Friday March 24 at the Stade de France, the Blues were largely winners of the “ Orange who faced them for the qualifications for Euro-2024 football. The era of captain Kylian Mbappé, double scorer, thus opened with a festival against the Netherlands (4-0), a diminished and overwhelmed opponent.
Against the ” Orange “, the Blues were in a hurry, posting 3 goals to 0 after only 21 minutes, in a full and delighted Stade de France. The party ended with a fourth goal from Mbappé (4-0, 88th) and a penalty saved by Mike Maignan in added time.
Certainly, the Dutch selection of Ronald Koeman has accumulated weaknesses, with its many injured executives (Frenkie de Jong), sick (Matthijs de Ligt, Cody Gakpo…) or suspended (Denzel Dumfries). But Didier Deschamps and his young troupe did what was necessary with efficiency and talent. “There are a lot of positives even if the game was almost folded or almost folded at half-time. But we remained serious and diligent, that’s very good.”savored the coach on TF1.
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Three months after its final lost in a breath of the World Cup, the French team is launching its year 2023 and the qualifications for the next major tournament, Euro-2024 in Germany (June 14-July 14), from the best of ways: an impermeable defense, four goals scored, three points taken and a first place in group B.
The trip to Dublin to face the Republic of Ireland, Monday, March 27, is therefore written in a light atmosphere, while the more modest Gibraltar and Greece will present themselves in June on its route.
Antoine Griezmann’s 43rd goal in the France team
Armband in arm, Mbappé guided his people with his brutal accelerations, his fatal passes, his imperial double and his cordial agreement with Antoine Griezmann, vice-captain fulfilled on the ground, failing to receive the precious piece of fabric this week.
As a symbol, the midfielder of Atlético Madrid was able to count on an offering from Mbappé who, on the occasion, pretended to hit to better serve him (1-0, 2nd). The two men ostensibly celebrated together the goal of “Grizou”his first after a long abstinence of sixteen games, his 43rd in the blue jersey.
The Madrilenian with dyed pink hair, for his 75th selection in a row, a national record, then pushed Jasper Cillessen to the fault with a dangerous free kick that the goalkeeper pushed back in the legs of Dayot Upamecano (2-0, 8th ).
A rejuvenated team
The third goal didn’t take long to arrive. And who else than Mbappé to take care of it? Aurélien Tchouaméni offered himself an authoritarian full-axis breakthrough, Randal Kolo Muani let the ball slip away and the Paris SG striker concluded gently (3-0, 21st) to score his 19th goal in his last 17 games under the blue shirt.
The tricolor trio symbolizes, with almost 23 years of average age, the new face of the Blues of Didier Deschamps, relifted under the blow of the absences (Kanté, Pogba…) and the decisions of the coach. At kick-off, the boss of the 2022 world vice-champions had, for example, decided to leave the dean Olivier Giroud, 36, on the bench to launch Kolo Muani. The rear base had few selections, too, between goalkeeper Mike Maignan and the central hinge formed by Upamecano and Ibrahima Konaté.
Observed by Hugo Lloris, the newly retired to whom the Stade de France paid tribute before the game, Maignan had a fairly quiet first as the new N.1 goalkeeper of the Blues. The AC Milan player, however, experienced a few rare thrills on a somewhat hazardous outing in front of Memphis Depay (32nd) and a dangerous free kick from the Dutch striker (58th).
« Magic Mike », a specialist in the exercise, even stopped a penalty from the same Depay in added time, punctuating his induction in the best possible way. Enough to fill the Stade de France and its 77,300 spectators.
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