The Blues cracked in the final moments of their duel against Denmark, launching a cruel 2-1 defeat in the League of Nations defense on Friday in Saint-Denis, where Kylian Mbappé came out injured.
Six days after his coronation in the Champions League, in the same place, Karim Benzema had overthrown the 75,800 spectators registered at the Stade de France, an influx more seen for two and a half years due to health restrictions and travel through the ‘Hexagon.
But the advantage offered by the Real Madrid center-forward (51st) melted into an opportunistic double by Andreas Cornelius (68th, 88th), who came off the bench to save the Reds and Whites.
The Blues record their first defeat of the season, the first defeat since the Euro last summer. They are now third in the group behind Denmark and Austria, who won in Croatia (3-0), where the Blues make their next trip next Monday.
“There is never a good time to know the defeat. We need it. We will continue to work, there is still a long way to go until the World Cup but also in this new competition that is starting.” Captain Hugo Lloris reacted on M6.
– 4th defeat since 2018 –
Since the 2018 World Cup, and with the exception of the knockout stages in the round of 16 against Switzerland last summer, this is the fourth defeat after setbacks against the Netherlands ( 2-1 in November 2018), Turkey (2-0 in June 2019) and Finland (2-0 in November 2020).
The tricolors, however, had arrived at the Stade de France with the momentum of seven successes in a row, carried by a stadium with closed windows ready to ignite for its world champions. But Denmark, who will face the Blues in the first round of the World Cup at the end of the year, ruined the party by catching up with their hosts with energy and audacity.
“We need a lot of freshness to express ourselves and we didn’t have all that freshness today,” said Guy Stephan, the coach’s assistant who took his place on the bench in Didier’s absence. Deschamps left to mourn his family.
At the kick-off, the standard team had been lined up to try and win the 11th nation in the Fifa rankings.
She first started her football in the first ten minutes, technically awkward in the image of Kingsley Coman, sometimes drafty, unsafe and even worried when Joakim Maehle shook Lloris’ outside net.
Without the Tottenham goalkeeper, impeccable in front of Christian Eriksen (86th), the disappointment would have come even faster …
– Mbappé hit his knee –
The blue house was still strong most of the time, with valuable help from Aurélien Tchouaméni and N’Golo Kanté, who hit the post (80th). And Benzema’s zigzags kicked the ball, as in this action where he eliminated four players before seeing his shot countered by a defender (13th).
The Madrilenian managed to fool Kasper Schmeichel for the first time, but he was in an offside position (15th). He successfully re-emerged after a dribble dashed across the Scandinavian surface on a heel kick by Christopher Nkunku, who came on at the break to replace the injured Kylian Mbappé.
The exit of the Parisian is the big black spot of the evening in Saint-Denis where, a week after the malfunctions and incidents surrounding the C1 final, the party was total in the stadium and outside.
The grimacing 23-year-old striker sat on the lawn and called for medical staff just before half-time. Suffering from a left knee, he was replaced “as a precaution,” according to Stephan.
There was also a break in Raphaël Varane’s side, who were forced to go out in stoppage time. His replacement, William Saliba, could not resist the rush at the end of the game from Cornelius, who lodged a powerful strike in Lloris’ cage, despite a very close angle.