Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud disappointed while Antoine Griezmann was a positive as France were held to a 1-1 draw by Ukraine on Wednesday.
France took the lead just 17 minutes into the game as Antoine Griezmann curled home a brilliant strike into the far top corner after cutting in from the right. Olivier Giroud should have made it 2-0 after the 30th minute mark but headed over from a promising position.
Twelve minutes into the second half, Ukraine managed to get back on level terms as an effort from Serhiy Sydorchuk took a massive deflection off of Presnel Kimpembe before ending up in the back of the net. The two teams created next to nothing in terms of goalscoring opportunities from that point, though, as the game petered out to a 1-1 draw.
It was a vital point for Ukraine while the reigning World Champions France will have been left disappointed with their lackadaisical performance. And here’s how we rated the performances of Didier Deschamps’ men on Wednesday night at Stade de France.
Hugo Lloris: 5/10
Had absolutely nothing to do on the night except for picking up the ball from his net after he was caught wrong-footed for the Ukraine goal due to the massive deflection off of Kimpembe.
Benjamin Pavard: 5/10
Showed some early signs of positivity in his attacking play but all that faded after his booking in the first half. Not always solid at the back either with Ukraine often looking to exploit his flank and managed to do so as well on a few occasions.
Raphael Varane: 5.5/10
Not really stretched defensively apart from an early misstep which led to a chance. Fairly solid defensively but could have been more expressive with his passing on the night.
Presnel Kimpembe: 5.5/10
A solid game for the most part, in which he showed good aggression and defensive nous, marred by the unfortunate deflection which brought about the equalising goal. Had a late chance to win it for his team, but headed straight at the opposition goalkeeper.
Lucas Hernandez: 5/10
Preferred ahead of Ferland Mendy, the Bayern Munich star showed some endeavour in his attacking movements and created a chance for Giroud in the early stages of the game. However, he needed to do better in the lead-up to Ukraine’s goal, which originated on his flank.
N’Golo Kante: 6.5/10
Carried on from where he left off for his club, Chelsea, as Kante went about covering every blade of the grass, winning back possession and laying it on for his more attack-minded teammates. However, he kept it simple on the ball when France could have used some creativity against the visitors’ low block.
Adrien Rabiot: 5/10
Given the nod ahead of Paul Pogba, Tanguy Ndombele and Moussa Sissoko, Rabiot failed to make the most of his chance. Showed desire to win the ball back at times, but like his midfield partner, he lacked that bit of imagination to carve open the Ukrainian defence. Faded as the game wore on.
Kingsley Coman: 6/10
Looked the likeliest to make things happen with his burst of pace and skills on the ball causing the Ukrainian defenders on his side a lot of problems. Had a penalty claim waved off in the first half and had an effort on target after the break. Otherwise, the end product was a bit lacking.
Antoine Griezmann: 6.5/10
Antoine Griezmann made more crosses (9) and created more chances (4) than any other player against Ukraine.
He also completed the joint most take-ons (3) and scored France’s only goal. pic.twitter.com/AU1cVx3fO2
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 24, 2021
Had been in goalscoring form for Barcelona prior to linking up with the national team and continued that here as well, putting France in front with a peach of a finish early in the game. Linked up well in the final third and brought a sense of fluidity to the game but was unable to make further inroads. Influence waned, particularly after the equaliser. Became the joint fourth-highest goalscorer for France along with David Trezeguet.
Kylian Mbappe: 4/10
The real Kylian Mbappe did not even show up on Wednesday night as the PSG superstar was largely a peripheral figure who hardly made any notable contribution in attack or helped out defensively. Needed to do better in the lead-up to Ukraine’s equaliser.
Olivier Giroud: 4/10
May not be the first-choice at club level for Chelsea but his status as France’s preferred No.9 remained intact on Wednesday. However, he was not able to repay that faith as he fluffed his lines on a couple of occasions in the first period, wasting chances to put the game beyond the opposition.
Paul Pogba: 5/10
On for Giroud a little after the hour mark. Tried to make things happen, hit in a dangerous long-ball for Mbappe and also had a shot.
Ousmane Dembele: 5/10
Replaced Coman in the 64th minute. Lively without the requisite end product.
Anthony Martial: N/A
Came on for Mbappe in the 77th minute. Did little of note.