France knew it would not be straightforward. Profitable a Euros or a World Cup, no matter how sturdy your workforce is and the way huge a favorite you’re, isn’t easy or straight ahead.
The French knew this earlier than dealing with Hungary on Saturday in entrance of 55,000 followers and so they comprehend it much more after rising from the Puskas Area with solely a 1-1 draw of their second group recreation of Euro 2020. Nothing might be given to them on this event. They should go and earn it. They can not afford to take something as a right and on Saturday, they had been issued warning by the Hungarians, who, whereas not as gifted because the French, and and not using a Kylian Mbappe of their ranks, performed with a whole lot of perception and coronary heart.
We anticipated lots from France’s entrance three on this match. In opposition to Germany on Tuesday night time, Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann and Mbappe had been a part of a really strong collective unit which was so nicely organized, defended nicely and was set as much as play on the counter. On Saturday, it was alleged to be their recreation. And the truth that it was not is their failure, too.
In opposition to Hungary, with 66% of the ball and towards a low block, they had been requested to search out totally different solutions. They wanted to search out some magic in tight areas, to hyperlink up nicely, to mix, to be sharp. Briefly, they did not. Solely as soon as did they actually click on. It was on the half-hour mark, as Griezmann’s excellent ball excessive discovered Mbappe, who managed it marvellously earlier than flicking the ball in the direction of Benzema, who ought to have scored however missed vast. Other than that, they struggled to search out any momentum or rhythm and perhaps extra worryingly, struggled to search out one another.
“I’m shattered. It was tremendous scorching, the pitch was dry and we struggled to search out some rhythm. We couldn’t hear one another due to the noise within the stadium and we aren’t used to it anymore after taking part in for therefore lengthy in empty stadiums and silence,” Griezmann defined after the sport on French TV. Discovering excuses is one factor however general, the entrance three was merely not adequate.
“We should always have scored within the first half, and we concede on their solely likelihood. One level shouldn’t be what we anticipated however we’ll take it and transfer on” stated Didier Deschamps afterwards. There’s clearly nonetheless a whole lot of work to be carried out to ensure that this incredible entrance three on paper to be as incredible in actual life on the pitch. They definitely have the expertise, the intelligence and complement one another so nicely to be the trio that everyone expects them to be. They aren’t there simply but, although, and it could possibly be a giant fear for Deschamps. There is not a lot time to work on issues earlier than the Portugal recreation on Wednesday, however we’ll count on extra as soon as once more from them.
Deschamps was not indignant after the sport and instructed his gamers to remain optimistic, too. There aren’t any causes to panic. “We’ve got to remain optimistic. The outcome right now shouldn’t be sufficient however we knew it could be robust. At residence, their followers gave them a whole lot of power and power. they defend very nicely, we noticed it as nicely till the 83rd minute towards Portugal,” he stated after the sport.
The France head coach was proper to provide credit score to his opponents. The Hungarians made their followers, their nation and this European Championships very proud on Saturday. They performed with a lot self-discipline, a lot willpower, a lot power and need that they completely deserved the draw they obtained, probably the greatest outcomes of their latest historical past.
And no participant epitomised this excellent spirit greater than right-back Attila Fiola. His purpose simply earlier than the break was the primary one conceded by Les Bleus in 527 minutes! At 31 years of age, he has entered the legend of the Euros. For generations now, folks in Hungary will inform the story of Fiola, the person who by no means performed exterior of his personal nation, who was not probably the most gifted however by no means gave up. A person, who had solely netted one worldwide purpose, towards minnows Andorra, in his complete worldwide profession previous to dealing with France, however who beat four-time Champions League winner Raphael Varane to attain previous Hugo Lloris and provides Hungary a 1-0 lead on the World Champions.
Attila and the Huns did it towards France. Now they’ve Germany of their sights as they search for an unbelievable qualification from the ‘Group of Loss of life’. For the French, and their so-far, considerably underwhelming entrance three, it is going to be a replay of the Euro 2016 Remaining towards Portugal with designs for revenge on the playing cards…