Little France and some Mbappé | Eurocup Germany 2024

After ruling in the press room Kilyan Mbappe It was his turn to rule France on the grass of the Arena Stadium in Düsseldorf. With all the focus on her status as the big star of the tournament, she made the difference in a tough match, with many tactical problems. He left flashes, including the bicycle in the area and the back pass that set up Wöber's own goal. The only one in the match for a victory that satisfied neither the eyes of the fans nor the expectations raised. More was expected from the French star and the team was identified as a great candidate for the title. France eventually entrenched themselves in their area, overwhelmed by the Austrians' enthusiasm and a few corners and crosses into the area. And where Mbappé was injured by a hard blow to the nose, which forced him to leave the playing field.

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Patrick Pentz, Kevin Danso, Max Wöber, Phillipp Mwene, Stefan Posch, Marcel Sabitzer, Nicolas Seiwald, Konrad Laimer, Florian Grillitsch, Christoph Baumgartner, Michael Gregoritsch, Marko Arnautovic (Michael Gregoritsch, min. 58), Gernot Trauner (Max Wöber, min. 58), Patrick Wimmer (Florian Grillitsch, min. 59), Alexander Prass (Phillipp Mwene, min. 87) and Romano Schmid (Konrad Laimer, min. 90)

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Mike Maignan, Dayot Upamecano, William Saliba, Jules Koundé, Théo Hernández, N'Golo Kanté, Ousmane Dembélé, Marcus Thuram, Antoine Griezmann, Adrien Rabiot, Kylian Mbappé, Eduardo Camavinga (Adrien Rabiot, min. 70), Randal Kolo Muani ( Ousmane Dembélé, min. 70), Olivier Giroud (Kylian Mbappé, min. 89) and Youssouf Fofana (Antoine Griezmann, min. 90)

Goals
0-1 min. 37: Wöber

Referee Jesus Gil Manzano

Yellow cards

Wöber (min. 15), Philipp Mwene (min. 33), Ousmane Dembélé (min. 55), Christoph Baumgartner (min. 79), Laimer (min. 83), Kylian Mbappe (min. 89), Kevin Danso (min. .92)

The France of Didier Deschams despite the great player list that presents it as an undisputed candidate for the Euro Cups or World Cups. Less so if the rival does not give him space to gallop Mbappé or one of his wingers, be it Dembélé or Marcus Thuram. Neither of them shined last night.

It is also a classic of this France to send a pragmatic match like last night in the first matches of the tournaments. A single goal and a false lethargy in the home field in case there is an opportunity to throw at Mbappé. All without any shame, even if the opponent is not a top sword in European football. Mbappe was also left out of entering the pitch alone as the match was dead and gone, bloodied after a blow to the nose, having previously been treated on the touchline. Gil Manzano gave him the yellow card.

The problem for France was also that when they withdrew, they received no counter-attacks either. The Austria of Ralf Rangnick, one of the gurus of fast football, is a very physical team, strong enough for disputes and duels all over the field. Mbappe was aware of this as he was knocked down on the first ball he touched in a position to progress. Dropping to the left, he started brightly and engagingly as Griezmann looked to clean up the game with touches that would keep the French game flowing. One of the few attacks he was able to clarify ended with Mbappé firing towards Penz's goal. With barely any angle, the Austrian goalkeeper met the low shot with a swipe to deflect it.

France collapsed after that first opportunity. The alternation of Marcus Thuram with Mbappé as area leader did not confuse the Austrian central defenders. The exchanges between the two had been the tactical talk of the French concentration in the days before the match. They will have to work more. Neither does Griezmann I managed to put together a game. He could only leave an overhead pass for Mbappé which he failed to properly control before Pentz departed.

The repetition of fouls by the Austrians threw France off target, suddenly plunged into a battle that did not suit them. The inaccuracies in the passes of the French footballers fueled the rise of the Austrians. Suddenly Sabitzer, Laimer and Gregoritsch found pastures behind Kanté and Rabiot. The Austrian awakening infuriated Deschamps, who watched on the sidelines as Baumgartner stumbled before his meeting with Maignan on the edge of the small area.

The misfortune would befall Austria even more, as they conceded the goal in the next action. Mbappe had dropped to the right wing and appeared on that side of the area. He nailed Mwene with a bike to beat him to the baseline. The center back was introduced into his own goal by Wöber with an impossible shortening.

The goal, on the brink of half-time, placed the match in the landscape in which France feels most comfortable and safe. He managed to maintain his lead and only Mbappé threatened to extend the score in one of his rushes. Accelerating from his own court, he took his marker forward and flew to challenge Pentz. He had time to secure the shot with a final touch before scoring the goal that has given him so many goals. The ball didn't take the turn he wanted.

Mbappe, with a broken nose

That was France's clearest counter-attack in the entire second half. He did not mind giving the ball and the field to the Austrians, heartened that the difference had not widened. Those moments in Deschamps' France are in the that Kanté rules. Man multiplies to cover holes everywhere. If France attacks with Mbappé, it can be said that it defends its results with its small and charismatic midfielder. Last night he was again the player against whom Deschamps himself had to achieve a classic victory. One zero and sleep. Too bad about the French star's injury with the hard blow to his nose, which was replaced by the possibility of a more complex operation.

Moment when Kylian Mbappé leaves the field of play after a hard blow to the nose.
Moment when Kylian Mbappé leaves the field of play after a hard blow to the nose.Kevin C. Cox (Getty Images)

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