Euro-2020: Blues roll out their score in Moldova
The Blues have perfectly negotiated their entry into qualifying for the Euro-2020: they unfolded their score, without a hitch or genius but with a great Antoine Griezmann, Friday in Chisinau against the very modest Moldova (4-1).
This unprecedented duel with the 170th nation in the Fifa rankings, with a virgin record and never qualified for a Euro or a World Cup, could look like a trap match for the world champions.
But in the small stadium of Chisinau (10,500 seats), overlooked by an imposing building bar with Soviet architecture, the Blues put their superiority in music with the seriousness and determination demanded Didier Deschamps.
In a one-sided match, the Moldavian bloc only held a big score of minutes before cracking in big by the wall-pierce Antoine Griezmann, scorer of a superb volley from the left at close range (24th) on a nice service from Paul Pogba, then decisive passer-by on corner for the head of Raphaël Varane (27th).
The Atlético Madrid striker has spread to the four corners of the field, with the generosity that characterizes him and a technical finesse that the Moldovan public seemed to appreciate.
Fair play, the local spectators warmly applauded him at the announcement of the team compositions, along with Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kanté and Kylian Mbappé.
The star striker of PSG, him, did not shine so much as usual, except for some dribbles and wheels that made shuddering pleasure Zimbru stadium. He still saved his night by scoring the last French goal (87th).
- Giroud equals Trézéguet -
Olivier Giroud was more prominent, taking advantage of the low opposition to heal his statistics along with his morale, who has become a luxury replacement in Chelsea.
History will remember that it is 2,000 kilometres from Paris that the former Montpelliérain joined David Trezeguet ranked third of the best scorers in history in the team of France with 34 goals, taking the foot of a foot centre Blaise Matuidi (36) for the 3-0.
The experienced midfielder Juventus should have looked at his partners since the bench, Deschamps has chosen to start Kingsley Coman, back in blue after almost a year and a half of absence. But the young winger of Bayern Munich, suffering after the warm-up, was forced to throw in the towel at the last moment.
The champions of the world, serious without being great, have provided the essential avoiding a false note that would have made disorder in Moldova, a country of 3.5 million inhabitants born of the breakup of the USSR and stuck between Romania and Ukraine.
They conceded only an anecdotal goal late in the game on a rare incursion into the surface of Hugo Lloris, beaten on a goal by substitute Vladimir Ambros (89).
All week, Professor Deschamps had taught his players a lesson, anxious not to repeat the mistakes of the past: the captain of France-98 had, for example, a hard start to qualifying for Euro-2000 (1 -1 in Iceland).
And the performance of the Croatian vice-world champions passed near the humiliation on Thursday at home against Azerbaijan (2-1), has certainly not escaped him.
Faced with a very low team, ranked between Fiji and St. Lucia, the coach has aligned all the finalists of the Russian World, with one exception to the left-back position. In the absence of Lucas Hernandez, injured, and Lucas Digne, hit a thigh Thursday in training, the place has returned to a ghost, Layvin Kurzawa.
The PSG player, distant from the Blues since November 2017, has been to his advantage, especially in his relationship with Pogba and in offensive animation. It is he who recovers the ball at the end of the field on the action that leads to Giroud's goal.
Back on Saturday in France, the Blues will receive Iceland Monday at the Stade de France for the following qualifications to the Euro.
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