The Blues fall from above. After their defeat against Croatia (0-1) on Monday June 13 at the Stade de France, Didier Deschamps’ men officially lose their Nations League title since they will not be able to reach the final phase, with this fourth match without victoire. Luka Modric opened the scoring in the fifth minute from the penalty spot, after a foul from Ibrahima Konaté.
With two draws, two defeats and two points in just four games, they sit dead last in their Nations League group, seven points behind leaders Denmark, who won 2-0 on Monday with two games to go. in September.
Exhausted by their season, disturbed by injuries and destabilized by tactical tests, the Blues never found the second wind they needed to garner confidence before the summer break. This time, fatigue and physical glitches can no longer be put forward as explanations by coach Didier Deschamps, who risks thinking for a long time during the summer, after the first defeat in the history of the Blues against Croatia.
There are only two matches left for the coach of the France team before the World Cup, at the end of September, and they will be escorted by the fear of an unworthy relegation to the second division of the League of Nations. Just before the offseason, Didier Deschamps had nevertheless chosen to give his two star strikers, Mbappé and Benzema, one last chance to shine, even though the first was “not 100%” while the second was coming out of a tenure in Austria (1-1).
Madrid’s 90 minutes of play in Vienna on Friday were felt three days later at the Stade de France: the Ballon d’Or favorite appeared borrowed, a little less sharp than usual, and we had to wait the 54th minute to see him finally slalom into the opposing area. Inevitably, the game has therefore clearly leaned towards Mbappé, back in the starting lineup after having treated discomfort in his left knee for ten days.
“Kyky” certainly carried the danger on multiple occasions (7th, 55th, 61st), but he was systematically blocked by goalkeeper Ivica Ivusic, in the sighs of the 77,400 spectators of the Stade de France, already disappointed ten days earlier against Denmark (1-2). Against the Danes, the Blues had cracked at the end of the game. This time, they sank from the first minutes, frustrated by a slight tripping of the novice Ibrahima Konaté (2 selections), on Ante Budimir.
The penalty was transformed by the inevitable Luka Modric (5th), enraging Mike Maignan, already beaten on this exercise during the first leg in Split (1-1) a week earlier. The number two goalkeeper of the Blues, impeccable otherwise, will have been unhappy during this rally, where he will have garnered more playing time than in the last 18 months, crossed out by the holder and captain Hugo Lloris.
The Blues have conceded at least one goal in nine of their thirteen games this season. And for the first time in 24 games, they also failed to find the fault, ending a record streak. This weariness was also reflected on the lawn, with a chopped match, numerous faults and several altercations which reminded us that the two teams do not play this League of Nations with relaxation. From now on, it is towards the World Cup that all eyes are turned, worried …
In addition, the France team also learned in the evening who would be its very first opponent at the World Cup. It will be Australia. The “Socceroos” qualified by beating Peru (0-0, 5 pens to 4) on Monday. The Blues will therefore start their tournament against this opponent on November 22, before facing Denmark on November 26 and Tunisia on November 30. Australians and Danes were already in the French group at the 2018 World Cup.