Dominating throughout its last evening at home before the World Cup, the France team found their way back to success against Austria (2-0) on Thursday evening, and reassured themselves despite a package of absentees. . Olivier Giroud has, by the way, become the oldest scorer in the history of the country. Next stop: Copenhagen, Sunday.
By Maxime Brigand, at the Stade de France
France 2-0 Austria
Goals: Mbappe (56e) and Giroud (65e) for the Blues.
Alert: hectic week for free return to school. An armored Stade de France, a ball possession rate hoisted to more than 60%, around twenty potatoes dropped against four small, off target, conceded, rookies (Fofana, Badiashile) uninhibited… While we said the Blues potentially shaken by a stinking global context, between negotiations on their image rights, various controversies to manage and a giant list of cripples, in the end nothing happened. Already dropped from the race Final Four of a League of Nations of which it is nevertheless defending champion, the French team showed up Thursday evening in front of its public, which it will not see again before spinning to roll in the dunes, and did not no knots in the brain, first finding a defensive solidity that we had not seen for several months and an offensive relaxation that held almost throughout the night (2-0).
In the middle of the frame, a man obviously attracted a little more attention than the others, without really knowing exactly what he came to play on this September rally in the mind of his coach: placed alongside Kylian Mbappé at the front of a reinstalled 3-4-1-2 tricolor, Olivier Giroud, who says he is ready to go to Qatar to play a plan B role, has again made Olivier Giroud and has been invaluable in his multiple role. Too short to take advantage of a great opening from Benoît Badiashile at the start of the match (7e), the lamppost of Milan then, in a one-way first act, perfectly served an awkward Mbappé against Pentz (26e), subtly put away an aerial ball in the direction of a Tchouaméni whose scissor ended its course on the Austrian bar (36e) and shot two arrows off target. Under the nose of an Austria as eye-catching as it is not very dangerous, the Deschamps gang opened the doors to return to the locker room with full pockets, but, as in June, in Vienna, made Rangnick’s last rampart shine, without forgetting even though Youssouf Fofana could have concluded a nice movement before the break (45e).
Giroud, the former record
The clouds never being too far from the Blues lately, Didier Deschamps still saw two new soldiers – Jules Koundé, hit in the left hamstring, and Mike Maignan, alerted by his left calf – let go physically during the First 45 minutes, but also Kylian Mbappé (finally) jumping the Austrian chest just before the hour mark after a powerful slalom in the wake of a good ball scraped by Giroud in the central circle (1-0, 56e). The France team, which adjusted its organization without the ball over the course of the meeting after a few wobbly sequences during the first period, then refused to breathe, Giroud coming close to snatching a penalty before taking off to cut all teeth outside a center sent on the right side by a platinum Griezmann subtly shifted by Fofana (2-0, 65e). Now the oldest scorer in the history of the country at 35 years and 357 days, the number 9 was then able to give way to Christopher Nkunku where Ousmane Dembélé came to grab the place of playmaker from Griezmann for the last ten minutes. Released by the turn of the evening, Didier Deschamps also let Randal Kolo Muani put on his first cape before blowing: after four hitches, his French team found the way to success and jumped from his folding seat as the last of his group.
France (3-4-1-2): Maignan (Areola, 46e) – Koundé (Saliba, 23e), Varane, Badiashile – Clauss, Tchouaméni, Fofana, Mendy – Griezmann (Dembélé, 78e) – Giroud (Nkunku, 78e), Mbappe (Kolo Muani, 90e). Coach: Didier Deschamps.
Austria (4-4-2): Pentz – Trimmel, Lienhart, Alaba (Posch, 69e), Wöber-Sabitzer (Schmid, 69e), Schlager, Seiwald, Weimann (Ljubicic, 50e) – Arnautović (Gregoritsch, 64e), Onisiwo (Baumgartner, 64e). Coach: Ralf Rannick.
By Maxime Brigand, at the Stade de France