Upton Park

Next Game

West Ham v Liverpool

Saturday, 20 September 2014, 17:30

Barclays Prem

Anfield

Last Game

Liverpool 2 - 1 Ludogorets

Tuesday, 16 September 2014, 19:45

Champions League Group B

Sakho joy at French progress

Two-goal star Mamadou Sakho insisted he was no hero after firing France to the World Cup finals at the expense of Ukraine in Paris on Tuesday night.

Last Updated: 20/11/13 at 12:05 Post Comment

Mamadou Sakho: Has hailed a 'memorable night' for French football

Mamadou Sakho: Has hailed a 'memorable night' for French football

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

The Liverpool defender chose the perfect stage to net the first brace of his career - bookending the scoring either side of a Karim Benzema effort - as France overturned a 2-0 first-leg deficit to progress 3-2 on aggregate.

The result sparked wild scenes of celebration among a Stade de France crowd so often hostile to the players, and Sakho revelled in the occasion.

"There's pure happiness and we've written a page in French football history with this," the 23-year-old said.

"A lot of people didn't believe in us but there were also plenty who did.

"France showed a lot of virtues and it was extraordinary for everybody."

Asked about his own contribution, he said: "I don't see myself as a hero; the team was the hero in this one. I'd never previously scored a double in my career.

"We're going to Brazil and we have to take on board the lessons from all of our matches, not just this one."

Sakho opened the scoring with a close-range finish in the 22nd minute before two erroneous offside decisions balanced each other out as Benzema scored in the 34th minute - moments after seeing another effort disallowed.

After Ukraine had Yevhen Khacheridi sent off, Sakho popped up again with 18 minutes remaining to bundle the ball home from Franck Ribery's drilled cross.

France coach Didier Deschamps insisted the tie was far from over ahead of the match despite the pessimism of many of his countrymen, and the 1998 World Cup winner was delighted his faith was vindicated.

"It's fabulous, especially after what happened in the first leg as we turned the situation around," he said.

"The players deserve all the credit as they've done something great. It's a source of great satisfaction to the players, the coaching staff and to French football as a whole.

"I'm proud of the players and they can be proud of themselves for having fulfilled the objective.

"I was a player once and I know that it's players who write history."

Midfielder Ribery added: "It's magnificent and extraordinary. The supporters played their part. There had been a lot of sadness in the past and this is great.

"I hadn't seen the Stade de France like that for a long time.

"We suffered a setback in Ukraine but we reacted."

Ukraine coach Mikhail Fomenko admitted his players had cracked under the pressure.

"I've got a lot of regrets," he said. "Our psychological approach wasn't good. We needed to be ready and I don't think we were.

"We made mistakes in defence and didn't play the way I wanted us to."

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

riting a minute by minute account on Berbatov would be like chronicling the days of the guy punished for sloth in the movie Se7en. Day 4 - lay in bed, did nothing - 15th minute, stood there did nothing .

lustral
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

W

hen players in their 30s leave Real Madrid, it's usually to Bolton Wanderers. I miss those days.

sailingmagpie
Top Ten CL Players Whetting Our Appetite

W

ow Pete, you would make an excellent stalker!

fouloleron
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

Footer 365

Champions League review: Big wins for Roma and Porto, Barca edge to victory

Roma and Porto earned big wins in the Champions League, while Barcelona opened their campaign with a narrow victory.

Champions League: Jose Mourinho rues missed chances in Schalke draw

Jose Mourinho bemoaned Chelsea's failure to kill off Schalke with a second goal before Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's equaliser.

Champions League: Man City goalkeeper Joe Hart left to rue late Bayern Munich winner

Man City goalkeeper Joe Hart admitted Jerome Boateng's late winner for Bayern Munich felt like a kick in the teeth.

Mail Box

I've Given It Some Thought: He's Got To Go

There is some more considered reaction to Arsenal and Liverpool's results, plus a big get well soon message for Jonas Gutierrez. And an apology to Merse...

B**locks To That, I'm Going To Sit In The Shed

Arsenal supporters given their understandable reaction to the debacle in Dortmund, whilst Liverpool fans weren't too impressed either. Still, at least they won...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property