Antoine Griezmann produced a magical header as France secured a narrow 1-0 win over Bosnia & Herzegovina on Wednesday.
France signed off the international window with a 1-0 win over Bosnia & Herzegovina in Sarajevo on Wednesday. The narrow victory helps them remain on top of Group D with seven points in three matches.
It was a frustrating game for the world champions though as they struggled to breach the lines of the opposition defence on regular basis. Especially in the first half, Didier Deschamps’ men had no answer to Bosnia’s brilliantly executed defensive shape, with the back three protecting Ibrahim Sehic in goal.
Les Bleus did create their opportunities but were unable to take them before Antoine Griezmann eventually netting the opener in the 60th minute through a thumping header. It was one of only two attempts on target for the French side – as many as Bosnia managed, although the hosts barely caused any threat in the attacking third.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the French players following their narrow win over Bosnia & Herzegovina this midweek.
Hugo Lloris: 6.5/10
Hugo Lloris was called into action a bit early as one of Bosnia’s two attempts on goal was saved by the French number one. The veteran goalkeeper remained strong and alert for the remainder of the game, even though the opposition failed to create too many clear cut opportunities. His leadership in between the sticks was also crucial in helping his team clinch another clean sheet.
🇫🇷 Hugo became France's joint-second all-time appearance maker this evening, keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 win against Bosnia and Herzegovina 👏@MoussaSissoko came on as a substitute in the closing stages.#THFC ⚪️ #COYS pic.twitter.com/95gsUHAfIc
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 31, 2021
Benjamin Pavard: 6.5/10
Back into the side at the expense of Leo Dubois, Benjamin Pavard struggled to establish his dominance on the proceedings, often failing to offer the technical essence going forward. His presence in the side did not improve the build-up either, although the former Stuttgart defender did improve in the second half, putting in some decent crosses from wider areas.
Raphael Varane: 7/10
Raphael Varane did not have to do too much, up against a Bosnian attack that offered very little going forward. The Real Madrid star was largely involved in the build-up, as he played a vital role in distributing possession out from the back. He completed 74 passes with an accuracy of 94% while winning three of his four duels.
Presnel Kimpembe: 7/10
Presnel Kimpembe complemented the efforts of Varane at the heart of the four-man French backline. His ability to read the game, in particular, saw him neutralise a host of potential counter-attacking opportunities for Bosnia. Also made four tackles as well as playing several long balls forward.
Lucas Hernandez: 6.5/10
The second Bayern Munich full-back to feature in the backline, Lucas Hernandez had a similar game as Pavard. It appeared as if the former Atletico Madrid starlet was given a deeper role, in light of his defensive qualities. As such, Hernandez’s offensive support was largely limited, though he was solid defensively.
Paul Pogba: 6/10
Paul Pogba was once again given the start in the absence of N’Golo Kante at the base of France’s 4-4-2. The midfielder did not exactly disappoint but he could not mesmerise the onlookers with his evident quality in build-up and possession. He mainly operated deep, distributing possession while his trademark long balls were missing. A slight passive.
Adrien Rabiot: 7.5/10
Adrien Rabiot accompanied Pogba at the heart of the French midfield. The Juventus star was certainly among the best performing players in this game, working hard and competing well with the opposition throughout the course of the ninety minutes.
Griezmann's impressive form for France continues 🤩
Wait for the celebration! pic.twitter.com/2DZ7VO1B2P
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 31, 2021
The midfielder also made several darting runs into the final third, even producing an excellent cross to register the assist for the opener. Rabiot’s excellent performances for the national team continue to give him the edge over Pogba as we head closer to the start of the European Championships this summer.
Kingsley Coman: 6/10
Kingsley Coman had a few opportunities to open the scoring for France, but he looked unusually blunt in his forays into the final third. The Bayern Munich star did not provide much in possession as well and was ultimately taken off around the hour mark, in favour of Olivier Giroud.
Thomas Lemar: 7.5/10
Thomas Lemar was instrumental in France’s approach play down the left-hand side, offering creativity and ideas to an otherwise dire attacking display from the visitors. Indeed, the former AS Monaco starlet created many opportunities, even becoming the creator-in-chief for his team for much of the game. Deserves more recognition in Les Bleus squad for the Euros.
THOMAS LEMAR vs Bosnia-Herzegovina en 89':
-50 pases precisos (87,7%)
-0 de 1 centros
-4 de 5 balones en largo
-1 tiro fuera
-1 regate completado
-1 de 2 duelos en el suelo
-1 intercepción pic.twitter.com/j7kgQ2CrE6
— 𝕾𝖆𝖓𝖈𝖗𝖎𝖘 𝕬𝕿𝕸 (@sancris_atm) March 31, 2021
Antoine Griezmann: 8/10
Antoine Griezmann was arguably the best performer for France in this narrow win over Bosnia. Although the Barcelona superstar was not able to test Sehic on a regular basis, he was always a threat for the opposition with his movements in the final third. He also scored the opening goal through a smart header, capitalising on Rabiot’s equally impressive service down the flanks.
Apart from the goal, Griezmann’s work-rate was immense as he often dropped deep to support his teammates defensively. A splendid display indeed from the Frenchman.
— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 31, 2021
Kylian Mbappe: 6/10
Kylian Mbappe had a very quiet evening against a Bosnian defence that kept him at arm’s length for the most part of the game. The PSG star was not able to utilise his pace very well and was closed down quickly by the opposition. Would have preferred more freedom in the final third.
Olivier Giroud: 6/10
Giroud was introduced around the hour mark to offer a more physical and aerial presence in the final third. The veteran striker did not have much of the ball, though, and ended up having a rather quiet evening.
Moussa Sissoko: N/A
A late replacement for Lemar. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.