Cock-a-doodle Doo!

Didier Deschamps did not want to "put the rooster higher than necessary" after the initial success against Australia (4-1), but his Blues plucked their Scandinavian rival, stronger in June and September (French defeats 2 -1 and 2-0), at the end of the suspense thanks to their young star striker.

Having him in his team, "it helps", laughed Raphaël Varane.

"In all competitions he wants to make his mark and he is doing it," added Jules Koundé.

The Paris Saint-Germain prodigy offered himself a decisive double (61st, 86th), crucial for the Blues as in the eighth of the 2018 World Cup against Argentina, an opponent he could meet again in two matches. at the same stage of the competition.

Thanks to him, the tricolor armada approaches its last meeting of group D, Wednesday against Tunisia, with the possibility of blowing executives and giving playing time to its "hairdressers".

Even a draw against the Carthage Eagles would ensure them first place in the group.

After two meetings, in any case, France has a good head of winner and sweeps away the curse of the former defending champions, the three previous ones (Italy, Spain and Germany) having sunk in the first round of the following World Cup.

"I had no anxiety or worry, for the good reason that at some point the statistics are made to be contradicted. We are not going to ignite but it is very good what we did so far," rejoiced Deschamps, hailing the "collective strength" of his group.

Theo Hernandez, Kylian Mbappé and Didier Deschamps congratulate each other after France's victory over Denmark on November 26 in Doha as part of the 2022 World Cup.


Varane solid, literally and figuratively

At the 974 stadium in Doha, the Blues dominated the debates for a long time, before having cold sweats at the end of the match.

But captain Hugo Lloris held on to the helm, notably with a nice save on a close shot (73rd).

Dane Martin Braithwaite (L) in the fight with French defender Raphaël Varane in Doha on November 26, 2022 NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA AFP

Vice-captain Varane, finally back on the field, also made a perfect copy, another good news for the world champions, overwhelmed by a wave of injuries for long weeks and even recently.

The Manchester United defender is out after an hour and a quarter of the fight, without any visible glitch after being sidelined for a month with a thigh muscle injury.

"I worked a lot, I had a lot of fun. A World Cup is always special, playing for your country. I take advantage of every moment", he savored.

For his 88th selection, the ex-Madrilenian guided the rearguard with serenity, like this authoritarian intervention followed by a long pass between two defenders for Mbappé, surrounded by Andreas Christensen, warned of a card yellow to dark tint (20th).

His young partner Dayot Upamecano, preferred to Ibrahima Konaté, has risen to the same level, enough to become more embedded in the starting "eleven".

Facing the 10th nation in the world, Deschamps obtained a few more certainties concerning his standard team, almost fixed after two matches.

Dembele untenable

If there were any doubts about Ousmane Dembélé, the Barça winger raised them even further, in the wake of his performance against Australia (4-1).

French striker Ousmane Dembele (L) passes Danish Mikkel Damsgaard in Doha on November 26, 2022 NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA AFP

The 25-year-old, who returned to the squad only in September, had fiery legs and easy dribbling.

He caught colds in the non-air-conditioned Doha stadium many times, and did remarkable defensive work, tackles in support, proving his coach right.

At the right side position, he chose to install Koundé in place of Benjamin Pavard, two more fulfilled players in the axis.

Not always reassuring in his positioning, nor his reminders, Koundé received a yellow card which could have turned red before the break.

Afterwards, he was more sure.

The reason for regret concerns the goal conceded, on a set piece, a danger yet pointed out before the meeting.

After a first Danish header, from a corner, Andreas Christensen placed his own (68th) and made the Habs doubt.

Fortunately, Mbappé was there, as often.

The 23-year-old striker relied on the still decisive Theo Hernandez to open the scoring.

Then he offered victory over a cross from Antoine Griezmann, again very prominent in his unusual role as a quasi-midfielder.

© 2022 AFP