Beaten for the second time in a row at the Stade de France, the Blues completed their last rally of the season on Monday evening with a fourth consecutive match without success against Croatia (0-1).
By Maxime Brigand, at the Stade de France
Monday, June 13 Modified Monday, June 13 at 11:26 p.m.
France 0-1 Croatia
Goal: Modric (5eSP) for Croatia
Didier Deschamps has been walking around since day one with a judge in his pocket: the result. At 53, the coach of the Blues, who next month will celebrate his 10th birthday on the bench of the Blues, likes to repeat over and over again that only this famous result would decide everything, that he would be the only border between a good and a bad game. So here it is: during this month of June, Deschamps saw his French team break their teeth, bring back two draws from their travels and lose twice at home. She also saw her audience yelling at her and one of her players – Jonathan Clauss, who certainly lived his last minutes with a blue tracksuit on his body after an individually painful rally – witnessing this sad performing with hands on hips. For the first time in its history, Croatia has succeeded: its tenth attempt will have been the right one.
Gloom and whistles
This time, the Blues only needed three minutes, a first Croatian corner and a foot lightly placed by Ibrahima Konaté on the heel of Josip Brekalo to find themselves with their noses in the mud. Very happy to see this gift fall from the sky, Luka Modrić, of course, did not spit on the opportunity to plant the twenty-second international seed of his life on penalty despite Mike Maignan starting on the right side, and that is then the entire first period which turned under the eyes of a Stade de France again full to bursting. The rest was simple: during the other 40 minutes of side A of this France-Croatia, we saw the France team spin the ball without succeeding in electrifying the inside of the game and with no other objective than to wait for the individual feat of an agitated Kylian Mbappé, but not very successful against a Josip Stanišić on the job. Ten minutes from the break, Didier Deschamps, who bet at kick-off on the deployment of a third scheme in four games with this time a 4-3-3 without great collective reflexes which stuck out the tongue on the majority of his defensive phases against a Modrić-Brozović-Kovačić trio accustomed to playing together since the dawn of time, then got up to try to shake up his pawns and notably discussed long minutes with Mbappé and Benzema. In vain: at the break, the evening visitors from Saint-Denis, who only saw the Blues come out of their gloom on a meager half-volley from Mbappé (7e) and a non-executive firecracker from Nkunku (28e), howled their anger and took out the whistles.
When it came to attacking side B, Deschamps responded with two cards and a change of system (switching to a 4-4-2). Benjamin Pavard, first, sent on stage to take the place of a Jules Koundé once again uncomfortable in a position that is not his, and Aurélien Tchouaméni, then, who dropped the jacket to replace Boubacar Kamara. Consequence: on one of its first balls, the new tower of Real Madrid, arrived with some ideas, tried to excite the meeting from afar (48e) and then watched Ivušić block a soft attempt by Nkunku (51e). Shortly before the hour mark, we mainly found the now former AS Monaco player on the other side of the field to come and play the gums in front of Pašalić after a crappy discount from Pavard (58e). Then, Mbappé had another opportunity to switch on the ignition (61e), collapsed for the second time in less than ten days on the lawn of the Stade de France and got up, aware that he was indeed the only evening plan of a clan once again saved by Maignan a few minutes later (72e). Problem: when he feels condemned to put on a cape alone, the PSG striker also often condemns himself to scatter by going to take free kicks and trying to dribble all the opponents he crosses his path. Too bad: despite a micro-shudder at the end of the match, the French team fell for the second time in a row at home and went on vacation with headaches. France (4-3-3): Maignan – Koundé (Pavard, 46e), Konaté, Kimpembe, Digne – Rabiot, Kamara (Tchouaméni, 46e), Guendouzi (Griezmann, 80e) – Nkunku (Coman, 73e), Benzema, Mbappe. Coach: Didier Deschamps.
Croatia (4-3-3): Ivušić – Stanišić, Erlić, Šutalo, Juranović – Modrić, Brozović, Kovačić (Sučić, 90e) – Pašalić (Majer, 65e), Budimir (Kramaric, 72e), Brekalo (Vlasic, 72e). Coach: Zlatko Dalic.
By Maxime Brigand, at the Stade de France