France – Spain 0-2 (friendly) Review and Players Ratings …Or When Video Stars !


Spain put an end at France’s seven in the row victories, but this time the star wasn’t the players’ feats; the novelty was  a little item in  the referee’s ear, a bond to two of his colleagues  in a van outside of the Stade de France watching the game in front of several screens.

FFF(Féderation Française de Football) had FIFA’s agreement to try this new way of referring: the two in the van could only intervene after a goal, a straight red card, a penalty and if the referee wrote  down a player’s incorrect name.

This “friendly” was a “gala” game for both teams, but the two managers Didier Deschamps and Julen Lopetegui showed different philosophy when they decided who to put in their first eleven; Deschamps opted for a team with less old-timers and lots of inexperienced youth( MBappé, Tolisso, Rabiot, Dembélé, Bakayoko and Kurzawa) . On the contrary Spain proposed a good, solid and experienced team of well-known internationals.( De Gea, Iniesta, Ramos, Piqué, Alba, Koke, Busquets)

The difference between the two teams showed almost immediately; the Spaniards made the French half their home (67% ball possession) and France’s captain Hugo Lloris had lots of work to do : Morata and Iniesta should have scored but the Spurs number one quick reflexes. What a time to equal legend’s Fabien Bathez 87 caps !

Laurent Konscielny could have scored too, but De Gea  showed once again his high quality  and so the first half ended 0-0 ; the drama of the second half was on the way…

At first France’s start  in 4-4-2 showed promise and Griezmann’s goal gave happiness for three minutes, before the German  referee Felix Zwayer ended the french celebrations by ruling out their goal(off side against Kurzawa , Welcome to the new technology)!  There was no recourse to the system when Silva scored for Spain from the penalty spot, another gift from “Penalty prone” Konscielny.

The “coup de grâce” came later when Deulofeu’s goal, initially flagged offside was at first ruled out  then was validated by video’s referees.

The France coach Deschamps and the French captain Lloris, said that they had no problem with the use of technology.”If it is verified and fair, why not ? said Deschamps.”Our sport is now benefiting the new technologies, that was expected, the game’s rules are changing and maybe it’s for better”. said the Tottenham’s goalie.

Spain showed force, technique, speed and  how things are done from a good experienced side; France’s Deschamps understood that Youth may be promising, even exciting but they can’t beat experience, at least not yet. The future is theirs, but they’ll have lots of work to do.

Modern technology…??? Yeah, why not, but it must be speedy; just look at the French supporters celebrating during three long minutes Griezmann’s goal and Deulefeu at first  disallowed goal to understand their  anguish and that’s the same  for any  supporter. Spain’s win was well-earned; they were the better team without any doubt. Let’s hope  that the association of video and good referees will help to avoid shocking decisions;  “Qui vivra verra” as the french saying goes.



 FRANCE : Lloris 5,5/10 – Jallet 5 /10- Konscielny 5,5/10 – Umtiti 4 /10   – Kurzawa 3/10  – Tolisso 4/10 – Kanté 4,5/10 – Rabiot 3/10 –  MBappé 5/10 – Gameiro 5/10 – Griezmann 5,5/10

 SPAIN : De Gea 5,5/10 – Carvajal 6/10 – Ramos 6/10 – Piqué 6,5/10  – Alba 6,5/10  – Busquets 8/10 MOTM – Koke 5,5/10 – Iniesta 7/10 – Pedro 5/10 – Isco 6/10 – Morata 4,5/10















Categories: Analysis, opinion, Review, World Cup friedlies

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