France v Netherlands 4 – 0 World Cup Qualifiers: Review and Players Ratings



After the  unexpected defeat in Sweden, les Bleus had to show a different face against a Dutch squad  regenerated by  the arrival of a new coach and the return of some famous oldies.

That game was crucial for both teams; France needed the three points to stay in touch with Sweden and Holland to secure a second place in the  A group.

France were playing in their garden, the Stade de France, where 80K fans(minus 2K Dutch) were on fire  from start to finish. The French started the game by dominating immediately their opponent and scored their first goal after a classic one-two  between Giroud and Griezmann (14th). The sending off  of Kevin Strooman (62nd) undoubtedly helped the hosts  and Thomas Lemar made the break scoring a wonder goal (73rd) .

Afterwards, there was only one team on the pitch; the French were dominant  and sealed their victory by scoring a third by Lemar (again!)netting a nice pass from Griezmann (88th) and icing on the cake,  a fourth by the new PSG’s signing, Kylian Mbappé( 90+1)

Nevertheless, Didier Deschamps has still work to do;  the french attack is almost perfect but the same can’t be said about the squad’s defense. Fortunately   for les Bleus, the Oranje’s attack was almost invisible and  they didn’t take advantage of the hosts’ laxity, but other teams will.  Playing against  a ten man team made the game easier but it’s not acceptable to watch some of the french defenders sleepwalking on the pitch.

Kylian Mbappé, Antoine Griezmann, Ngolo Kanté were decisive, but the Monegasque Thomas Lemar was brilliant; he cast  away all the rumors about a late transfer to Arsenal and delivered several very good/excellent balls to his teammates and if his comrades were more accurate the final  score could be a tennis one ! He scored two, one “easy” another one excellent/ brilliant;     ( it’s not easy to find the correct superlative!) Man of the Match !

Would France be that good, if they had played the famous Oranje, that golden generation of Cruyff, Gullit and Bergkamp? Holland’s current squad are a pale imitation of their famous past:  Sneijder should retire(too old) and what about  Van Persie+ Robben? Will they be fit enough to play the World Cup, if they qualifie? A year it’s too long for players who are approaching, (or not) an early retirement ! There’s of course some youngsters but is it  sensible to give them that burden, one may wonder…


FRANCE:  Lloris 5,5/10    Kurzawa 5,5/10    Umtiti 6/10    Konscielny 6/10    Sidibé 6/10      Lemar MOTM 8,5/10    Kanté 8/10    Pogba 7,5/10    Coman 7/10   Giroud 6/10                 Griezmann 7,5/10

NETHERLANDS :  Cillessen 4/10    Fosu- Mensah 6/10    De Vrij 3/10    Hoedt 4/10                  Blind 3,5/10    Wijnaldum 3/10    Strooman 2/10    Sneijder 3/10     Robben 5/10    Promes 4/10 Janssen 2,5/10









Categories: Analysis, World Cup Qualifiers

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