France was not relegated to Category B of the Nations League on Sunday because Austria failed to beat Croatia in Vienna. He was saved by chance after suffering the clearest defeat in recent years. It happened at the Parken in Copenhagen, against the spirited Denmark of the Reborn Eriksen, a player who remained clinically dead for ten minutes after suffering a cardiac arrest in 2021, on that same stage. He today he plays with an implanted defibrillator. Enough to take over the midfield, at the expense of Tchouaméni and Camavinga.
Schmeichel, A. Christensen, Rasmus Nissen Kristensen (Alexander Bah, min. 91), Joachim Andersen, Joakim Maehle, Hojbjerg, Eriksen, Delaney (Kjaer, min. 71), Kasper Dolberg (Rasmus Winther Hojlund, min. 59), Mikkel Damsgaard (Jesper Lindstrom, min. 59) and Andreas Skov Olsen (Braithwaite, min. 71)
Areola, William Saliba (Jonathan Clauss, 45th minute), Benoit Badiashile Mukinayi, Dayotchanculle Upamecano, Ferland Mendy (Adrien Truffert, 64th minute), Benjamin Pavard, Camavinga (Youssouf Fofana, 45th minute), Aurelien Tchouameni, Giroud (Stone). , 64th minute), Griezmann (80th minute) and Kylian Mbappe
Goles 1-0 min. 33: Kasper Dolberg. 2-0 min. 38: Andreas Skov Olsen.
Yellow cards Delaney (min. 53) and Rasmus Winther Hojlund (min. 79)
France did not win the World Cup in Russia because of the roundness of its attack, no matter how much Mbappé stirred it up. Nor was it imposed by the excellence of its centrals, the most efficient being Umtiti. If France sailed through Russia as if through a calm sea towards the Cup that it lifted in Moscow, it was thanks to its two majestic midfielders, N’Golo Kanté and Paul Pogba, capable of articulating the attacks and covering like lions the large estate that was opening up in the center of the team in every defensive transition. Pogba and Kanté were not only handsome. They were always in the critical place at the right time, they always offered solutions to their teammates and, above all, they never left the gorge through which the opponents had to pass on their way to the Lloris goal.
Without Pogba or Kanté, both injured, Deschamps has undertaken an urgent renovation. With two months to go before the World Cup in Qatar, the experiments have led to the most alarming scenario. The debut of Tchouaméni and Camavinga in the double pivot, against Denmark, laid the foundations for the lack of control. Unable to read the game, the midfielders did not find their place nor did they know how to measure the times of a team that tends to split in half. Camavinga, especially, showed signs of disorientation and ended up losing his position in the covers. Dolberg’s 1-0 can only be explained by his neglect of Eriksen’s mark, which he allowed to maneuver calmly before opening the game to the assistant, the eccentric Damsgaard.
Denmark made it 2-0 at the exit of a corner in which there were three Danish touches before the goal. When Deschamps reacted at half-time by swapping Camavinga for Fofana, his team had already raised the white flag. Without control of the game, the French lost faith in the comeback. Mbappé’s heroics, so definitive against Austria on Thursday, remained willful attempts in Copenhagen.
Croatia and the Netherlands, to the ‘final-four’
The first phase of the League of Nations concludes with the relegation of Austria, the Czech Republic, England and Wales. Croatia and the Netherlands advance to the final phase, in the absence of the dispute on the last day in Groups 2 and 3.
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