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PLAYER RATINGS | France 2-3 Colombia – how the French fared

France’s Russia World Cup preparations started in the worst possible way with a surprising 3-2 defeat at home to an incredibly tenacious Colombia side.

Hugo Lloris – 5

Nothing much to do for the veteran, who had little chance at any of Colombia’s goals, even if he was made to look silly by Colombia’s opener. Produced a good save from Muriel early in the second half.

Djibril Sidibé – 5

Had done well in the last set of fixtures, and continued that here in the first half. Got a vital tackle in after Matuidi’s slip and was key in the build-up to France’s second. Also made a few important aerial contributions from set pieces, no small thing given Umtiti’s lack of height, but also allowed the cross for Sanchez’s opener, and could lose Muriel at times.

Raphaël Varane – 4.5

Poor passing early on and was partly to blame for Colombia’s opener, and not entirely without guilt in the penalty. Grew into the match, but one can’t help thinking were it not for Deschamps’ obsession with left and right-footed defenders that Kimpembe should have partnered Umtiti here.

Samuel Umtiti – 5

Little to do in the first half, was able to carry the ball at his feet. Composed as always, but conceding a penalty will have been frustrating with Kimpembe an option behind him.

Lucas Digne – 4.5

Had done well in the last set of friendlies, but his effort on the night will have had most wishing for a speedy recovery from Benjamin Mendy. Struggled physically, earning a senseless booking; while his run for Giroud’s opener was well-timed, his cross was poor, being too easy for Ospina, and was at fault for the Colombian equaliser.

Kylian Mbappé – 7

Moved inside at the earliest opportunity, allowing Sidibé to provide width on the right. Smart lay-off to Lemar for his erstwhile teammate’s goal, and did well to beat opponents with the ball at his feet. Not nearly as selfish as he can be for his club, displayed a good level of maturity without losing any of his trademark confidence.

N’Golo Kanté – 5.5

Did well to get forward and link play, showing several smart passages of short passing, but did struggle at times to establish a positional rapport with Lemar. Lost the ball in the build-up to Colombia’s second.

Blaise Matuidi – 3

A match to forget for the veteran, who was a passenger throughout. A slip nearly played Colombia in for an opener, and he lost Sanchez on Colombia’s opener. One of the evening’s biggest surprises was his coming back for the second half with Pogba, Rabiot and Tolisso all options from the bench.

Thomas Lemar – 7

Played a slightly deeper role than he does with Monaco, but handled it with aplomb in the first-half, allowing France to control possession, before faltering in the second. Add in a well-taken goal, and it’s hard to argue with his being an automatic first choice going forward.

Antoine Griezmann – 5.5

Was a willing runner, but could have been more decisive; his lay-off for Mbappé in the build-up to Lemar’s goal looked a matter of luck, and he also should have done better when through one-on-one with Ospina late in the first half. His free kicks also were poor, a duty that clearly should have been ceded to Lemar.

Olivier Giroud – 6

Provided a needed fulcrum for the mazy runs of his teammates, and scored a poacher’s goal after Ospina failed to control Digne’s cross. His influence, like Griezmann’s waned as the match wore on, but not a bad showing.

Manager:

Didier Deschamps – 5

Tactically sound, with Lemar, Kanté and Griezmann taking up a variety of positions to provide flexibility, but things slid downhill in the second half. Decision to start Matuidi has to be questioned, though, as both Rabiot and Tolisso would have been more deserving of a match each. Having Griezmann on free kicks also rankled, as Lemar is far superior in that department.

 


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