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PLAYER RATINGS | Sweden 2-1 France – how the French fared

France played out a painfully sluggish game in Stockholm and failed to bring home what could have been a vital three points. Team selection may have been the issue, with players such as Moussa Sissoko and Antoine Griezmann failing to turn up on the night.

Deschamps set up in the usual 4-4-2, Matuidi accompanied Paul Pogba in the middle of the park with Antoine Griezmann playing slightly off of Olivier Giroud ahead of them. Although the key talking point will be what could’ve been a point for Les Bleus being thrown away by a shocker from captain Hugo Lloris.

Hugo Lloris – 4

Was pretty good for the majority of the game, making one or two impressive saves before his game-changing mistake. Lloris ventured out of his area to clear the ball but sent it right into Ola Toivonen’s feet who, quite remarkably, smashed the ball into the French net from just inside his own half.

Djibril Sidibé – 5

Attacked and overlapped well and was generally comfortable in his defensive duties. He dealt with Sweden’s numerous long balls and combined efficiently with Moussa Sissoko ahead of him.

Laurent Koscielny – 6

Read the game with incredible intelligence and made a few crucial last-ditch tackles and blocks. May have been slightly caught out for the second goal when he was committed forward.

Raphael Varane – 6

Brought the ball forward with confidence and picked out a few delightful passes. Admittedly could not have done much to stop either of Sweden’s goals but coped with Marcus Berg’s threat for just about the whole game.

Benjamin Mendy – 6

Started a little bit nervy but got forward a hell of a lot throughout the game and put some brilliant balls into the box. He left his defence outnumbered once or twice when caught further up the pitch but defended very well when he was needed.

Blaise Matuidi – 5

Fairly poor in the first half while struggling to cope with Emil Forsberg’s presence. Carried the ball forward effectively in the second half and as always, made tackles behind the scenes to win the ball back.

Paul Pogba – 7

Pogba was impressive from start to finish, albeit receiving a yellow card. He adjusted fantastically to having to play in a deeper role than normal and was undoubtedly the engine of the team. Not just in the middle of the pitch though, Pogba was paramount at both ends – picking up the ball outside of his own box and spraying a pass wide to start a counter-attack.

Moussa Sissoko – 4

Looked a little bit out of place and was needlessly clumsy on a fair few occasions. He linked up well with Sidibe down the right flank but didn’t produce anything of note.

Dimitri Payet  – 5

Cut inside from the left a lot and helped to create chances but inevitably couldn’t contribute much to the game. Caught out defensively when his lazy tracking-back allowed Durmaz to slot home Sweden’s equaliser.

Antoine Griezmann – 4.5

Almost invisible for the first half playing alongside Giroud but adapted to the game in the second half when he started to drop back and receive the ball. Had a couple of chances saved by Robin Olsen including an audacious free kick.

Olivier Giroud – 7.5

Scored an absolutely sublime goal to give France the lead in the first half. Held the ball up reasonably well and allowed the wingers to get forward from his passes.

 

Substitutes: 

Kylian Mbappé – 7

For the short amount of time he was given, the youngster toyed with the Swedish defence and looked dangerous on the counter. Wasn’t gifted many chances but showed signs of promise once again.

Thomas Lemar – 7 

Got on the ball a lot for just ten minutes of action and started several attacking moves. Played more centrally than normal and provided a cross or two across the face of goal that could have quite easily been put away.

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