France will no longer be able to successfully defend their Nations League crown after Monday’s 1-0 defeat at home to Croatia put the final tournament within reach.
Didier Deschamps’ side had been wrong in the first three games of the month, losing once and drawing the other two, and they had done no better against stubborn Croatia at the Stade de France.
They proved to be their worst enemy when Luka Modric converted an unnecessary early penalty within five minutes.
The host’s performance was flawed but lacked sophistication, and it was difficult to find clear opportunities for the reigning world champion on another disappointing day.
Ibrahima Konate was convicted when Liverpool defender Ante Budimir stumbled awkwardly and Modric pushed his shot past Mike Maignan after a lengthy VAR review.
The game was characterized by heavy play and many physical challenges on the wet field, but the Blues showed a big heart and played a good game.
However, it was the sign of another goal and Kylian Mbappe saw the pain from 30 meters later.
However, Croatia had a better chance in the closing stages when Lovro Majer and Nikola Vlasic forced them out of Maignan as the guests were rewarded for their defeat in the 2018 World Cup final.
What does it mean? France now wants to prevent a relegation decline
As important as you place the Nations League, it would be embarrassing for the world champions to fall – it’s an obvious opportunity.
Whether their battles this month came down to generalized fatigue at the end of a long season, pecking at Deschamps, or a combination of the two, we don’t know, but for the sake of the trainer you hope France won’t. longer qualify. for the final. a huge wake-up call with an MM is just over five months away.
They are at the end of subgroup A1, seven points behind leaders Denmark after a 2-0 win over Austria.
Stanisic holds on
France has excellent quality, especially for Mbappé. The Paris Saint-Germain star gave Josip Stanisic food for thought, but the Croatian right-back was outstanding, scoring six goals.
Benzema cannot inspire
It was a depressing game for Real Madrid superstar Karim Benzema. You’d be forgiven for not realizing that he was on the pitch in the first half and ended up playing with just one hit and one key pass.
And after that?
France will continue its League of Nations campaign — and its efforts to avoid relegation — at home with Austria on September 22. Croatia will face group leaders Denmark on the same day.