Three days after their first defeat, since the 2014 World Cup quarter-final, against Germany, Les Bleus, hosted another friendly in St Etienne’s Stadium, François Guichard versus Danemark.
Both teams needed to win; the Danes to confirm their laborious 3-2 against a valiant USA team and the French to show that they had left behind them, the Stade de France defeat, by a convincing display of good attacking football.
France’s manager Didier Deschamps, made eight changes, thus giving the opportunity to some young players to show (or not) their worth.
The French played a good lively first half, scoring twice, (Lacazette 14′ Giroud 38′); in the second half their pace was significantly slower resulting in some chances, but Danemark didn’t benefit(bad luck or a very good french goalkeeper, maybe both).
France’s good performance reassured the French fans, for they played without some key players (Lloris, Pogba, Cabaye, injured) and showed their capacity to bounce back, after their defeat against an excellent Brazilian team, still undefeated( 8 games, 8 victories).
The Danes, finished the game more quietly than against the American team; after all a friendly doesn’t bring vital points and as they are second behind Portugal, they’ll need all their strength and certainly not some unwelcome injuries.
So who was the best or the worst ? Here’s the players ratings:
Stephane Ruffier : 6/10
A quiet evening for the French custodian; he played in front of his own crowd, Les Verts (St Etienne) in a stadium who knows well, and had two good saves : Eriksen’s (63′) and Bendtner (64′).
Christophe Jallet : 6/10
Much better than Bacary Sagna, against Brazil, the former Parisian played a good game defending well his side, but also helping his teammates, when needed. He left the pitch on a stretcher ( shoulder) and will be out for at least four weeks). Subbed by Sagna (90′).
Raphaël Varane : 5/10
Captain for the second time in his international career, the young defender had a clean game(0 faults) but he wasn’t really tested by his opponents. Good reaction against Bendtner (41′) and Schöne (86′).
Laurent Koscielny : 5,5/10
The Gunner, showed some good reflexes and reaction dealing well with Wass incursions. He missed a goal chance, though…
Benoît Trémoulinas : 5,5/10
Seville’s left back, came back to his old Stadium, Le Chaudron, and had a warm welcome from St Etienne’s fans. He played well and showed that he could bring some interesting solutions to the team ; he was good pushing forwards and gave some good balls, up front.
Geoffrey Kondogbia : 7,5/10
The best French on the pitch; Monaco’s youngster, showed good dispositions and certainly won some good points during his third appearance, with the senior team.Quick on his feet, he was decisive for the first goal and assisted the second. Subbed by Joshua Guilavogui (60′).
Morgan Schneiderlin : 6/10
Solid game from Southampton’s midfielder; some good defending in the first half, but a bit hesitant in the second period, losing some duels during the Danish “moment of grace”.Subbed by Kurt Zouma(82′).
Alexandre Lacazette : 7/1O
His answer to Lyon’s old enemy (St Etienne) boos was perfect; a goal (his first with the senior team) to put France up front and a good game showing that his place on top of France’s goalscorers Table, is well deserved; subbed by Blaise Mathuidi(71′).
Dimitri Payet : 7/10
Marseille’s play maker, was placed behind Giroud and he was really good; he played his best game, since his début with Les Bleus and showed that Deschamps, should count on him, just as Marseille’s coach Bielsa, does. He nearly converted two great balls into the box(24′ 32′). Subbed by his former teammate, Mathieu Valbuena (80′).
Olivier Giroud : 6,5/10
Goalscorer (38′), he helped his team’s defenders and kept the upper hand against Kjaer and Sviatchenko. Good work, for the Gunner.
Antoine Griezmann : 6,5/10
Atletico’s player was one of the three who played against Brazil: fortunately for him, he was much better in St Etienne, than he was in Paris. He showed that when he’s in form, he can be a great asset for the team. Good interact with Giroud, Lacazette and Payet. Subbed by Nabil Fékir, (60′) Lyon’s gem, another youngster, who took less than a minute to make his impact on the pitch, skipping past two defenders, before servicing Jallet in the danger area; great speed and quick feet, but very few teammates ready to follow him in front of the Danish goal.
Schmeichel : 5/10
Unlucky on the first goal(14′) and let down by his defenders for the second(38′). Some good saves,(24′).
Jacobsen : 5/10
Some good intentions, good in the air, but not quick enough to pare the french attacks, especially against Trémoulinas and Griezmann
Kjaer : 4/10
Could have done better, not only about the first goal, but also for the second; some good intentions but not goodenough to bring danger or create chances.
Sviatchenco : 4/10
Same as his colleague; beaten by Giroud on the second goal, he was subbed by Hansen(76′).
Boilesen : 3,5/10
He wasn’t bothered by the French, as all the action was on the center and right of the pitch, but he did nothing to help his teammates; subbed in the second half by Christiansen : 4/10 who didn’t impress, either.
Kvist : 5/10
The midfielder, placed in front of the Danish defense, tried to give some good balls, but was unable to fight against Kondogbia, and Schneiderlin; subbed by Delaney( 86′).
Wass : 3/10
Evian’s Dane player was so transparent that was subbed after the first half by Poulsen : 5/10 who was much better, bringing some danger in front of Ruffier’s goalsticks.
Kronh-Dehli : 4,5/10
He pressed well, but was unable to stop the French incursions; he had a chance to score in the 44th.
Vibe : 2,5/1O
A night to forget for the winger; with no balls to play he was just an unhappy spectator, on St Etienne’s pitch. Subbed by Jörgensen (58′).
Christian Eriksen : 4,5/10
Bad night for Tottenham’s playmaker ; poor in attack, his only feat was the strike who obliged Ruffier to work a bit(63′). Subbed by Schöne (83′).
Bendtner : 4/10
No hatrick for the Dane forward; he could score at least twice (58′ 65′), but as the rest of the team, he was miles away… Portugal, perhaps ?