Euro 2024: unable to realize its opportunities, the France team was held in check by the Netherlands on the second day

Euro 2024: unable to realize its opportunities, the France team was held in check by the Netherlands on the second day
Euro 2024: unable to realize its opportunities, the France team was held in check by the Netherlands on the second day

The France team conceded a draw against the Netherlands (0-0), Friday June 21 in Leipzig, during the second day of Euro 2024.

Unsurprisingly, Didier Deschamps was able to measure the weight of the absence of his leader Kylian Mbappé, whose broken nose occurred at the end of the Blues’ first meeting in the tournament, Monday against Austria (1-0), will have harmed the performance of its offensive sector.

The captain of the vice-world champions is irreplaceable and the coach had a new illustration of this, relying above all on a solid defensive block to bring back the point he had come to seek.

The one who scored four goals during the last two confrontations between the two nations, in March (4-0) and October (2-1) 2023 during Euro qualifications, left an immense void at the forefront of the attack that Marcus Thuram logically could not fill.

The plan could have been perfect

By incorporating an additional defensive midfielder, Aurélien Tchouaméni, to replace Mbappé, Deschamps clearly displayed his ambitions: to stay well grouped and not leave spaces for the Batavian attackers. The technician also took the opportunity to return to the system that led France to its second world title in 2018, a 4-4-2 with Adrien Rabiot on the left in the role that Blaise Matuidi had played in Russia.

Result: the Blues were not often worried by the Oranje, painful winners of Poland (2-1) on Sunday, and the control was generally tricolor. – Solid foundations – Apart from a big alert in the 2nd minute from Jérémie Frimpong, a curling shot from Cody Gakpo (17th) or a reflex stop in front of Memphis Depay (70th) just before a goal from Xavi Simons refused for offside by the VAR , Mike Maignan did not have to force his talent too much.

Without the clumsiness and technical deficit of Thuram, who wasted a huge opportunity (28th) before narrowly missing the target in the second half (59th), and the lack of success of Antoine Griezmann (4, 14th, 42nd, 65th ), Deschamps’ plan could even have been perfect.

Kante still flamboyant

Certainly, the Blues were not flamboyant, like their debut in this Euro against Austria. But they have solid bases to go far, in the purest Deschamps style, with a flawless Dayot Upamecano-William Saliba hinge and a N’Golo Kanté who again swallowed the kilometers in the midfield before being newly elected man of the match by UEFA.

The return of Tchouaméni is also very good news for the coach. The Real Madrid midfielder had not been on the pitch since May 8 and had since treated an injury to his left foot.

He did not seem physically hampered and held his place well in front of the defense. An evening like Deschamps likes and which allows his players to already have a foothold in the next round before coming up against Poland, already eliminated, on Tuesday in Dortmund. Enough to give Mbappé a little more time to heal his nose.

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