In Austria, Mbappé takes the Blues out of the hole

Still no victory for the Blues, after three League of Nations matches. This Friday, it was in Austria that they were hung, saved by an arrow from Kylian Mbappé at the end of the match. A disappointment, as the content could be coherent at times.

By Mathieu Rollinger, at the Ernst-Happel stadium
friday june 10 Modified Friday, June 10 at 11:33 PM

Austria 1-1 France

Goals: Weimann (37e) for the Rot-Weiss-Roten // Mbappé (83e) for the Blues

Why bother weighing the pros, weighing the cons; why four and not five; why him and not the other. For a moment, Didier Deschamps can put down his pencil and close his notebook. In Austria, its players have certainly understood for themselves that, sometimes, success is only due to two things: putting on the intensity and Kylian Mbappé. The former was there for most of the game, but wasn’t consistent enough to stop the hosts from stabbing them in the back. The second came out of its box for half an hour of play and to keep up appearances. For the rest, the painting is still far from being as structured as those of Klimt. With Croatia’s victory against Denmark, France are last in their group and will not spare themselves new headaches.

Viennese and chocolate

As in any street in Vienna, where nothing protrudes, the Blues give the impression that everything is in its right place. The four-man defense brings a feeling of security and order that we had almost lost the habit of. So that it is the whole French bloc which is then authorized to chase the ball a little higher: Aurélien Tchouaméni and Boubacar Kamara regulate the Austrian passages and direct the French game, William Saliba and Ibrahima Konaté have time to maneuver since at the back, Theo Hernández and Kingsley Coman give each other “you” in their left lane, and Antoine Griezmann navigates between the lines as he pleases. We expected the Austrians to press, however, it was almost the opposite that happened in the first minutes.

This feeling of control could have been materialized, but Karim Benzema comes up against a big Patrick Pentz. The local goalkeeper splits with a double parry following a free kick from Griezmann, then on the head of KB9 at close range (18e), is of course on his support on a distant attempt from Madrid (32e) and pulls out a nice horizontal on a curled shot from Brondillant (43e). Success is the Austrians who encounter it first. If they had already eroded the blue line by climbing at top speed, it was on a bad transmission from Griezmann to Benzema that Xaver Schlager relied on Marko Arnautović who temporized, shifted Konrad Laimer whose center with a line touched Andreas Weimann , alone at 5 meters. Hugo Lloris is holed, the Blues rebuffed (1-0, 37e).

Mbappé-Nkunku: the waltz in time

Stung, the men of Deschamps besiege the red camp as soon as the recovery. Only, if the corners multiply and Coman and Diaby continue to martyrize the opposing hips, it is impossible to crack the wall. Benzema sees his point-blank shot blocked (52e), is hampered by Tchouaméni on a cross from Griezmann at the far post (53e), Pavard and his big shot were blocked by Pentz, while Coman missed the target (57e). To restart the machine, Deschamps launches Mbappé on the hour mark, then Nkunku. Good idea, since the ex and the current Parisian are quick to breathe new life into the Blues, when the Leipzig striker puts Kyky in orbit. Injured during the game against Denmark, preserved in Croatia, Mbappé once again proved his worth by stalling the ball under the bar after his sprint (1-1, 83e). However, Pentz will have his revenge two minutes later: on a timely slalom from KM7, the Austrian goalkeeper this time deflects the shot on the crossbar. France still have two chances to win, but Guendouzi’s header from a corner is not placed enough, while Benzema cannot take advantage of Kamara’s opening. And for the first time since his arrival, and excluding the final stages, Didier Deschamps goes on for three matches without knowing victory. Can we start to worry?
Austria (4-4-2): Pentz-Lainer (Lazaro, 55e), Trauner, Alaba (Danso, 69e), Wöber – Laimer, Schlager, Seiwald, Sabitzer – Weimann (Onisiwo, 63e), Arnautovic (Gregoritsch, 63e). Coach: Ralf Rannick.

France (4-2-3-1): Lloris – Pavard, Saliba, Konaté, T. Hernández – Kamara, Tchouaméni (Guendouzi, 62e) – Diaby, Griezmann (Mbappe, 62e), Coman (Nkunku, 79e) – Benzema. Coach: Didier Deschamps.

By Mathieu Rollinger, at the Ernst-Happel stadium

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