Football: the Blues of Olivier Giroud unfold against Ukraine


The Blues offered a cocktail of experience and fatal recklessness to the Ukrainians (7-1), Wednesday in a friendly in Saint-Denis, with Olivier Giroud, exemplary captain for his 100th selection of a young guard with long teeth at the image of Eduardo Camavinga, a prodigy scorer at 17.

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In his garden at the Stade de France, where the love affair with the Blues began in 2011, Giroud donned the captain’s armband at the same time as the costume of the second top scorer in history, which he wears snatched from the former owner Michel Platini with a double in the first period (24th, 34th).

Young plants

For this warm-up round before receiving Portugal from Cristiano Ronaldo, Sunday in the League of Nations, Didier Deschamps had aligned a team mainly of “hairdressers” (substitutes) and young shoots, supervised by the dean Steve Mandanda (35 years) in goals and the irremovable Giroud, therefore, associated with Anthony Martial in attack.

Excluding Giroud and his 34 years old, the Blues present at the kickoff had a little more than 16 selections on average on the clock, a figure that the young Dayot Upamecano (21 years old), Houssem Aouar (22 years old) and Eduardo Camavinga ( 17 years) have pulled down sharply.

Football: the Blues of Olivier Giroud unfold against Ukraine

The young promises got off to a good start in the October sprint that the coach is facing, with his three games in one week.

Camavinga’s first goal

Upamecano has indeed shown itself to be more solid than during its first two outings in September, Aouar has multiplied the initiatives for its first appearance in the France group and Camavinga has given a little more depth to its image of phenomenon, of a first goal in the blue jersey which launched the offensive festival.

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As a symbol, the Rennes midfielder took advantage of a Giroud header pushed back by the keeper to become, at 17 years and 10 months, the youngest French goalscorer of the post-war period. And what a goal! With his back to the Ukrainian cage, he lodged the ball in the nets of a subtle return (9th), tearing a broad smile from the coach.

Football: the Blues of Olivier Giroud unfold against Ukraine

The satisfaction of Didier Deschamps continued with the doubling of his favorite striker, a long shot curled from the left (24th) then a diving header (34th) by exploiting a shot from Aouar repelled by the keeper.

The young OL midfielder showed himself to his advantage, a month after a positive Covid-19 test which had forced him to give up a first summons. He tried his luck from afar, found the small net (45th) and applied the corners with application, like the one which led to the goal against his camp of Mykolenko (39th).

Next match against Portugal

Everything was not perfect despite everything, especially in the second half when the blue machine was somewhat seized. The Ukrainians, although weakened in recent days by a slew of injuries and Covid-19 contaminations, regained strength and confidence by Tsygankov, scorer (53rd) a minute before Oleksandr Zubkov found the right post Mike Maignan (1st selection), successor to Mandanda’s break, physically hampered.

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The Blues now have four days to prepare the revenge against Portugal, their executioner in the final of Euro-2016 in the same Stade de France.

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