Mbappé’s decisive goal, the side’s activity, but also the French game which still lacked creativity: find the Tops and Flops of this match between Croatia and the Blues (1-2).
And Mbappé springs up
The PSG striker has long been unhappy. If he has multiplied races and calls, he sometimes got a little lost on the front of the Blues attack where he did not attack the depth enough. He also missed a big opportunity in the quarter hour by opening his foot too much while the goal was open. But the history of this match will remember that it was he who was present at the right time and in the right place to score this 2e so precious goal for the Blues in Croatia. Sound 16e in 38 selections.
For once, the French side will have actively participated in this French success. Usual left side, Ferland Mendy has shown that he also knows how to help out on the right. Already used in this position by Zidane at Real Madrid, the former Lyonnais managed a good performance in Croatia by not hesitating to take risks and being at the origin of the 1er French goal with a good overflow. On the other hand, Digne was also very available and provided a beautiful first-line cross for Mbappé on the 2e goal of the Blues.
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Lloris, always present
The goalkeeper of the Blues will have been decisive again. Little requested, he responded at the right time by pushing back in particular an attempt by Vlasic in the first period (30th) and another by Kovacic at the end of the game (86th). Also vigilant on a too crushed shot from Kramaric (90th), he could not do anything on the Croatian goal signed Vlasic.
Griezmann, a goal and that’s it
Criticized for his lack of influence in the game against Portugal, Antoine Griezmann was not more lively in Croatia, between passes not sufficiently supported or not in the right tempo. But he will have achieved the essential: mark the 1er French goal of a powerful shot under the bar (8e), allowing him to return to a unit of Trezeguet in the scorers classification in Blue (33 goals). This position of number 10 in the 4-4-2 diamond does not suit him.
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Rabiot, a reference?
Could this match in Croatia be a reference for Adrien Rabiot? The former PSG player has in any case radiated in the midfield at the Maksimir stadium in Zagreb. At least in the first half. More aggressive than usual, he collected a lot of balls and had the merit of playing more vertically. Precise in his transmissions, he won a lot of duels and allowed the Blues to exist against the opposing technicality. Before lowering after the break.
The Blues still not convincing in this 4-3-1-2
If the Blues were attractive against Ukraine a week ago (7-1), they will have been much more sluggish during their last two performances against Portugal (0-0) and in Croatia (1-2). This 4-4-2 diamond does not necessarily seem the best system for certain uncomfortable elements, starting with Griezmann, badly used in this position. It is especially the midfielders that pose a problem with little verticality in their game. Their lack of initiative takes away a lot of creativity from the French game and forces the attackers to individual exploits. No coincidence that Pogba, with a more impactful profile, did good at the end of the match.
Croats too crumbly behind
Croatia may be playful, but it was above all naive defensively. The one who most symbolizes these difficulties remains undoubtedly Vida, who missed his recovery leading to the first French goal and seems to have passed on the second. If they will have shown some good technical provisions, the locals struggled to defend behind their backs.