Raphaël Varane and Antoine Griezmann : GOAAAAAL !!!
After a disappointing draw versus Albania, Les Bleus, finished this year’s games , in Marseilles renovated stadium, Le Vélodrome, with a victory against Sweden’s national team, who played without the country’s talisman, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
After testing a dubious 4-4-2 last week, France’s manager Didier Deschamps, played a more classic 4-2-3-1 with Olympique de Marseille’s forward André-Pierre Gignac, up front. The team presented a new face(8 changes) with all Marseille’s players on the pitch, while Lloris, Benzema and some others were benched.
The game began slowly, for it was clear that the French weren’t used to play together. One thing that hadn’t changed though, was the chronic lack of precision in the penalty area, despite their domination (64% possession, 28 shots).
The Nordic visitors, produced a good first 20 minutes; afterwards they stayed behind, bus parked and waited for a possible draw, thus giving some good opportunities for Les Bleus to score: Pogba(17th) Sagna(23rd) Valbuena (31st) and Griezmann (35th).
After the break, Gignac (49th) could have scored, but Sueden’s GK Isaksson( very efficient) denied him the joy to score in front of his home club supporters. The French pressing, produced a late victory goal by tonight’s Captain, Raphaël Varane (84th) . The final score could be 2-0 but Karim Benzema’s penalty (86th) went in Vélodrome’s Upper stands.
A RED CARD for Vélodrome’s public; they can’t be football supporters, no supporter worth his name,would boo the national’s team players, because they play for rival clubs. Well, it happened; a large part of the public in the Stadium, booed Benzema, Alexandre Lacazette(OL) and Lucas Digne (PSG) because the last two are playing for teams that have beaten Marseille, this season. Benzema was booed because of the missed penalty. Let’s hope that this toxic behaviour, won’t happen again!
Here’s the french players ratings:
Man of the Match: 7,5 Raphaël Varane . Game after game, Monsieur Propre(Clean) shows his world class; Captain for the night (Lloris was rested) he showed his young talent he’s only 21- and scored a wonder goal. A future Star and not only for Real Madrid.
Steve Mandanda : 6 The Marseillais GK retrieved his club’s goalposts and produced a good solid game. He didn’t have lots to do, bar a fine save (41st) A reliable number two goalie for Les Bleus.
Layvin Kurzawa : 6,5 The youngster had a lot to prove and also show that his bad behaviour with the U- 21 is now in the past. He entered on the pitch without any complexes and showed his worth. Very good in defense, efficient on several duels he showed good quality in its centers. Injured, he was subbed by Lucas Digne(78th)
Eliaquim Mangala : 6,5 A game not too complicated for a player in trouble, since his signing for Manchester City. Tonight, the former FC Porto defender, produced a good clean game; master in the air, he showed great facility in winning aerial duels.
Bakary Sagna: 5,5 The former gunner, showed good dispositions in defense, but even if he tried hard, offensively his attempts to center correctly, same old story…
Raphaël Varane : MOTM 7,5 see above.
Paul Pogba : 6 The Bianconero player, was very active on the pitch, but slow with the ball; however he managed to offer some good opportunities to his teammates. He needs to be more consistent in the game.
Josuha Guilavogui : 4 Not an easy game for the former St Etienne’s player; unable to find the right position on the pitch he was a liability for the team. Subbed by Gonalons (84th)
Mathieu Valbuena: 7 The former Marseillais was happy to evolve in his old playground; “Petit Vélo-Little Bike” was as good as he usually is when playing for France. Good in defense, he was a constant threat in the Swedish area.Very accurate with the ball, he delivered some good balls and almost scored a backheel golazzo. Subbed by Lacazette (68th)
Dimitri Payet : 3,5 Marseille’s midfielder produced a very poor game; after a good move in the first minute, he just disappeared from the pitch. Tonight, should be HIS show, but he performed like every other year; an excellent debut,( August-September), then he just is absent from the game, while still on the pitch!!! Subbed by Moussa Sissoko (61st)
Antoine Griezmann : 7 The Atletico Madrid player was one of the good performers of the french team; he showed that he’s able to perform well not only as a sub, but also beginning the game as a first choice.He produced some good opportunities to score, (39th, 59th, 88th) His assist to Varane for the unique goal of the game was perfect.
André-Pierre Gignac : 5 Marseille’s striker failed to show his worth and that in front of his own supporters. Very discreet, even outplayed by the height of his Swedish opponents, he offered an opportunity to score (49th) and having very little to do, he was subbed by Benzema(69th).
Here’s the game’s highlights :
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