By winning a successful match against Austria this Thursday (2-0) at the Stade de France, the French team maintained its chances of staying in Ligue A and gave reassuring signs two months before the World Cup.
The game: 2-0
Forced to beat Austria to keep their fate in hand in their fight to stay in Ligue A, while hopes of retaining the Nations League title have been fading since June, the French team got the job done, this Thursday, in the Stade de France (2-0). Despite a very full infirmary, you will have to make room for Jules Koundé (thigh) Y Mike Maignan (calf)Both out through injury, the Blues delivered a successful game, rewarded with goals from Kylian Mbappé and Olivier Giroud. To ensure his permanence in League A, he will now have to manage his game in Denmark on Sunday, with a result at least equal to that of Austria, which will host Croatia on its side.
With two debutants in their eleven, Benoît Badiashile on the left of the three-man defense and Youssouf Fofana in the centre, the France team was showing reassuring signs, with two months to go before the World Cup. With 15 shots attempted at the break (against only one suffered), the Habs largely dominated the first half, and then extended that dominance. Radiant, Aurélien Tchouaméni was about to open the scoring, but his sumptuous acrobatic return was deflected by Patrick Pentz off the crossbar, and the Reims goalkeeper, in a great evening, firmly deflected Griezmann’s attempt (35th).
It was the inevitable Kylian Mbappé who delivered the Blues in a personal feat, a great acceleration in which he left behind four rivals, before finishing from the right (56th). His goal was his 28th in the national team. Olivier Giroud, tremendously convincing (see below), made the break shortly after (65th), receiving an Antoine Griezmann cross to the legs. The variety of French actions and the good defensive consistency shown offered good answers in terms of the form of the Blues.
The player: Giroud, eternal
While he is not yet sure whether it will be an adventure in Qatar for the World Cup (Didier Deschamps refused to make him a replacement for Karim Benzema), Olivier Giroud delivered an eloquent answer on the pitch, with a strong performance against the Austrians. The AC Milan striker was excellent in his deflection game. He would have deserved to be decisive transferring him in a double with Mbappé (25th), his turn towards Griezmann also (27th). Decisive passer for Mbappé in the first goal, to confirm his good agreement with the PSG crack, Giroud then perfectly cut off a cross from Griezmann to make the break (65th). With 49 goals, he is just two lengths short of Thierry Henry’s record (51). His exit before the ovation of the Stade de France testified to his performance.
Olivier Giroud became the oldest goalscorer in the history of the French national team (35 years and 357 days), surpassing Roger Marche (35 years and 287 days in December 1959 against Spain). (To opt)
The fact: Fofana-Tchouaméni, like in the old days
For his first layer with the Blues, Youssouf Fofana was in his favour, totally comfortable next to his former Monaco teammate Aurélien Tchouaméni, still huge. Very prominent from the first minutes, imperial in duels (12 wins out of 14), Fofana made a remarkable effort to alert Tchouaméni with a good ball over the defense (19th). If he missed the first goal on a Kylian Mbappé service (45th + 2), his adaptation in the tricolor game was natural. In particular, he suffered four fouls during his multiple screenings. While the Kanté-Pogba duo, hampered by injuries, is not sure if they are in shape for the World Cup, the complicity of the Fofana-Tchouaméni duo is enough to give Didier Deschamps ideas.