The era of captain Kylian Mbappé, double scorer, opened with a festival, Friday, March 24, against the Netherlands (4-0), opponent diminished and exceeded in qualifying for Euro-2024, an ideal launch for the vice-champions of the French world.
Against the "Oranje", the Blues were in a hurry and it showed on the scoreboard with a 3-0 gala after only 21 minutes, in a stadium of France full and delighted. The party ended with a fourth goal by Mbappé (4-0, 88th) and a penalty stopped by Mike Maignan in extra time.
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Admittedly, the selection of Ronald Koeman has been difficult to see with his many injured executives (Frenkie de Jong), sick (Matthijs de Ligt, Cody Gakpo ...) or suspended (Denzel Dumfries). But Didier Deschamps and his young troupe did what was necessary with efficiency and talent.
Three months after its one-breathless World Cup final, the France team launches its year 2023 and the qualifications for the next major tournament, Euro 2024 in Germany (14 June-14 July), in the best way: an impervious defense, four goals scored, three points taken and a first place in Group B.
The trip to Dublin to face the Republic of Ireland, Monday, is therefore written in a light atmosphere, while the most modest Gibraltar and Greece will present themselves in June on the road of the French.
The good understanding Mbappé-Griezmann
Armband on the arm, Mbappé guided his family by his brutal accelerations, his fatal passes, his imperial double and his cordial understanding with Antoine Griezmann, vice-captain flourished on the field, failing to receive the precious piece of cloth this week.
As a symbol, the midfielder of Atlético Madrid relieved his pain on an offering of Mbappé who, on the occasion, pretended to strike to better serve him (1-0, 2nd). The two men ostensibly celebrated together the goal of "Grizou", his first after a long abstinence of sixteen matches.
The Madrid man with dyed pink hair, for his seventy-fifth consecutive cap, a national record, then pushed Jasper Cillessen to the foul on a dangerous free kick that the goalkeeper pushed back into the legs of Dayot Upamecano (2-0, 8th).
The third goal didn't take long to arrive. And who else but Mbappé to take care of it? Aurélien Tchouaméni gave himself an authoritarian breakthrough full axis, Randal Kolo Muani let the ball slip and the Paris SG striker concluded smoothly (3-0, 21st) to score his 19th goal in his last 17 matches in the blue jersey.
The trio tricolor involved on this new twig symbolizes, with nearly 23 years of average age, the new face of Didier Deschamps' Blues, relifted under the blow of absences (Kanté, Pogba ...) and decisions of the coach.
Penalty stopped for Maignan
At kick-off, the boss of the vice-champions of the 2022 world had for example decided to leave on the bench the dean Olivier Giroud, 36, to launch Kolo Muani, deprived of a goal on offside at the end of the match.
The full-back had few caps, too, between goalkeeper Mike Maignan and the central hinge formed by Upamecano and Ibrahima Konaté.
Observed by Hugo Lloris, the neo-retiree to whom the Stade de France paid tribute before the game, Maignan experienced a fairly calm first as the new number 1 goalkeeper of the Blues.
The AC Milan player, however, experienced some rare thrills on a somewhat risky exit in front of Memphis Depay (32nd) and a dangerous free kick from the Dutch striker (58th).
"Magic Mike", a specialist in the exercise, even stopped a penalty from the same Depay in extra time, punctuating his induction in the best possible way. Enough to fill the Stade de France and its 77,300 spectators.
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