July 24, 2021

Euro 2021 – Les Bleus eliminated on penalties against Switzerland in the round of 16 (3-3, 5-4 tab)

The world champions fall from the top and leave the Euro. The crazy evening in Bucharest turned in favor of Switzerland who won their eventful round of 16 against France on Monday (3-3, 5-4 tab). Fragile in defense but sparkling in front, Didier Deschamps’ players cracked in the fateful session on the attempt of Kylian Mbappé, fifth shooter, pushed back by Sommer. The Nati will play a first quarter-final against Spain next Friday. For the Blues, it’s a total fiasco.

The outcome is necessarily cruel for these Blues, presented as ultra-favorites before the competition and who logically nourished great ambitions. However, they still showed real shortcomings on the lawn of the Arena Nationala, especially in their collective expression. Hernandez starting on the bench, Deschamps again changed systems and opted for a 3-4-1-2 with Lenglet in central defense.

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Lost Blues

If his men got into the match offensively thanks to Mbappé’s faculty of percussion on the left, they clearly lacked benchmarks but also aggressiveness in duels and defensive pressing. The three centrals were slow to find the right settings in the first quarter of an hour and were quick to be punished. On a cross from Zuber from the left, Seferovic ate ​​Lenglet in the aerial duel at the penalty spot and cheated Lloris with a header (0-1, 15th).

Benzema and Mbappé (23rd and 26th) tried to sound the revolt but their partners remained lost in this new tactical scheme and borrowed in their intentions with a game leaning completely to the left while Pavard was lonely on the other side. On a Rodriguez corner, Akanji almost sanctioned them again with a narrow header (42nd).

Benjamin Pavard facing Switzerland

Credit: Getty Images

4 crazy minutes

Deschamps logically decided to review his plans and launched Coman instead of Lenglet on the restart to move to 4-4-2. Eager to project themselves, his players gave in and left spaces for their opponents. Pavard intervened in extremis in the area of ​​Lloris (50th) then missed by returning to tackle Zuber and caused a penalty (53rd). Lloris, however, pushed him back against Rodriguez and kept the Blues alive (55th).

The French followed the path indicated by their goalkeeper and Benzema, launched by Mbappé in the zone of truth, equalized in stride (1-1, 57th). On the lookout after a small dive from Griezmann repelled by Sommer, the Madrilenian even relapsed a few moments later to give the advantage to the world champions (2-1, 59th). After this fourth goal in this Euro of the former ban, the Swiss were stunned. They seemed KO when Pogba cleaned the left window of their goalkeeper with a sublime axial strike (3-1, 75 ‘).

Deschamps gropes to the end

Except that their coach Vladimir Petkovic who officiated for his 77th match, a record tied, refused to abdicate and launched Vargas and Fassnacht who gave new vigor to the Nati (80th). Seferovic, always so biting, signed a brace with a header in front of Varane on a Mbabu cross to revive the suspense (3-2, 81st). Deschamps replaced Griezmann with Sissoko to lock all this (88th) but Gavranovic took advantage of a loss of axial ball from Pogba to go fake Kimpembe, deceive Lloris and equalize on the wire (3-3, 90th). Coman, he only found Sommer’s cross at the last second of added time (90th + 5).

While his partners wanted to continue their momentum, the Swiss goalkeeper had to pull out all the stops against Pavard at the start of extra time (95th). Mbappé, for his part, narrowly missed the target on two opportunities (109th and 110th) before Giroud in turn came up against Sommer (119th) and the fateful session arrived. The five Swiss shooters transformed their shot on goal. Pogba, Giroud, Kimpembe and Thuram did the same but Mbappé definitely remained silent in this Euro, finally stumbling over the last rampart of the Nati. Like his teammates, he can only regret this brutal but not undeserved conclusion.

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