Despite a little gem from Benzema, the French team started its Nations League with a defeat against Denmark (1-2), this Friday, on the lawn of the Stade de France. The Blues also lost Mbapp and Varane to injury.
The Blues of Mbapp and Benzema start the League of Nations badly
Holders of the title, the French team begins this third edition of the League of Nations with a home defeat against Denmark (1-2), this Friday, at the Stade de France. Despite a fine goal from Benzema, the Blues were knocked down by a double from Cornelius who came to reward the good performance of the Danes, united and realistic.
With Austria’s victory against Croatia (3-0), the world champions occupy 3rd place in Group 1 of League A at the end of this 1st day. Playful but still feverish defensively, France will have to do much better on Monday against the Croats.
France does not find the fault, Mbapp injured
It didn’t take much for the French to concede a goal very quickly in this match. After only four minutes of play, Maehle found the post for Lloris following a shot that was too cross from Dolberg which had surprised the entire French defense. The only real scare for the French during a first period that they generally dominated. Without finding the flaw against a solid Danish formation.
At the quarter of an hour, Benzema thought he would give the Blues the advantage by shaking Schmeichel’s net, but Madrid’s goal was logically refused for an offside position at the start of Mbapp’s pass. The PSG striker, he had no more success then on a shot captured by the Danish goalkeeper (30th). Behind, the Danes contained the offensives of the French team, who were worried about Mbapp when the latter complained of knee pain just before the break.
Cornelius’ resounding response
It is therefore without Mbapp, replaced as a precaution according to Guy Stphan, that the Habs returned to the pitch after halftime. And his replacement, Nkunku, was quick to shine by offering a decisive pass to Benzema. Again in a great evening, the Real striker achieved a small number in the opposing area, relying on Nkunku before eliminating two opponents then slipping the ball into the goal with his left foot (1-0, 51st) .
After this goal, the Blues seemed to have control of the match and the Stade de France took the opportunity to pay tribute to Didier Deschamps, bereaved after the death of his father this week, but Cornelius cooled the atmosphere by equalizing a resumption of the dish of the left foot (1-1, 68th). And silence settled in at the end of the match when Cornelius, again him, doubled the bet for the Danes with a powerful strike under the bar (1-2, 88th)! While Kant had found the post a few minutes earlier (80th), the French bowed in front of their public. False start…
The score of the match: 5.5/10
An unexciting first period, marked only by Maehle’s post, Benzema’s disallowed goal and Mbapp’s injury. The second half was much livelier with three goals and a bit more action on the pitch.
The goals :
– Launched on the right side by Coman, Benzema enters the area and relies on Nkunku, who hands him the ball with a nice deflection. The Real striker eliminates a first opponent with a double contact, then a second with a hook before scoring with a flat left foot (1-0, 51st).
– Found in the area between the two Hernandez, Cornelius takes the ball with a flat left foot to beat Lloris on his right (1-1, 68th).
– Launched in depth by Maehle, Cornelius resists Saliba on the left of the surface then unleashes a missile from the left under the crossbar of Lloris (1-2, 88th).
Maxifoot awarded a mark (out of 10) commented on each player.
Man of the match: Andreas Cornelius (8/10)
His coming on in the 60th minute changed everything. While Denmark was trailing 0-1, the striker first showed composure to equalize with a left-handed recovery in the area (68th). And then he offered his team victory with a powerful shot under the crossbar (88th). His moves and his realism hurt the Blues…
Hugo Lloris (5.5) : the French goalkeeper does not have much to reproach himself for despite the two goals conceded. Beaten by the resumption of Cornelius on his right (68th), he can do nothing then on the missile of the Dane (88th). He had made two very important saves on a strike from Skov Olsen (71st) then a point-blank shot from Eriksen (86th).
Jules Kound (4) : the central defender had a complicated evening. The FC Sville player has repeatedly lacked liveliness in his area, like his late intervention on Maehle, who finds the post at the start of the match (4th). Interesting ball outings, but he needs to do better defensively at this level. Replace the 90th+1 by Moussa Diaby (not).
Raphaël Varane (5) : the central defender played a decent game. The Mancunian was little put in difficulty and was very fair in the recovery (100% of successful passes). The Blues conceded two goals after his exit… Replaced the 61st following a left thigh injury by William Saliba (not not)who is physically moved by Cornelius on the second Danish goal.
Lucas Hernández (4) : we did not find his aggressiveness and his combativeness in the duels. Quite neutral, the central defender did not particularly shine defensively. He leaves Cornelius alone behind his back on the Danish equalizer.
Kingsley Coman (4.5) : the right piston of the Blues did not live up to expectations. He lost his duel with Maehle, both defensively and offensively. His involvement in the opener, with his pass to Benzema, saves his performance a little. Replace the 90th+1 by Jonathan Clauss (not).
Aurlien Tchouamni (6.5) : if the midfielder of AS Monaco took advantage of the absences of Pogba and Kant to settle in the midfield of the Blues, it will now be difficult to get him out of the eleven when his two team-mates are available. Valuable in recovery and with the ball, he still made a good copy.
