Source: The World
The marker does not always tell the story. The 2-0 with which the Netherlands dispatched to France hides an exhibition of the team of Ronald Koeman, who with the same eleven that a month ago passed over Germany, undressed the reigning world champion. It was 2-0 with goals from Wijnaldum and Depay and no more because the only thing that stopped the ‘oranje’ was under the sticks. A portentous performance by Hugo Lloris prevented the result was greater, but not that Holland defeated France for the first time in more than a decade. [Narration and statistics]
The Netherlands came out to win and France did not lose, which was the minimum I needed to get into the Final Four next summer. Unmasked Deschamps midfield, with Nzonzi covering the absence of Pogba to complete the trident with Kanté and Matuidi. Muscle and more deployment backwards and to the sides than forward, where everything was left to the reference Giroud and his superclasses, Griezmann and Mbappé. The plan did not sound bad and how little worked for 40 minutes, but since the Dutch took the lead it started to be a problem.
Because until then France took refuge in that fortress that made her world champion. No matter how much the Netherlands carried, they did not give a feeling of domination, let alone unsettle the Gauls. Not until Nzonzi put his head where it should not. The exsevillista tried to clear a center that had controlled Varane and the ball fell on the plate to Babel. Lloris took the volleyball at point-blank range with a futsal stop but Wijnaldum, free of mark, pushed at pleasure just before the break.
The goal cheered the Netherlands. Those of Koeman saw France wounded and returned of clothes with the hammer in the hand. Shortly after starting Pavard had already had to cover a dangerous shot from Babel and soon Lloris returned to save his team with a double pardon to Dumfries. The first, a header biting with a very bad idea, and the second, the rejection that tried to strain for the first stick. A night of hard work for the Tottenham goalkeeper, although he could not say that no one cheated on him. At minute two, with a seat still cold, I was already getting a good shot at Wijnaldum.
France suffered, now, in the second part, and Deschamps tried to shake the tree putting Dembélé in the band and leaving Mbappé up with Griezmann to hook. More rhythm up to search vertically what did not come by game. Very little of the world champion and much of the Netherlands, that the more blood they saw the tighter they tightened the fang. Especially Memphis Depay, who gave an exhibition of control, overflow and decision in the race. If he did not score, it was because he had an immense Lloris in front of him, that in five minutes he got three big chances in full flood. It could not with the penalty of Depay, that in the discount nailed it to the panenka.
The only thing he could not avoid was the defeat, which leaves the fate of France in the hands of Germany, already descended into Division B. If on Monday Holland wins the Gelsenkirchen, it will be her who will be in the Final Four next summer.