Lampard on a tough game, Giroud’s impact and Hudson-Odoi’s improvement

It was the youngster who opened the scoring against Rennes with a calm and collected finish midway through the first half, and his much more experienced team-mate that thundered home the header which sealed victory, and with it, a place in the last 16. 

‘I’m very happy to qualify with two games to spare,’ said Lampard afterwards. 

‘We want to try and top the group, but it was a really tough match for us. Rennes are an underrated team. We played well for big spells and it was a tough, hard-fought win for us. 

‘We played really well in the first half-hour. The attitude of the players during tough times, a lot of defending against a big, physical team, and then the reaction after their goal. Our desire to try and score a winner, when we knew a draw wasn’t the worst result, made really happy. It shows the strength of the group. It has to continue. 

‘The players that came on and made an impact and helped us win the game. That also strengthens the group as a whole.’