Both goals came super late - after 90 minutes - from substitute Antoine Griezmann and Dimitri Payet.
After Kingsley Coman and Anthony Martial failed to make an impact on the wings, the Manchester United forward was sent to the bench and replaced by Paul Pogba who brought life into the midfield and boosted the French attack.
France attacked more after the interval and, as they gradually broke down a stubborn Albanian defence, Deschamps sent on Griezmann for Coman in the 68th minute and the sub’s 90th minute header broke the deadlock.
France now face a final group clash with Switzerland on Sunday where they need just a draw to finish top and play their last 16 game in Lyon.
For all Deschamps’ tactical choices, it was also France’s character that saw them through.