It was a wet and rather cold spring night in Paris, but the crowd at the Stade de France was hot, expecting a new edition of 1998 Word Cup Final, when the Bleus enchanted the whole nation, by winning 3-0 .
The stage was set and the arrival of the Four Mousquetaires ( Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry, Marcel Desailly, Patrick Viera) honored by France for their more than 100 Caps with Les Bleus,added a plus in the already festive ambiance. Alas, that didn’t last; Varane’s goal was dully celebrated, but the rest of the game, highlighted the absence of key players as Yohan Cabaye, Paul Pogba and Hugo Lloris(injured).
Who was the best, who was the worst ? Here’s the players ratings:
Steve Mandanda : 5,5/10
Marseilles’ custodian could be France’s saviour, for if he was unable to keep out the first goal, he should have done better for the two others. Several good saves though(20th 30th 50th 71st)
Bakary Sagna : 2,5/10
A nightmare for the Manchester’s City player; his lack of playing time with his club was plain to see. Unable to do something good in defence or attack. A night to forget!
Raphaël Varane : 4,5/10
Goalscorer(21st) but afterwards in fault for two of the three Brazilian goals; some good defensive reflexes, but poor game, nevertheless.
Mamadou Sahko : 4/10
He was miles away from the excellent player he was against Ukraine; is it because he hasn’t enough playing time with Liverpool? Some good defense, but one could expect more, from the former Parisian.
Patrice Evra : 4/10
In fault for the second goal, he tried to keep the Brazilians out of the danger zone, but this time, Dame Fortune wasn’t by his side. Is the Bianconero too old(34) for this kind of games?
Morgan Schneiderlin : 5/10
He started in Cabaye’s place and showed some good disposition in front of the french defense, but lacked impact; he was good but not enough to be decisive.
Blaise Mathuidi : 4/10
“Life is hard, without Pogba and Cabaye” Did the Parisian think that, while he tried to help the team go forwards, as he usually does with his two (injured) teammates? He just wasn’t his former self; subbed by Olivier Giroud (84th)
Moussa Sissoko : 3,5/10
It just wasn’t his day; weak in defense, absent in attack, the Newcastle’s player, left the fans regretting Pogba’s injury. Subbed by Kondogbia(74th)
Antoine Griezmann : 4/10
Athletico’s Madrid gem, wasn’t his usual self in the Stade de France; frequently absent during the first hour, he woke up and had especially a good try in the 63rd; a bit late though, he was subbed by Fékir (74th)
Mathieu Valbuena : 5,5/10
Petit Velo, had some good but also some bad game; good on set pieces,( he assisted Varane’s goal) bad with transmission, some errors and lack of activity during the game.
Karim Benzema : 4/10
Bad night for the Captain; Didier Deschamps, gave him the band in absence of injured Lloris, but that didn’t help him to be the leader of the team, as he should. Too heavy to wear it or a night off? Wasted two good chances, especially the one in the 60th.