Euro 2022: lack of control, direct attack but in search of efficiency, defense in search of itself ... Blues results at the end of the group stage
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Euro 2022: lack of control, direct attack but in search of efficiency, defense in search of itself … Blues results at the end of the group stage

Now another competition begins. Qualified and the first in the final of the group stage of the Euro, France now turns to the final table and the quarter-final against the Netherlands, Saturday 23 July. A match held at the New York Stadium in Rotherham, which the Blues began to know because they played the first three matches of the competition there.

Three very different meetings have their contents and scenarios, leaving room for some satisfaction but also for questions. Attack, defense and efficiency, franceinfo: the sport measures the group stage at Les Bleues.

Wait from the first minute to the last

The note was already there at the end of the first match against Italy. After a glittering 45 minutes and scoring five goals, the French team relaxed and presented a quieter second half. The Italians, however overwhelmed by things, even offered themselves the luxury of spoiling the party and filling the gap. “You cannot own 100%, win all your duels. There are bound to be times that are a little more difficult.”The coach admitted in a pre-match press conference against Iceland.

But after three contested matches, the situation hasn’t really changed. Les Bleues still don’t know how to hold a match from start to finish. If they successfully made it out against Belgium thanks to the backlash within a few minutes, the problem ended with compensation against Iceland. Leading from the first seconds, Corinne Deacon’s players went through several air holes and ended up with a whistle penalty kick in the last minute, after suffering several waves of attacks. A foul the Blues can take no longer, at the risk of bidding farewell to their title hopes.

An attack that exists but is not effective enough

Perhaps this is the greatest satisfaction at the start of Les Bleues: the offensive sector is in motion, and it performs well. With eight goals scored in three matches, the balance sheet, inflated by the massive win over Italy (5-1), is more than honorable. Even better, the French strikers showed good integration and understanding, first between Delphine Cascarino and Cadiato Diani, and then between Melvin Mallard and Sandy Baltimore. And if Marie Antoinette Catoto’s injury raised fears of the worst, the young substitutes showed they had the shoulder.

After all, the three-color attack would benefit from being more effective. Against Iceland, the players failed to score the second goal that would have taken them to safety, despite having plenty of opportunities under their feet. “We hope to score at all our chances now.”, Corinne Deacon said at a press conference Monday evening. “It’s really good to have a team going forward, that’s ready. Now we have to be efficient.”confirmed.

Defense not found yet

In contrast to the promising attack, the French defense is at the heart of all hesitations. The last goalkeeper cracked three times, and the French were not yet able to finish the match without the ball going into their net. “From the moment you score more goals than the opponent, it’s okay”put Corinne Deacon into perspective after the match against Iceland. “We have the right to concede goals in football. Tonight is anecdotal, the match should have ended. The goal against Belgium, we knew how to respond, we scored right after that. And against Italy, when you are 5-0 ahead, it is difficult to analyze it.”

The French team after the Iceland equation, Saturday, July 18.  (Frank Fyfe/AFP)

The defensive fever of the Blues, exemplified by the difficult start to rival presumed captain and warden Wendy Renard, continues to raise questions. Especially since some opponents were distinguished by their solidity at the back, such as Germany or England, who had not yet conceded a single goal, or even Austria, which succumbed to only one appeal, in the opening match against the English host. The French are interested in finding a certain defensive base to continue their advance. Three goals scored in three Euro matches, compared to the five goals conceded in the last 14 matches before this tournament, having played in particular Germany, Brazil and the Netherlands.


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