Euro 2020: France take First Place in Albania

Euro 2021
France take first place in Euro 2020 qualifications

The French team ended the year in style against Albania (2-0) on Sunday 17th November 2019, finishing first in their group before the draw on November 30th.

A first-place group assured, a new system that promises, and a year 2019 ended in style: France has delivered Sunday 17th November 2019 a successful performance in Tirana against Albania and its fervent supporters (2-0) three days later to have disappointed MoldovaReassuring at seven months of the Euro 2020.

No stake? On the contrary! There is something to be gained from this final elimination of the playoffs for Didier Deschamps and his men. For in eight minutes, they have managed to cool the brand new and barely homologated Kombetare stadium, and its 22,000 fans red and black just returned from a Marseillaise copiously whistled, two months after the sounding by mistake of the hymn of Andorra at the Stade de France one way.

In terms of accounting, the objective is fulfilled. This success gives the world champions the head of group H, ahead of the Turks. “We could have had more points but we reached our goal,” according to Deschamps, already screened on the November 30th draw. This does not ensure a top-seeded French – that would require a rival like Germany or Spain hold early this week – but it allows them to avoid the very dangerous “pot N .3 “, possibly synonymous with a full-bodied group in June.

The satisfactions are however elsewhere, more precisely in the game, after a pitiful match at the Stade de France on Thursday, enamelled certainly of a qualification, but especially of offensive disappointments and anger in the locker room on the part of the coach.

Mbappé diminished and fixed price

Is this what pushed “DD”, for his 100th game at the head of the Blues, to perform a small tactical revolution, aligning for the first time in his mandate an unlikely defence three? To associate in attack Wissam Ben Yedder and Olivier Giroud, to overcome the fixed price of a Kylian Mbappé reduced by a virus? To leave Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Digne on the bench, precisely the players he had appreciated on Thursday, to give the chance to Benjamin Mendy and the promising Léo Dubois?

“It’s a system that I had in mind for a long time,” he justified, touting an “alternative” offering “control, strength and offensive animation of high quality.”

In the space of 90 minutes, in fact, he managed not only to knock out Albanians who were ready to leap like the two-headed eagle on their flag, but he also helped his players regain their confidence four months before the next one. rally, which will be the last before the preparation of the European Championship.

Author of a rare blunder against the Moldovans Thursday (2-1), Clément Lenglet was thus able to resume its usual regularity, and discover, on top of the market, a remote rear centre post where his ease weighed.

France team striker Kylian Mbappé, forfeit, attends his win over Albania in Tirana on November 17, 2019.
France team striker Kylian Mbappé, forfeit, attends his win over Albania in Tirana on November 17, 2019. (© AFP / FRANCK FIFE)

Griezmann regains efficiency

On a scarcity of nearly six months in the selection, his longest among the Blues in terms of matches (7), Antoine Griezmann was finally able to find the net, on a specific centre Dubois (31). While continuing to be the strongman of the French offensive animation, with a new decisive pass, the seventh of these playoffs.

Antoine Griezmann scorer with the Blues against Albania in Tirana, 17 November 2019 .
Antoine Griezmann scorer with the Blues against Albania in Tirana, 17 November 2019 .. (© AFP / FRANCK FIFE Antoine Griezmann scorer with the Blues against Albania in Tirana, 17 November 2019)

But that’s not all: Deschamps has allowed Tolisso, scorer, to send a message to his new coach Hans-Dieter Flick, who does not use it in Bayern. The finger on the mouth, the other on the temple: the celebration of the Bavarian environment does not deceive.

The Basque technician also gave Presnel Kimpembe a chance, who seized it with confidence and offered a second straight tenure to Giroud despite his lack of playing time in the club, and the Chelsea player proved he was the pace, despite a missed face to face (52nd), an attempt stopped by Etrit Berisha (63rd), and a jewel of hit rolled on the post (72nd).

Finally, he gave a new opportunity to Ben Yedder, not brilliant against Turkey in October (1-1). But Monegasque has again lacked influence, and the 370 French fans from France have no doubt regretted the absence of Mbappé, to whom this innovative training in 3-4-1-2 could suit perfectly.

Other than that, they will come for nothing.

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