On the second day of the Nations League, the French team was held up in Croatia (1-1) because of a penalty conceded late in the game. A bad deal for the Blues in accounting terms.
Aurlien Tchouamni dominated the midfield.
Three days after the home defeat against Denmark (1-2) on Friday, the French team was to revive on the second day of the League of Nations.
But the selection of Didier Deschamps had to settle for a draw in Croatia (1-1) after a rather convincing performance.
Mastery for the Blues
Shaken by the Croatian intensity at the start, the Blues were quick to rebalance the debates. With a very good Tchouamni distribution, the world champions, who presented themselves with a largely overhauled eleven, gradually took control without showing themselves to be dangerous.
It was even the Croats who caused two big scares to the French, saved by the returns of Saliba and Kimpembe. But the best opportunity of this first period, besides Nkunku’s logically disallowed goal for offside, remains that of Diaby, neutralized by a fine save by Livakovic!
Clauss unhappy in his between
Note that Croatia could have found themselves at 10 after central defender Vida’s very dangerous tackle on Nkunku, only sanctioned with a yellow card. No consequence for the tricolor striker and the Blues, who took the advantage on the return from the locker room thanks to Rabiot (0-1, 52nd), well launched by Ben Yedder in depth! Something to calm Zlatko Dalic’s men, who were once again under French control during this second period.
Only here, the Blues did not take shelter. And a few minutes after coming on, Clauss conceded a penalty and allowed Kramaric (1-1, 83rd) to equalize. Suffice to say that the locals and their public pushed hard at the end of the match, in vain. After their defeat on the first day, neither team will be satisfied with this draw.
The score of the match: 6/10
After a first period with few chances, luckily the game came alive on the way back from the locker room. Both teams got more situations and the goals finally arrived, all in a crazy atmosphere in the last moments.
The goals :
– After a touch on the left side, Nkunku deflects a header for Rabiot. The midfielder makes a one-two with Ben Yedder who puts him back perfectly in depth. Alone against the goalkeeper, the Turinese opens his foot and deceives Livakovic at the near post (0-1, 52nd).
– On a penalty conceded by Clauss on Kramaric, the Croatian striker takes the opportunity and takes Maignan against the foot by striking on his left. The French denounce an interrupted run by the striker, but the referee will not sanction anything (1-1, 82nd).
Maxifoot awarded a mark (out of 10) commented on each player.
Man of the match: Aurlien Tchouamni (7.5/10)
From Monaco to the French team (while waiting for Real Madrid?), the midfielder remains the boss of the midfield! The Mongasque again impressed with his ability to anticipate and scrape balls. He started the game timidly with two ball losses. But his technical mastery quickly allowed him to distribute the game without suffering the opposing pressure. Replace the 62nd by Boubacar Kamara (not not)who could have conceded a dangerous free kick if the referee had seen his fault obvious.
Dominik Livakovic (6) : Reactive to Diaby’s cross shot in the first period, the Croatian goalkeeper was not so much in demand. The attempts of Tchouamni and Griezmann were rather axial.
Josip Juranovic (2) : author of a nice save in front of Rabiot’s head, the right side has ruined everything afterwards. His delay on the French midfielder scores the goal conceded. And by a miracle, his completely missed back pass does not allow Griezmann to offer victory to the French team at the very end of the match!
Martin Erlic (6) : for his first selection, the central defender did rather well. He read the trajectories of the air balloons well. It must be said that Ben Yedder was not the most formidable opponent in the air.
Domagoj Vida (3) : behind decisive passer Ben Yedder, the experienced central defender is also at fault on Rabiot’s goal. But above all, it is still difficult to understand why the referee, assisted by the VAR, did not send him off after his dangerous tackle on Nkunku!
Borna Barisic (5.5) : faced with Diaby’s percussion and deep calls, the left side has not always been successful. He resisted better in the second period when the Frenchman no longer had the energy. Note an excellent cross that Kimpembe had the good idea to cut.
Marcelo Brozovic (6.5) : sometimes positioned between his two central defenders, the midfielder of Inter Milan perfectly played his role as first raiser. His vertical passes and forward throws hurt, especially in the first half.
Mateo Kovacic (7) : the image of his clubmate Kant, the midfielder of Chelsea has never stopped harassing the ball carrier in his area! Tireless, he multiplied the breakthroughs and put the Blues in great difficulty full axis several times. Replace the 79th by Nikola Vlasic (not not)which came up against an excellent Maignan.
Luka Modric (6) : With incredible precision in his passes, the Merengue was in demonstration mode in the first period. He also had the legs to exert a huge pressure which almost surprised Guendouzi. But unsurprisingly, he did not keep up the same pace after the break despite his fine sequence which forced Maignan to intervene. Replace the 79th by Luka Sucic (no not).
