The world champion has no place in the relegation zone.  France beat Austria and left the last place in the group


Didier Deschamps has never been in this position in his 10 years with the French national team. You can say as much as you like that the League of Nations is a passing tournament for the tops, but two points in four rounds and the risk of being relegated from the league Ahaving Croatia, Denmark and Austria as rivals, this is too much.

And here the mentor in the last home game of the campaign also lost a whole group of players who would be enough for a full-fledged squad: Hugo Lloris, Luca and Theo Hernandez, Ibrahim Konate, Presnel Kimpembe, Luca Digne, Paul Pogba, Ngolo Kante, Adrien Rabiot, Boubacar Camara , Kingsley Coman and Karim Benzema.

The world champions have enough performers to put up a powerful squad even in such a situation, but you must admit, seeing Benoit Badiashile, Jonathan Kloss and Yusuf Fofan is too unusual.

The Russian fans also have a special attitude to the Austrian national team, because recently it has been trained by the favorite of the railway workers Ralf Rangnick. Under his leadership, the Austrians defeated Croatia on the road and did not lose at home to the French, that is, they scored four points in the confrontation with two finalists of the 2018 World Cup.


The hosts hit the gate of Patrick Pentz already in the second minute, but Kylian Mbappe, picking up the ball before the decisive shot, ran out of the offside position, so the goal was not counted. Although he set the appropriate mood for the French. They stormed the opponent’s penalty area not only with the attacking trio of Kylian Mbappe – Antoine Griezmann – Olivier Giroud, but in general almost all the outfield players.

The guests did not succeed at all in the counterattacking game, but they used Diego Simeone’s favorite 4-4-2 formation in the defensive phase quite effectively. On the edges, the French had no advantage due to the fact that Ferland Mendy and Kloss acted here only on one lateral. As a result, they always huddled in the center, where it was even more difficult to get through.

However, the hero of the first half was the 25-year-old Reims goalkeeper Penz, who played only the fourth match in the national team. So, he owns a crazy double save closer to the break, when Tchuameni turned the blow over himself into the crossbar, and then covered Griezmann’s finish at close range. As a result, after 45 minutes, Deschamps’ wards had 15 (!) strikes, and zeros were still on the scoreboard.


At the beginning of the second half, it seemed that the Austrians were even starting to move the game a little away from their goal, but they got burned out on this. Marcel Zabitzer unsuccessfully handled the ball in his own half of the field and brought a counterattack. She didn’t look deadly. Mbappe made it like that, breaking through at speed past four (!) Defenders and hitting hard in the center.

From that moment on, the guests had nothing to guard, and Rangnick replaced both attackers, moving to 4-2-3-1 – Christoph Baumgartner appeared and began to play a little deeper, but the extreme midfielders had to rise higher. True, the Austrians did not have time to rebuild. Clever Griezmann coolly waited for the free zone to appear on the right flank and served superbly on the goalkeeper’s line, where the king of the second floor, Olivier Giroud, easily outweighed the opponent. This is his 49th goal for the national team.

I was impressed by the role of Griezmann today. Formally, he took a position under the attackers, but in positional attacks he appeared everywhere, even in the support zone, when it was necessary to create a majority. Deschamps continues to give his team’s smartest attacking player as much freedom as possible, and he continues to justify the trust, acting almost unerringly.

As a result, France won a landslide victory and left the last line. True, she is still not immune from relegation, because in the final round she goes to visit the Danes, who are extremely motivated after the defeat in Zagreb, while the Austrians in Vienna will do everything possible to surpass the leaders of the Croatian group.

The League of nations
League A
Group 1
5th round

France – Austria – 2:0 (0:0)

goals: Mbappe, 56 – 1:0. Giroud, 65 – 2:0.

France: Menian (Areola, 46), Kunde (Saliba, 23), Varane, Badyashil, Kloss, Tchuameni, Fofana, F. Mendy, Griezmann (Dembele, 79), Giroud (Nkunku, 79), Mbappe (Colo Muani, 90+2 ).

Austria: Penz, Trimmel, Linhart, Alaba (Posch, 70), Weber, Sabitzer (Schmid, 69), Schlager, Seiwald, Wyman (Lubicic, 50), Arnautovic (Gregorich, 64), Onisivo (Baumgartner, 64).

Warnings: Weimann, 38.

Referee: Ekberg (Sweden).

Source: Sovsport

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Peggy McColl

Mentor l NY Times Bestselling Author. Hi, I'm Peggy McColl, and I'm here to deliver a positive message to you!

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