N’Golo Kant (6) : we knew the hardworking and tireless Kant to recover many balls, and he was again this evening. But we could also have seen a Kant scorer on a splendid curling strike which came crashing into Schmeichel’s post. His projections were interesting, the image of this center which offers an opportunity to Benzema (47th). Small problem, he is physically moved on the first Danish goal.
Tho Hernández (3) : the left piston of AC Milan missed out on his match. We haven’t seen him much offensively and his poor placement is fatal on the two Danish goals. A night without…
Antoine Griezmann (3.5) : in line with his very average second half of the season with Atletico Madrid, the French striker did not weigh much offensively. A harmless strike in the gloves of Schmeichel (9th), and that’s about it … Replaced the 78th by Adrien Rabiot (not not).
Karim Benzema (7) : Strong man of Real Madrid, the attacker is taking on a similar importance in the selection. He was omnipresent in the game and the most dangerous French player. Madrid got the best opportunity for the Blues in the first period after a small number in the Danish defense (13th) before being denied a goal for an offside position on a pass from Mbapp (15th). In all the good moves, he was finally rewarded by scoring a superb goal following a small number in the area (51st).
Kylian Mbapp (4.5) : the PSG striker only stayed on the pitch for half-time due to knee pain which forced him to leave the field a few seconds before half-time. A pain that was perhaps already present before the meeting, which may explain the lack of madness in his first act. We will remember his pass on the goal of Benzema refused for offside (15th) and his relatively safe shot in the gloves of Schmeichel (30th). Replace the 46th by Christopher Nkunku (6), which has been interesting in its association with Benzema. He also offers a decisive pass to Madrid on a nice deflection.
Kasper Schmeichel (5) : the Danish goalkeeper is not endangered by the shots of Griezmann (9th) and Mbapp (30th), but he makes a good stop from close range in front of Benzema (47th). If he then has to bow against Madrid (51st), he answered present on a strong cross from Coman (80th).
Joachim Andersen (6) : for his return to France, the former Lyonnais did not fail. Solid in the duels, often well placed and clean in the recovery, the defender made a good copy.
Victor Nelson (5.5) : a serious game defensively. The Galatasaray player handled the climbs of Coman well on his side.
Jannik Vestergaard (6) : like his defense team-mates, he had a solid game. Present in the air and often well placed, he repelled the hot balloons to allow his team to breathe. Replace the 60th by Rasmus Kristensen (not).
Joakim Maehle (7) : revelation of the last Euro, the piston of Atalanta achieved a new very interesting performance. Present offensively, he could have opened the scoring with a shot that finally found the post (4th). Defensively, he was very diligent and hardly put into difficulty.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (7) : the midfielder delivered a high-level performance. The Tottenham player was very good at recovering the ball and was skilful when he had the leather. Like his decisive pass on Cornelius’ first goal: a nice ball over the defense (68th).
Thomas Delaney (4.5) : less prominent than Hojbjerg, he was dominated by Chuamni and Kant in midfield. He lost many duels and did not shine in his transmissions. Replace the 85th by Mathias Jensen (not not).
Christian Eriksen (4.5) : we haven’t seen a great Eriksen. The attacking midfielder from Brentford was little in sight offensively and failed to dictate the game of his team. He could still have scored on a shot repelled at close range by Lloris (86th).
Andreas Skov Olsen (6) : hitting on his right side, the attacking midfielder from Bruges performed well. He could have given Denmark the advantage on a shot pushed back by Lloris (71st). Replace the 84th by Martin Braithwaite (not).
Kasper Dolberg (3): the image of his last months with Nice, the Danish striker did not shine. He started his match rather well, with this cross shot which brought Maehle’s post, but he never really weighed on the French defense afterwards. Replace the 60th by Andreas Cornelius (8)see comment above.
Daniel Wass (4) : the Atletico Madrid full-back had a fairly average match. He was pretty well in place defensively in his lane but did nothing offensively. Replace the 60th by Mikkel Damsgaard (not not).
And for you, who were the three BEST players and the three WORST of each team? Comment in the “comments” section below!
FRANCE 1-2 DENMARK (mid-time: 0-0) – Nations League
Stadium : Stade de France
Goals : Benzema (51st) for FRANCE – Cornelius (68th, 88th) for DENMARK.
Warning : Nelson for DENMARK.
FRANCE : Lloris (c) – Kound, Varane, L. Hernandez – Coman, Tchouamni, Kant, T. Hernandez – Griezmann – Benzema, Mbapp.
DENMARK: Schmeichel (c) – Andersen, Nelsson, Vestergaard–Wass, Hojbjerg, Delaney, Maehle–Eriksen, Dolberg, Skov Olsen.
Benzema gave the advantage to the Blues (1-0, 51st)
Cornelius has galis for Denmark (1-1, 68th)…
… then stuns France with a double (1-2, 88th)
The Danes celebrated with their supporters