The France team was again held in check in the League of Nations, conceding the draw in Austria (1-1), Friday June 10 in Vienna. The Blues, defending champions, but who have still not won a single match in this competition (2 draws, 1 defeat), conceded a goal from Andreas Weimann (37th) before equalizing at the very end of the game by Kylian Mbappé (83rd). The French world champions are last in their group before welcoming Croatia on Monday at the Stade de France. The young world champion allowed the French to return from Vienna with a little less wrung morale, even if the hope of retaining their title in the League of Nations appears thin.
With two points in three matches, the French are trampling in last place in their group behind Croatia (4 pts), victorious 1-0 in Denmark (6 pts) and tied on points with Austria. It will be necessary to take care of the reception of the Croats, Monday at the Stade de France, to end at least on a good note this dismal June gathering. Certainly, there were players in Vienna on the floor, like N’Golo Kanté (knee) and Lucas Hernandez (muscle pain), or in bad training, like Adrien Rabiot and Mbappé. But the series of three games without a win is not up to the standing of the world champions, who are particularly feverish in defense.
Faced with a series of matches of rare density, Didier Deschamps had once again rotated his workforce while renewing his tactical plan with four defenders, proven at the 2018 World Cup, but abandoned this season, an option already chosen last Monday in Croatia (1-1).
The defensive air holes against Denmark (2-1 defeat) at the start of the training period, with an animation focused on the attack, had upset Deschamps and even his captain Hugo Lloris, who had perhaps campaigned to close the game, ” like “in the past”.
Alas, the young guard lined up took on water, especially on the Austrian opener: Ibrahima Konaté, launched into the international deep end in Vienna, remained too passive, Theo Hernandez was not sharp enough in front of Konrad Laimer who crossed for striker Andreas Weimann (37th, 1-0), who started behind the inexperienced William Saliba. The midfielder was also inexperienced with Aurélien Tchouaméni and Boubacar Kamara, both 22, and a total of less than seven caps on average between them. For his first tenure, four days after his first international minutes, Kamara did not particularly shine, as if hampered by the challenge, despite some inspirations (deep pass for Coman in the 32nd).
And if the French attack is the envy of many other selections, with nuggets in spades, it has struggled to express all its talent in Austria, except for a few flashes. Preserved in Croatia, Karim Benzema lit several wicks, from the head (18th) or from the feet (32nd, 51st), but without too much force or precision. Moussa Diaby and Kingsley Coman had fire in the legs, but not immediately in the ideas. And Antoine Griezmann stretched his bad pass before being replaced by Mbappé after an hour of play.
The PSG striker had not played for a week and his injury exit against Denmark. Draft and without solution on his first balloons, he finally got up to speed before adjusting the sights. But at the final whistle, the cries of joy mounted through the Ernst-Happel stadium proved that the draw looked more like a victory for the Austrians than a good point for the French.