Title holders in this League of Nations, the men of Didier Deschamps lost this Monday at the Stade de France against Croatia (0-1). Thanks to a penalty from Luka Modric, scored in the 5th minute of play, the vice-world champions won the very first victory in their history against France.
With the success of the Danes against the Austrians in the other match of the group (2-0), the French team, which has still not won a match in this edition of the League of Nations, can now and already say goodbye to the semi-finals. She will therefore not be able to defend her title.
Modric’s criminal unty is enough for the happiness of the Croats
Just before the offseason, Deschamps had nevertheless chosen to give his two star strikers, Mbappé and Benzema, a last chance to shine. The first certainly carried the danger on multiple occasions (7th, 55th, 61st), but systematically stumbled on goalkeeper Ivica Ivusic.
Against the Danes, the Blues had cracked at the end of the game. This time, they sank from the first minutes, frustrated by a slight tripping of the novice Ibrahima Konaté (2 selections), on Ante Budimir. Penalty for Croatia therefore, perfectly transformed by Luka Modric, Benzema’s teammate at Real Madrid.
The Blues have conceded at least one goal in nine of their thirteen games this season. And for the first time in 24 matches, they failed to find the fault either, ending a record streak.
Blues exhausted and weighed down by injuries
With two draws and two defeats at home in a group considered affordable, the record is rather alarming, one after the failure of the Euro and five months before going to defend a world champion title in Qatar. Exhausted by their season, disturbed by injuries and destabilized by tactical tests, the Blues never found the second wind they needed to garner confidence before the summer break.
Deschamps’ men only have two games left before the World Cup at the end of September. The latter will be escorted by the fear of an unworthy relegation to the second division of the League of Nations. Because with two points in four matches, France can not only dream of the “Final 4”, left behind by Denmark (9 pts), but it will also have to fight to avoid a last place which would deprive it of the status of seeded for qualifying for Euro 2024.