France vs Australia Match Analysis and Player Ratings

This game turned out to be much tighter than expected, with France just nicking it in the end with a 2-1 win. Australia showed up on the day and put in a genuine all round performance, keeping them well in the game throughout.

The French side lined up in a typical 4-3-3, with the captain Lloris in goal. The back four were Hernandez, Umtiti, Varane and Pavard. The midfield consisted of Pogba, Kanté and Bayern's Tolisso. And up top, the forwards were Mbappé, Griezmann and Dembelé. A very, very solid side all round.

Bert van Marwijk opted for a 4-2-3-1 style for his Socceroos. Ryan was in goal. The defence lined up as Behich, Sainsbury, Milligan and Risdon. The two sitting in front were Mooy and the leader of the team, Jedinak. Just in front of these two were the offensive midfielders in Kruse, Rogic and Leckie. Nabbout played as a lone striker.   

The first half was lively, with France having a flurry of chances on goal being saved by Ryan, and Australia holding them well with some good plays of their own. The half ended 0-0. In the second half, VAR was called into play for the first goal of the game, a penalty to Les Bleus awarded for a foul on Antoine Griezmann by Josh Risdon, in a controversial reversal of the referee's decision. Griezmann was on hand to slot home the spot kick in the 58th minute. Barely four minutes later, it was Australia's turn to receive a penalty, for a blatant handball by Umtiti, in a bizarre brain fade for the youngster. Step up Mile Jedinak, captain cool, to strike the ball home to the left of a diving Lloris to make it 1-1. The game remained fairly even from then on, until a toe poked effort from Pogba deflected off Behich and crept in off the underside of the bar, confirmed by goal line technology to give France the lead again in the 80th minute. And with that, France saw the game out to secure their first win of the competition, and provide a gutting blow to an Australia side who performed so well. This leaves France topping the table in Group C.

L'equipe had more possession, 55 to 45, twice as many shots and four more shots on target than the men from Down Under, so the win was deserved, but it's unlucky for Australia as they kept themselves in it for so long.
Image result for paul pogba france
Paul Pogba scores the winner in Kazan.
(Image from Sky Sports)

FRANCE PLAYER RATINGS: 

Hugo Lloris (7.5) He made a terrific save in the first half to keep the ball from going in off his own player, among a few other saves. Commanding in the box and leading the team well, he had a solid performance.


Lucas Hernandez (7) In the first half especially, he looked to make things happen down the left flank. Making darting runs and incisive passes, leading to him being fouled on multiple occasions, breakthroughs looked like they'd come via him. He quietened down in the second half, though.

Samuel Umtiti (5) He had a fairly average game, wasn't really involved in many big parts of the games or tackles, but did a job to a reasonable standard. However, who can forget his horrendous blunder. What on earth are you doing there young man? Handling the ball like that and costing your team a goal, unbelievable.

Raphael Varane (6) He too had a quite quiet game, doing nothing wrong really and playing decent at the back. Not really much to look back on in his performance and so he's getting a 6 today. 

Benjamin Pavard (6.5) Pavard looked sharp on the ball and committed himself well in tackles. He also looked intent when bringing the ball further afield. Not too bad a game from the young right back.

N'Golo Kanté (6.5) Your standard game from N'Golo Kanté, covering loads of ground, committing himself to the cause and moving the ball around well. He didn't make too much of an impression in the game, though.

Corentin Tolisso (7) A rugged performance from the young Bayern player, flying into challenges and doing things solidly in the midfield battle. So much so he ended up being booked and taken off. Decent game.

Paul Pogba (9) Influential. Pure masterclass from the United centre mid. Took control of play in midfield and his passing was just top draw. His physicality and pressing mad it hard for the Australians to find themselves in any room. A sublime through ball of his led to the opening goal and his goal late on made sure of the three points. He was quiet at times and I feel a 9 does him justice, maybe .5 more, but I'm going 9.

Kylian Mbappé (7.5) He was running around a lot, with his intricate touch and ability to make inroads, he stretched the Aussie defence in the game. He brought out an early save from Matt Ryan too, and linked up well in the front three. 

Ousmane Dembelé (7) Also showing signs of quality down the left wing and linking up well with Hernandez and his fellow forwards. The Barca starlet did well.

Antoine Griezmann (8) Looked classy and on it today. Produced a fizzing shot in the first half that needed saving.  He made some bursting runs through and worked hard, notably winning the penalty in the second half and scoring the resulting penalty.

SUBSTITUTES:

Olivier Giroud (7) Played well when he came on and caused more of a link between the number 10 and number 9 to occur, allowing for deeper penetration. Impactful as a sub.

Blaise Matuidi (6.5) Tactical. Game management from Deschamps really in bringing him on, to replace the carded Tolisso like for like and see the game off. He did alright.

Nabil Fekir (6.5) Again just a standard performance from the player, like for like switch, continuing the job done by Dembelé whom he replaced. 


AUSTRALIA PLAYER RATINGS:





Matt Ryan (8) The Albion keeper had a very good game, diving well to his left to deny the consecutive chances of Mbappé and Griezmann. Stayed on top of his game all through the game, and could do nothing about the penalty.


Aziz Behich (6) Didn't really influence the game much and it was the deflected shot off him that caused the second goal to creep in. Having said that, he didn't have a half bad game though and did decent in at left back.

Trent Sainsbury (6.5) Did alright at the back, but again not really making much of a name for himself. He defended well to keep the opposition at bay and was calm in set pieces. Ok performance.

Mark Milligan (6.5) Same sort of stuff as his fellow centre half to be honest, can't say he had a bad game but not much to highlight about his performance.

Mile Jedinak (8.5) A superb effort from the Villa player and Aussie captain. Defending well to lead his defence and midfield as a solid unit. He put up a great fight in the midfield battle too, competing with the likes of Pogba and Kanté well. Took his penalty calmly to level things up and restore some hope for his side. 

Image result for mile jedinak
Mile Jedinak put a huge shift in for his nation. (Image from Goal)

Aaron Mooy (8) Did very well did the man from Huddersfield. Whipped dangerous deliveries into the box time and time again and had a pretty good work rate to show for it.

Matthew Leckie (6) Was lively and eager to get on the ball and in behind the French defence. He had an average game.

Tomas Rogic (6) Again, a purely average performance from the Celtic player. Nothing more to say.

Robbie Kruse (6) Sums up the Aussie offensive line, just average with very little potency. Not bad though.

Andrew Nabbout (7) It's hard playing as a lone striker, and he often lacked the service and support from the midfield to match his intentions. He tried to make things happen, held the ball up well and battled decently with the French defence.

SUBSTITUTES:

Daniel Arzani (n/a) Came on in the 84th minute and can't really comment on his performance, the match was already lost by then.

Tomi Juric (6.5) Coming on in the 64th minute, Juric looked promising as a fresh set of legs to replace Nabbout and give some more impetus.

Jackson Irvine (6) Average second half performance, replacing Rogic with a fair few minutes left on the clock.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Paul Pogba.




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