The Blues, masters of momentum and winners of the League of Nations 2021 against Spain – Liberation

The France team overturned the Spaniards who captured the ball (2-1), this Sunday, to afford the title of this 3rd zone competition. Benzema and Mbappé were still decisive.

Beautiful Italian week for the tricolors: three days after overthrowing the Belgian selection, the Blues beat (2-1) Sunday at the San Siro stadium in Milan in the final of the League of Nations a big Spanish team, little served by the circumstances it is true, between a non-whistled hand of the French defender Jules Koundé in full surface (32nd) and a video refereeing validating an offside goal from Kylian Mbappé at the end of the match. However, the Blues clung to the branches and the offensive center of gravity has moved a little closer to the Benzema-Mbappé pair, both scorers when Antoine Griezmann completed a hundredth very neutral selection.

As expected, the two teams left on issues that are both personal and clear. The Spanish players are masters of conservation of the ball; the premium to a technical quality and a passing game superior to those of the opponents – the Blues like the others. The French were there to cut the opposing passing lines and thus slow down the game: a Spaniard who keeps the ball for lack of solution then becomes a target, the physical superiority of Aurélien Tchouaméni (1.87m), Benjamin Pavard (1.86m ) or Paul Pogba (1.91m) on the small Spanish riders therefore giving them an advantage in the duel.

It is therefore a kind of “after-me Sheriff course” that Sergio Busquets, Ferran Torres and others launch each time in the cantonade, the corollary being sequences of endless possession of the ball to tire and start the concentration of the big boys. opposite. La Roja succeeding in getting out of duels all the more easily as their opponents did not go looking for them for long, she has the ball without stopping. Afterwards, we would bet our ELP on the fact that the Blues had been briefed, re-briefed and re-briefed on how the match was going to unfold.

The match suddenly explodes

Therefore, they were neither angry nor discovered: 0-0 with lemons, the Spaniards launched to 600 passes (296 at the break), not a scoring opportunity, a single shot on target (very soft). In the context, the yellow card received by Paul Pogba for a big sole (46th) and the snoring of the Mancunien in the wake on a too passive Pavard take a certain relief, that is to say. The match will explode suddenly: Theo Hernandez turns on the bar on a cons tricolor, a sign that the Spaniards are (finally) opening the game (a little). Intoxicated, the Blues forget Mikel Oyarzabal behind their defense – Jules Koundé covers a possible offside, Dayot Upamecano eaten in the duel – and La Roja takes control (1-0, 64th).

In such a closed context, it is fatal. Except for the Blues, who come out beautifully from the opposing pressing 60 meters from their goal on the right side to put Karim Benzema in one against one in front of Cesar Azpilicueta on the left side (in football, when it starts on one side, it must finish on the other): ball rolled up Madrid’s right foot and skylight (1-1, 66th). A classic: more than an hour to build an advantage, a few seconds to lose it in stride because something has disconnected with the long-awaited goal. In history, the momentum, as the English say, has shifted to the tricolor side. And this momentum works miracles. Escaping for once the surveillance of defender Eric Garcia all the more easily since he is out of play at the start of the pass from Théo Hernandez (pass touched by the Spanish defender), Kylian Mbappé mystifies the opposing goalkeeper with a pass of legs and a strike from the left (2-1, 80th).

Big slipper shots

Supposedly effective on the offside, the VAR confirms the goal, to the chagrin of the Spaniards, who smelled the trick. Nothing can happen to the Blues anymore. So it holds like that holds, with Hugo Lloris on the parade (88th, 94th), defenders who throw themselves everywhere and big slips to send the ball away. The keel of style? No matter: here as elsewhere, French selection football is a player’s business. “We showed strength of character, Benzema estimated at M6’s microphone after the game. This is the sign of great teams. We waited, we didn’t give up. Football is like that. “

Source: Libération by

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