the Blues hit hard in Portugal and qualify for the “Final 4” of the League of Nations

We found the France team. Three days after an improbable defeat at home in a friendly against Finland (0-2), the Blues, without Kylian Mbappé but with N’Golo Kanté, improbable scorer, marked the spirits among the Portuguese European champions (0- 1) Saturday 14 November, in Lisbon. They thus offer themselves a ticket for the “Final 4” of the League of Nations and gain an ascendancy over Portugal before the reunion of the next Euro.

→ ANALYSIS. When the camera spoils the sporting spectacle

In the Estadio da Luz behind closed doors, the Covid-19 crisis requires, the French world champions have eclipsed the giant Cristiano Ronaldo at the same time as the doubts that followed their indigent Finnish defeat. Three days later, with a team in World 2018 mode, they bulged their chest against the Lusitanian cador, kicked out of a League of Nations of which he was the defending champion.

« The players proved that the France team is still a great team “, Greeted the coach Didier Deschamps, at the microphone of TF1. Blocked by the Seleçao in the first leg (0-0), his men will play in October 2021 the final phase (“Final 4”) of the friendly competition of UEFA. But above all, they sent a strong message to Portugal before the duel expected on June 23 in the first round of the Euro.

→ IN 2018. N’Golo Kanté, the big-little Blue who worries the Reds

Saturday, the France team had largely dressed in the clothes of the last World Cup, with seven holders of the final lined up at kick-off, mainly in defense and in midfield. Only the attack line has undergone a facelift due to the absences of Mbappé, not recovered from a muscle discomfort in a thigh, and Olivier Giroud, left on the bench at kickoff. The indestructible Antoine Griezmann was in charge of the animation with Anthony Martial and Kingsley Coman, back in a stadium in Lisbon where he offered the Champions League to Bayern Munich this summer against Paris-SG.

Kanté eclipses Cristiano Ronaldo

This team, which is as new as it is attractive, has given new life to an enterprising French team, capable of delivering rapid and varied sequences of play in the wake of a rediscovered Paul Pogba.

If the spotlight has long been on Martial, the light has come from the feet of Kanté, the discreet pocket midfielder converted for the occasion into a fox of surfaces. The Chelsea player improved a ball released by Patricio in the 53e minute on a powerful shot from Rabiot, offering himself at 29 years only the second goal of his rich international career.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s counter has many more (102 goals in 169 international matches), but the five-time Golden Ball has still not managed to score against the Blues. The Juventus striker tried his luck with a long shot, free kicks and a header passed very close to Hugo Lloris’ cage. And Presnel Kimpembe deprived him of a goal on a superb save.

In a breathless second period, the Blues were also saved by their post on a head from Lille José Fonte and by their goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, impeccable on a strike from João Moutinho. Talent and luck, the Blues were varnished on Saturday in Lisbon.

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