Cherchesov: One of Russia’s best displays

Russia head coach Stanislav Cherchesov insists his team’s performance against France was one of their best, despite losing the friendly clash 3-1 on Tuesday.

Kylian Mbappe scored a brace for Les Bleus at the Saint-Petersburg Stadium, while Paul Pogba also netted to help the visitors to a comfortable win. Fyodor Smolov bagged a consolation goal for the hosts in the 68th minute.

The defeat was the 2018 Fifa World Cup hosts’ second in a row, after losing 3-0 to Brazil on Friday. They are also without a win in their last five outings. However, Cherchesov remains optimistic about his team.

“There is the result and then there’s how you played. After the match with Argentina [a 1-0 defeat in November] we were criticised because we defended,” he told the press, according to the official Ligue 1 website.

“After losing to Brazil [3-0 last Friday] we were criticised again because we attacked in the first half and then lost it late on. You always need to find a balance.

“If we hadn’t been playing France, or another top team, the result would have been different. We attacked a lot more, especially in the first half. We had more possession. We made more runs. It was one of our best matches.”