The goal came from Benjamin Pavard. The defender helped France win 1-0 on Monday 27 March in Ireland in the Euro 2024 qualifiers. A victory that allows the Blues to keep the lead of Group B after two games.

After their wide 4-0 success on Friday against the Netherlands, the Blues had much more trouble against an ultra-defensive Ireland.

Pavard broke the deadlock in the 50th minute, for his first start since the 2022 World Cup, where he lost his place after a missed match against Australia.

Revived by Didier Deschamps in Dublin, the downgraded defender Benjamin Pavard came out of his box to pierce the defensive curtain of the Irish (1-0) Monday, and record his resurrection after being dismissed at the World Cup by the coach.

The 26-year-old Northerner had to start finding the long, very long time on the French bench. But after seven games without playing, he was able to grasp Deschamps' outstretched hand and be decisive, if not brilliant in the game.

In the 50th minute, he popped up to intercept a pass from Josh Cullen, brought the ball into good position and unleashed a dry strike that, after grazing an opponent's back, lodged beautifully on the bottom of the crossbar before going in. Enough to awaken the sweet memory of his magical volley against Argentina at the 2018 World Cup.

The net shook

The Blues needed this unexpected inspiration to finally make the difference in a game where they struggled to be dangerous. The net shook, on the right side, during the first shot of the match!

In the euphoria of his third international goal, the first since November 2020, Pavard soared towards a corner post to celebrate his jewel of a long slide, before hitting his chest like a warrior.

The celebration had a strong taste of liberation for the Munich, cheered by nearly 3,000 French fans massed in a corner of the Aviva Stadium.

Former taulier of Deschamps, the No. 2 of the Blues has brutally slipped in the hierarchy of the right backs after the first match of the World Cup in Qatar against Australia (4-1), which he started. Jules Koundé donned the starting clothes in Qatar, replaced by novice Axel Disasi, an axial defender by training.

The coach has tasted little of his performance against the Socceroos, and even less the attitude of the 2018 world champion, after. According to several media, Pavard refused the criticism made by the staff towards him, which completed to condemn him.

With AFP

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