate him.
Before the match, the 35-year-old – whose form has been iffy for Spurs this season – had been identified as a potential weak link by some critics, but Tchouameni believes Lloris silenced his doubters against England.
Speaking in the mixed zone after the match, the Real Madrid midfielder is quoted by RMC Sport: ‘Lloris the weak point of les Bleus according to the English press? It’s bulls**t!
‘There are always things that are said in the press and the most important thing is to respond on the pitch.
‘He did that today and we are very happy to have him in our team.’
Reflecting on his side’s performance against England, Tchouameni continued: ‘We need to continue like this, and keep measuring up to the competition.
‘We feel little by little that there is a real group forming here. We suffered, but this is the World Cup. We played a very, very good English side that caused us problems.
‘Aside from that, we were able to hang tough, score towards the end and progress.’
On whether France can lift the World Cup for a second successive tournament, he added: ‘We need to win the next game first, prepare well for this great Morocco team, and then we can think about that.’
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