Another friendly game for the two heavyweights of the European football, but only in name, for both teams needed desperately to win and gain some hope about their current form. Portugal’s aim was some reassurance for their next game away versus Albania and France to put an end in two consecutive defeats, against Belgium and Albania.
The local boy Christiano Ronaldo, a threat to any team, failed to score thus leaving his tabs(55 International goals) six short of Luis Figo’s record, for Real’s Madrid teammate Raphael Varane and Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny dealt efficiencly with the three times Ballon d’Or. In fact CR7 had one and only chance, a 35 yards freekick (41st) but even if it was well taken with the ball dipping, swerving and bouncing in front of Hugo Lloris, the French skipper was able to push it away, for a keeper of Lloris quality isn’t often beaten from this distance. (Ronaldo or not!)
Eder had two chances to score, but the first one (61st) a shot on the turn towards the goal, ended over the top and the second one (80th) was linked well with a teammate’s shot down the right flank, but the Spurs sweeper keeper got quickly off his line and put the danger away.
Nani wasted a good one, after Ronaldo’s quick counter-attack but the former Red Devil checked and twisted the ball too long and finished by sending it well over the bar, while his Captain screamed his frustration, flapping furiously his hands up and down!
France looked the more threatening of the two sides having creating the more chances( Matuidi 31st, Griezmann 49th, Benzema 54th, 71th, Varane 73rd) but they had to wait for a moment of magic given by “Petit Vélo”/ “Little Bike” Mathieu Valbuena. Lyon’s midfielder entered the game to sub Sissoko (80th) and only five minutes later, after firmly denying Pogba’s plea to let him shoot the free-kick he sent the ball over the wall and back below the bar, just a few centimetres from Patricio’s fingertips, thus making his teammates and several hundreds of French supporters in the Stadium, crazy from happiness!
The French defense was very effective during the game, but the same can’t be said for the French attack; Benzema’s display was worrying and the missed chances of Griezmann and Matuidi, too. On the contrary Bacary Sagna and Patrice Evra, copped well with Portugal’s forwards, Ronaldo included. The midfielders helped the french defense and Varane and Konscielny were rarely troubled, by the portuguese attacks. The subbing that all the Medias were waiting for, came in the 74th; Manchester’s United last signing , the most expensive teenager in football history, the £36 Million man Anthony Martial! It would be a world-wide famous tale if he had scored, but real life is not a fairy tale; his contribution was minimal, but he’s only nineteen and even if he said that he’s pressure free, it won’t last; let’s hope that he’s strong enough to face it.
So, France won their 10th in the row game versus Portugal and the Portuguese supporters are still waiting for a win.(since 40 years !)
Portugal’s Carvalho left the pitch with a gash on his head after being accidently caught by Evra’s stud, but the most frustrating injury was for French manager Deschamps; striker Nabil Fékir left the pitch limping, after only 14 minutes on the pitch. He’s going to stay out for several months.(knee injury)
Fernando Santos (Portugal’s boss) said :
“It’s clear that we have to improve our game in some aspects, but I guess we had a good performance; I guess that we showed that we could beat France and I believe that it will be so in some months, when we will be over there, in France.”
Didier Deschamps (France’s boss) said:
“We showed a lot of aggression, we had some good moves and we didn’t concede. We had a stranglehold on the second half; I saw beautiful things. “
Rui Patricio : 6,5/10 Vierinha : 5/10 Pepe : 6,5/10 Ricardo Carvalho : 6/10 Eliseu : 4,5/10 Joao Mario : 5/10 Danilo Pereira ;5,5/10 Adrien Silva : 4,5/10 Nani : 4/10 Eder : 4,5/10 Christiano Ronaldo : 6,5/10
Substitutes : Jose Fonte : 6/10 Cedric Soares: 4,5/10 Miguel Veloso : 5,5/10 Ricardo Quaresma : 6,5/10 Danny : 5,5/10 Bernado Silva : 5/10
Hugo Lloris : 7/10 Bacary Sagna : 7/10 Raphael Varane : 7/10 Laurent Konscielny :6,5/10 Patrice Evra :6/10 Yohan Cabaye :7/10 Moussa Sissoko : 7/10 Blaise Mathuidi : 6,5/10 Paul Pogba (MOTM) : 7,5/10 Nabil Fékir : 6,5/10 Karim Benzema :6/10 Substitutes : Antoine Griezmann : 6,5/10 Morgan Sneiderlin :7/10 Anthony Martial : 5,5/10 Mathieu Valbuena : 7,5/10 Olivier Giroud : 6/10
http://www.goal.com/en/news/468/internationals/2015/09/04/15058962/-? OPTA REVIEW HIGHLIGHTS Portugal vs France