After their victory against Portugal, the Blues ended the year 2020 on a good note by winning against Sweden (4-2) on Tuesday at the Stade de France. A meeting which allows to garner confidence before falling into the home stretch towards the Euro. Qualified for the final phase of the League of Nations even before kick-off, the Blues took this game without a stake seriously: Kylian Mbappé, injured so far, was successfully revived and Marcus Thuram confirmed that he would be one of the biggest satisfactions of the month of November.
Didier Deschamps had warned: despite the convincing success in Portugal on Saturday (1-0), his Blues would be judged on their “last impression” of 2020. This was good, although logically less impressive than on Saturday. But that will be more than enough for the coach. With eight of the eleven holders of the Luz stadium at kickoff, there was in any case the backbone to shine, precisely six days after having sunk collectively against Finland with an eleven of liners (2-0). And unsurprisingly, despite their success on Saturday against the Croats (2-1), the Swedes could not compete until the end, despite a late reaction from Quaison (88e), quickly erased by a goal against Kingsley Coman (90e+ 5). Sweden is relegated to the League of Nations second division.
Giroud always effective
The men of Janne Andersson, coach absent for Covid-19, will however have started this meeting with hope, with a goal from Viktor Claesson in the 5e minute. A rather sluggish French start, like a week earlier against the Finns… But this time Deschamps quickly got up from his chair to correct the shot, with great gestures to support it, and the Blues recovered.
The match changed under the impetus of one of the rare “challengers” of the starting lineup: Marcus Thuram. For his third selection and second tenure already, the 23-year-old striker carried the French offensives, offering Olivier Giroud a caviar for the equalizer (16e) then offering a festival in the area, finally concluded by Benjamin Pavard with a successful volley after a shot blocked by Lilian’s son (36e). The defender of Bayern Munich could not help but smile after his goal rather similar to that scored at the last World Cup against Argentina, from his famous “second post” which commentators and viewers delight in …
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As for the Chelsea striker, he even doubled the lead (59e). Invited by Deschamps to think about his future at the club in recent days in order to regain playing time, the former Montpellier now has 44 goals in Blue, seven less than Thierry Henry, and 22 in the lair of Saint- Denis, a ranking that he now dominates ahead of Henry (20). Once again, he clears the doubts. Last satisfaction of the evening, Mbappé, without competition for two weeks after a thigh injury, was able to find the lawns soft, with 35 minutes of play a week before the important Champions League duel against Leipzig at the Parc des princes. And as he never needs more to mark the spirits, the striker of Paris SG signed an assist.
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The Blues, tired (Raphaël Varane and Lucas Hernandez came out slightly affected at half-time), will now join their clubs for more than four months, full of confidence and confidence before the next rally in March dedicated to qualifying for the World 2022. Deschamps will spend the winter with certainties. He will also have noted his future opponent in the last four of the League of Nations, Spain, the second nation qualified for this “Final 4” of October 2021. But before thinking about the next fall, the technician will be satisfied with this one and will think of the animated spring which awaits its troops.