Against Kazakhstan, minimum service for the Blues

World champion or not, no one is guaranteed a seat in the French team. Unhappy with the performance of the midfielder and his attack against Ukraine on Wednesday March 24 (1-1), Didier Deschamps had chosen to shake up his game, offering nine new cards at the start against Kazakhstan. Only Hugo Lloris and Antoine Griezmann, author of a splendid goal against the Ukrainians, saved their place. The Barcelona took the opportunity to appropriate alone the record for the number of games in a row with the Blues (45) that he shared until then with Patrick Vieira.

For the rest, the coach had chosen to launch Paul Pogba, Thomas Lemar, Anthony Martial and above all Ousmane Dembélé, who gradually regained the confidence of Didier Deschamps. Deprived of a blue jersey since November 2018, the striker had returned to the 60e minute against Ukraine and this time had the honors of The Marseillaise on the lawn of the stadium of the capital Noursoultan, new name of Astana.

Another missed penalty

But yellow, a color common to Ukrainian and Kazakh jerseys, does not appeal to men in blue. Certainly, they will leave the end of the world with the three points of victory, but without justifying the 121 places of difference in the world ranking between the world champions (and vice-champions of Europe) and these players of the cold. Which have resumed the path of land still often frozen for only two weeks.

→ REPORT. 2022 World Cup: the Blues stumble against Ukraine

It took a great collective action concluded with a kick from Dembélé and a goal against his camp from a Kazakh defender to secure business. Kylian Mbappé, returned a few minutes from the end, gave in to the French disease of the missed penalty. The boost in the last quarter of an hour could have had a better fate.

For a good twenty minutes, we believed to find the eleven French lost, conqueror and fast on the opposing goal. Without success, but with a certain panache, which gives a very small reason for satisfaction after 160 minutes of stammering, 90 against Ukraine and 70 against Kazakhstan.

Nothing serious yet, as the margin is enormous with the other four participants in this qualifying group for the 2022 Qatari World Cup (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Kazakhstan, Ukraine). During the group stage of the Euro, against Germany, Hungary and Portugal, it will be a whole different story. Didier Deschamps knows who regretted after the match at the microphone of TF1 a “Lack of offensive efficiency”. Without consequence in Kazakhstan, it would become more boring in Munich, in June, for the start of the Blues at the Euro, against the Mannschaft.


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