Lovro Majer (4) : eagerly awaited against the French team, the Stade Rennais midfielder failed to make the difference. He tried to switch with Modric to lead the game in the axis. But the French are well aware of his tendency to transplant on his left foot. Replaced the 63rd by the former Mongasque Mario Pasalic (not not).
Josip Brekalo (3) : if Pavard had a rather peaceful game defensively, it was also because his direct opponent did not achieve much. His uncontrolled and imprecise center pretty much sums up his game. Replace the 63rd by Mislav Orsic (not not).
Ante Budimir (6) : Combative, the Croatian striker remained on the lookout for errors on the French side. He almost took advantage of it several times, but Kimpembe and Saliba came back well. Also note a header not framed on a cross from Majer. Replace the 69th by Andrej Kramaric (not not).
Mike Maignan (7) : author of an excellent outing at the feet of Orsic, the French goalkeeper could have allowed the Blues to maintain their advantage. Unfortunately for him, the VAR will award a penalty for this same action. He will have at least prevented the Croatian victory with a good save on Vlasic’s attempt at the very end of the match.
Benjamin Pavard (5.5) : never really worried by Brekalo, the right side held his lane well. But his offensive contribution remains limited while Diaby’s percussion could have allowed him to double.
William Saliba (6.5) : the central defender had some scares on big mistakes, but he made up for it each time. We will particularly remember his magnificent tackle after a big comeback on Budimir who already saw himself challenging Maignan! A solid game overall for the player under contract with Arsenal.
Presnel Kimpembe (7) : evening captain, the Parisian has assumed his status. Like his return to Budimir in the first period, he showed authority in his interventions and accuracy in anticipation. His good placement also allowed him to remove a hot ball from a cross from Barisic. He will be forgiven for his lack of frustration at the end of the match which earned him a yellow card.
Lucas Digne (6) : thanks to Rabiot’s axial placement on the possession phases, the left-back was able to take his lane several times in the first period, with dangerous crosses as a result. A bigger striker than Ben Yedder might have benefited. Less prominent in the second act, but also not worried by Majer defensively.
Aurlien Tchouamni (7.5) : see comments above.
Matto Guendouzi (6.5) : we wondered how the Marseillais would behave as a holder. Result, he answered present. The intensity imposed by the Croats did not bother him at all. He remained calm under the opposing pressure, even if he sometimes lacked verticality in his passes.
Adrian Rabiot (6) : a change at half-time would not have been so surprising… That is to say how much the versatile midfielder did not weigh on the game. His goal on the way back from the locker room ended up freeing him. We have seen him more enterprising and more determined to project himself.
Moussa Diaby (6.5) : thanks to his agreement with Nkunku, the Bayer Leverkusen winger was one of the main players in the first period. Their association allowed him to afford a great opportunity. Increasingly confident in his initiatives, he nevertheless had some waste, notably due to a lack of energy. Replace the 79th by Jonathan Clauss (not)who conceded the penalty just after coming on.
Christopher Nkunku (7) : in addition to his agreement with Diaby, the RB Leipzig striker was invaluable in offensive transitions. He had to go down low to touch balls at the start of the game. But once found between the lines, the ex-Parisian caused damage by his accelerations and his control. It is no coincidence that he suffered gross fouls, starting with that of Vida who deserved the red card.
Wissam Ben Yedder (4) : his superb decisive pass for Rabiot does not even save his performance. It was indeed his only interesting action of the game. He failed to connect with his teammates and seemed invisible for a long time. Replace the 62nd by Antoine Griezmann (not not)who got two chances without converting them.
And for you, who were the three BEST players and the three WORST of each team? Comment in the “comments” section below!
CROATIA 1-1 FRANCE (mid-time: 0-0) – Nations League
Stadium: Poljud Stadium
Goals: Kramaric (83rd) for CROATIA, Rabiot (52nd) for FRANCE
CROATIA: Livakovic – Juranovic, Erlic, Vida, Barisic – Brozovic, Kovacic (Vlasic, 79th), Modric (Sucic, 79th) – Majer (Pasalic, 63rd), Budimir (Kramaric, 69th), Brekalo (Orsic, 63rd).
FRANCE: Maignan – Pavard, Saliba, Kimpembe, Digne – Tchouamni (Kamara, 62nd), Guendouzi – Diaby (Clauss, 79th), Nkunku, Rabiot – Ben Yedder (Griezmann, 62nd).
Nkunku’s goal was logically refused for an offside (31st)
Rabiot opened the scoring for the Blues (0-1, 52nd)
Benzema and Mbapp remained on the bench
Kramaric took Maignan the wrong way (1-1, 83rd)