We take a look at Les Bleus’ final group stage game and the players’ performances in a dire 0-0 affair with Denmark.
Steve Mandanda – 4
There were two only parts of this game where Steve Manadanda was needed. One time when he had to stop Christian Eriksen from inside the box and then in the second half when he spilled Eriksen’s free-kick. Thankfully for the stand in keeper no one was there to follow up the chance, but that is all Mandanda did. No real point in him playing other than getting a game at a World Cup.
Djibril Sidibé – 2
The big criticism of Sidibé is that his defensive side is too weak. No one knows whether he’s improved or not after this game, because he didn’t have to defend. NO ONE DID!! Sidibé, usually so adept at bombing forward and getting in crosses, wasn’t even able to do that today. Benjamin Pavard should have no worries about losing his place, whatsoever.
Raphael Varane – 5
Varane is usually very calm and collected at the back, mopping up danger whenever needed. He wasn’t needed today, because Denmark decided not to attack. It’s a shame really, because it would’ve have been a good test to see how Varane did without Umtiti next to him.
Presnel Kimpembe – 5
In the opening stages the young PSG man looked a bit nervous and tried to do a bit too much, however once the game completely stopped he settled down and looked cool. I suppose that’s what happens when you have nothing to do except mark people at corners and play five yard passes.
Lucas Hernandez – 3
Hernandez appealed for a penalty in the first half, looked awfully close to being booked and was subbed off five minutes into the second half. That is literally all he did. Dreadful, but he won’t lose his place to Benjamin Mendy.
N’Golo Kanté – 4.5
Nothing outstanding to talk about from Kante’s overall performance but the midfield duo for France today were a bright spot in a dull game. Kante didn’t get injured while keeping his energy and fitness, which I can only assume was Didier Deschamps’ plan.
Steven Nzonzi – 6
Despite being a stand in for Pogba, N’Zonzi actually looked quite decent, all things considered. He was strong in the tackle, calm on the ball and overall just a solid player to have in the side. Maybe the type of game today suited him, but nevertheless he still impressed.
Ousmane Dembélé – 2
Dembélé did absolutely nothing against Australia, which was poor. He got criticism (rightly so) and was dropped for the win against Peru. But do you know what’s worse than being awful in the first game and being dropped for the second? Being even worse than that Australia game in a match that was essentially a free pass! When you see how poorly Dembélé has played, you feel sorry for Florian Thauvin, who didn’t manage a single minute in this group stage.
Antoine Griezmann – 2
Was it a poor performance from Griezmann? Absolutely, but he usually plays well alongside Olivier Giroud so maybe in a different game with more at stake, he would have been better. That being said, Griezmann doesn’t help himself when he makes mini documentaries about signing a contract then drops performances like this one.
Thomas Lemar – 2
Griezmann’s new Atletico Madrid teammate didn’t shower himself in glory, in fact he didn’t do anything at all today expect maybe only think about taking on one of the Danish players. Much like Dembélé, it’s baffling why Thauvin doesn’t at least get 20 minutes when Lemar is an alternative!
Olivier Giroud – 4.5
I’m a massive fan of Olivier Giroud, and while he wasn’t so effective today he did strike me as the only player on the pitch (with maybe the exception of Eriksen for Denmark and Nabil Fekir when he came on) that looked like he wanted to score or make a difference. He was so good against Peru that maybe he would fancy having a goal himself, but today just was the wrong day to hope for a that outcome.
Benjamin Mendy for Lucas Hernandez – 3
Didier Deschamps admitted pre-World Cup that there was concerns of Mendy’s match fitness, so ideally this was a perfect situation for the Manchester City left back. Unfortunately, he looked like he was lacking match fitness and just didn’t have the right end product when in good crossing positions.
Nabil Fékir for Antoine Griezmann – 6.5
Fékir is hands down the Man of the Match from this one? But, he only came on for the last 20 minutes, so how can he be MOTM? Not only did he actually look bothered when he came on, but he hit the side netting with his first shot and forced a good save out of Kasper Schmeichel. It doesn’t sound much, but there wasn’t much to choose from.
Kylian Mbappé for Ousmane Dembélé – N/A