The marrow remains, the spirit of conquest and victory too. Badly embarked on the game with a gag goal that raised fears that the far North, from Finland to Sweden, found the karma that traumatizes the Blues, they have proven all the salt of the competition that they retain in socks.
They reversed the situation, despite a late release (4-2) quickly compensated by Coman at the twilight of the game in a crazy final, according to two classics that have crossed them for a long time, the sense of goal of Olivier Giroud (his 43rd and 44th in the selection) and “the bastard strikes” by Benjamin Pavard, official publicity outside the law, a pure gesture of a magnificent footballer. By finding Kylian Mbappé, finally on the ground after 17 endless days in the fridge for its fans, this France team has been able to renew and increase its threat, as if nothing had changed. When things are going well, why change anyway?
A better team in their 4-4-2 World Cup
This tricolor selection ends 2020 with a base that is as solid as ever. She can play three times in a few days but does not lose more than one game, like a permanence of clear ideas and competition. She remains better in her 4-4-2 of the World Cup even though she no longer has Samuel Umtiti or Blaise Matuidi, nicely replaced by Presnel Kimpembe and Adrien Rabiot. Above all, it continues to make the essentials important and the derisory accessory, by winning in Portugal (1-0), one of the strongest selections in Europe, while falling in front of Finland (2-0) in a friendly , what we have already forgotten. Probably not Didier Deschamps, who will keep some grudges for the accessits of the list of 23 for the Euro in June – he has three games left in March to decide – and several certainties on the strongholds, in the same list as in the starting eleven.
The Euro would start next week, the lucky ones would not be really difficult to imagine but life is not like that, especially that of the coronavirus. Much more will happen in an injury-disrupted season on a tight and frumpy schedule. Even Ousmane Dembélé can believe it although starting from a long way off. But the setting for next summer, in lives that may have returned to normal at the time of the unmasked ball, still seems totally unclear.
In this moving world of a detestable year 2020, the Blues remain a compass, a timeless one on which we can rest: it’s not always great but it’s often good, it never leaves you indifferent and the emotions persist. While the epidemic weakens interest in football and games, they have been able to maintain themselves at a high or happy level, or both. It is a merit and a politeness, as if the world champions still wanted to impress. We will come and check all this in 2021, this year that we all expect so much.
Half time: 2-1
Spectators: behind closed doors.
Referee: M. Kulbakov (Belarus)
Buts. France: Giroud (16th, 59th), Pavard (36th), Coman (90th + 4); Sweden: Claesson (5th), Quaison (88th).
Warnings. Suede: Olsson (28th).
France : Lloris (cap.) – Pavard, Varane (Zouma, 46th), Kimpembe, Hernandez (Digne, 46th) – Sissoko, Pogba, Rabiot (Nzonzi, 78th), Thuram (Mbappé, 57th) – Griezmann, Giroud (Coman, 84th) . Entr. : The fields.
Sweden : Olsen – Lustig (Krafth, 67th), Lindelof (Helander, 67th), Danielson, Bengtsson – Claesson (Quaison, 67th), Larsson (Cajuste, 88th), Olsson, Forsberg – Berg (cap., Isak 86th), Kulusevsk. Entr. : Andersson (absent for the sake of Covid-19)