Blanc admits plans backfired in Spain loss

The boss of Les Bleus struggled to explain his side's disappointing defeat to La Roja on Saturday, but was nonetheless happy with their workrate throughout the match
France coach Laurent Blanc admitted his tactical plans did not pay off in their 2-0 loss to Spain in Saturday's Euro 2012 quarter-final.

A double from Xabi Alonso was enough for La Roja to quality for the last four, but while the Frenchman is convinced his side had enough talent to inflict damage on their opponents, he confessed that his team set-up, which involved Mathieu Debuchy featuring in a midfield role, hadn't been successful.

"It was possible [to beat Spain]. We planned some things, but they didn't work out. Still, we have shown much solidarity, and we ran a lot to fill the spaces," he told reporters.

"We had a few opportunities to score, and I am only sorry that the Spanish scored with their first chance.

"If the game was 0-0 at half-time, we would have had a little more drive for the rest of the match. When we lose a match, it seems that we lack something. It might be our ambition, or a technical issue.

"The boys gave everything, but it is certain that things are missing. [Nevertheless], what I know is that the great nations of Europe will be present in semi-finals, but not us."

Spain march on to face Portugal in the last four of the competition.