Payet scores again at Euro 2016

  • Dimitri Payet scores added-time second goal as France beat Albania 2-0 in Paris
  • Payet now has two goals and an assist in two matches at UEFA Euro 2016
  • Les Bleus top Group A with six points and have qualified for the round of 16
Dimitri Payet made the whole of Europe understand yet again with another impressive goalscoring Man of the Match-winning performance for France at UEFA Euro 2016.

The West Ham United midfielder had his manager Slaven Bilic climbing on an ITV studio desk to celebrate as he put the finishing touch to a 2-0 Group A win over Albania in Marseille – a city he played successful club football in for two years prior to joining the Hammers.

While France were not at their fluent best against a well-drilled Albania, Payet was again at the centre of most of their best play, with his cleared cross falling to Adil Rami, who crossed for substitute Antoine Griezmann to break the resistance in the 90th minute.

With the eastern Europeans throwing men forward late on, replacement Paul Pogba flicked the ball into Payet’s path, he cut inside a defender and curled a shot past the goalkeeper with the last kick of the game at the Stade Velodrome.

France’s victory means they are the first team through to the round of 16 on home turf, while Payet is the joint top-goalscorer in the competition after netting in the opening-night win over Romania last Friday evening.
While fans, pundits and players alike continue to purr over the Hammers midfielder’s performances in a national-team shirt, Bilic was not in the slightest bit surprised by Payet’s continued brilliance for Les Bleus.

“He knows what he is doing and you all see it, but I’ve seen it every day in training,” said the West Ham boss, whose punditry is also drawing admiring reviews.

“He has got a plan. He can go left, but if he moves the defender a little bit he can cut in, he knows what he is doing because he is doing that every day with ease.”

Payet has now scored four and assisted another two goals in his last five appearances for France and now has five goals in 21 caps overall.

France can wrap up Group A by beating Switzerland in Lyon on Sunday evening at 20.00 BST.