Always, if possible, maintain good habits. For the third consecutive time, Didier Deschamps can be satisfied with a qualification in the round of 16 of the World Cup after the first two games of the competition. His Blues did the job on Saturday November 26 by beating Denmark (2-1), imitating their elders from 2014 and 2018.
They had been brilliant in 2014 in Brazil, going 3-0 in Honduras, and battering the Swiss 5-2. The adventure ended in the quarter-finals against Germany (1-0). They had provided the essentials in 2018 in Russia, with a laborious 2-1 against Australia and a minimum 1-0 against Peru. And the story ended on top of the world. What continuation can tell the double evolution of the Blues of Qatar, convincing vis-a-vis Australia (4-1), but serene intermittently vis-a-vis the Scandinavians?
Satisfaction in defense and midfield
It is not impossible that the Blues have in any case found a typical team. The newcomers from the start, Raphaël Varane back from injury and Jules Koundé compensating for the defensive flaws of Benjamin Pavard, have removed doubts about the form of one and the placement of the other. Raphaël Varane especially entered the competition perfectly, and it is a comfort as the Blues have so far lost many soldiers let down by their physique.
Throughout the first half, this formation in any case proved to be in place, well in its fragile certainties. Rather dominating, the Blues multiplied the chances, without however ever finding the net. But after 45 minutes, they did seem to dominate their subject, with real satisfaction on the side of Ousmane Dembélé, twirling on his right wing without neglecting his defensive folds, and Antoine Griezmann, in the oven and at the mill like he often knows how to do it, but less prominent lately.
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A very united group
The general feeling of a quiet strength, finally lacked only the validation of the score, stubbornly blocked at 0-0. The downside could also come from Kylian Mbappé, a tone below compared to the overall score. Except that a sleeping Kylian can always wake up. It is characteristic of giant players. The second half will therefore be that of his double, including a spectacular second goal from the thigh on a cross from Antoine Griezmann. Between these two goals, however, the Blues floated a little, at least enough to let the character of the Danes express themselves, the Scandinavians offering themselves the luxury of returning to the score on their first shot – a whim – on target.
This second half, less controlled, somewhat limits the enthusiasm. But if the Blues had a number of questions about the midfielder, deprived of Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté, the two performances performed by the triplet Antoine Griezmann, Adrien Rabiot and Aurélien Tchouameni, the last two discovering the World Cup for the first times, give rather satisfaction.
The team, above all, displays a beautiful unity and a communicative spirit. Welded, perhaps, by his misfortunes (the defections), and finding this balance sought in vain during the last Euro. It is a curious paradox. The absent are always wrong ? Maybe. “This group is strong, solid, and wants to do great things.” commented after the meeting a Didier Deschamps who will be able to afford to rotate his workforce Wednesday, November 30 against Tunisia (at 4 p.m.). From his reactions to the two goals of his star striker, we can probably deduce that he is relieved. He is not the only one.
World Cup 2022: France qualified, Poland wakes up… the matches of Saturday November 26