The Blues seduce against Austria and keep their destiny in hand in the League of Nations

The game: 2-0

Forced to beat Austria to keep their destiny in hand in their fight to stay in Ligue A, while their hope of retaining their Nations League title has disappeared since June, the French team has does the job, this Thursday, at the Stade de France (2-0). Despite a heavily filled infirmary, and which will have to make room for Jules Koundé (thigh) and Mike Maignan (calf), both out through injury, the Blues delivered a successful game, rewarded with goals from Kylian Mbappé and Olivier Giroud. To ensure their maintenance in League A, they will now have to manage their match in Denmark on Sunday, with a result at least equal to that of Austria, which will receive Croatia on its side.

With two beginners in their eleven, Benoît Badiashile on the left of the three-man defense and Youssouf Fofana in the middle, the France team gave reassuring signs, two months before the World Cup. With 15 shots attempted at the break (against only one suffered), the Habs largely dominated the first period, and then extended this domination. Radiant, Aurélien Tchouaméni almost opened the scoring, but his sumptuous acrobatic return was diverted by Patrick Pentz on the bar, and the Reims goalkeeper, in a great evening, diverted Griezmann’s attempt in stride (35th).

It was the inevitable Kylian Mbappé who delivered the Blues on a personal feat, a big acceleration on which he left four opponents behind, before concluding from the right (56th). His 28th goal in selection. Olivier Giroud, extremely convincing (see below), made the break shortly after (65th), on receiving a cross from an Antoine Griezmann in the legs. The variety of French actions and the good defensive consistency displayed offered good answers as to the form of the Blues.

The player: Giroud, eternal

While he does not yet know if he will be an adventure in Qatar for the World Cup – Didier Deschamps refusing to make him a replacement for Karim Benzema – Olivier Giroud still delivered an eloquent response on the ground, with a top performance against the Austrians. The AC Milan striker was excellent in his deflection game. His handover on a one-two with Mbappé would have deserved to be decisive (25th), his shift towards Griezmann too (27th). Decisive passer for Mbappé on the opener, to confirm his good agreement with the PSG crack, Giroud then perfectly cut off a cross from Griezmann to make the break (65th). With 49 goals, he is only two lengths from Thierry Henry’s record (51). His exit to the ovation of Stade de France testified to his performance.

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Olivier Giroud became the oldest goalscorer in the history of the French team (35 years and 357 days), overtaking Roger Marche (35 years and 287 days in December 1959 against Spain). (Opt)

The fact: Fofana-Tchouaméni, like in the good old days

For his first cape with the Blues, Youssouf Fofana was to his advantage, totally comfortable next to his former partner in Monaco Aurélien Tchouaméni, still huge. Very prominent from the first minutes, imperial in the duels (12 won out of 14), Fofana notably tried to alert Tchouaméni on a good ball over the defense (19th). If he missed the opener on a service from Kylian Mbappé (45th + 2), his adaptation in the tricolor game was natural. In particular, he suffered four faults during his multiple projections. While the Kanté-Pogba duo, undermined by injuries, is not sure of being fit for the World Cup, the complicity of the Fofana-Tchouaméni pair is enough to give Didier Deschamps ideas.

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