Kylian Mbappe’s late strike helped France secure a draw away from Austria as their stuttering UEFA Nations League campaign continued.
The world champions are in danger of getting relegated to the lower tier of the UEFA Nations League as the holders’ stuttering form in the third edition continued. Les Bleus remain without a win after three games in their group, and they could only manage a draw in their latest outing against Austria.
France came into this clash needing a win to improve their standing in the group, but Didier Deschamps seemed out of ideas as his side found themselves on the back foot once more. They have another game left against Croatia in this round of international fixtures, and France will look to make amends.
In this visit to Austria, Ralf Rangnick’s men put in a combative shift to stifle the visitors, showing resilience to prevent Deschamps’s men from getting the upper hand. However, Les Bleus did come close through Antoine Griezmann’s free-kick, which was parried away by Patrick Pentz.
The Austra stopper was called into action several times, and he protected the goal from a 20-yard strike by Karim Benzema while producing a terrific flying save off a Kingsley Coman effort. France then fell behind shortly after the break as Konrad Laimer’s low cross was met by Andreas Weimann, who had a simple tap-in to execute and give Austria the lead.
France in June 2021:
◉ 4 games
◉ 3 draws
◉ 1 win
France in June 2022 (so far):
◉ 3 games
◉ 2 draws
◉ 1 loss
Is June is a cursed month for Les Bleus? 😭 pic.twitter.com/vejBx1YjTN
— Squawka (@Squawka) June 10, 2022
Without much luck on the pitch, Deschamps sent on Mbappe to rescue something from the game. The PSG talisman did that, sprinting behind Austria’s defence to get the equaliser. The forward also came close to securing a dramatic late winner, only for Pentz to get a slight touch on his effort. Here’s how the French stars fared in their draw against Austria.
Hugo Lloris: 6/10
A good return to action for the France captain, who was made to work by Austria, who forced a few smart saves from the veteran goalkeeper. Unfortunately, Lloris could not have possibly gotten anywhere near Weimann to stop the opening strike.
Benjamin Pavard: 6/10
Pavard had a very good game compared to his fellow defenders, as the Bayern Munich man worked hard to get things going. In the end, he will reflect positively on his performance and look forward to cementing his place in the starting lineup.
William Saliba: 3/10
Saliba’s terrible form for France continued in this Nations League campaign, as the defender showed sloppiness to allow Weimann to get past and score the opener. Austria’s attackers identified his shortcomings and constantly targeted him as he proved to be France’s weak link.
Ibrahima Konate: 6/10
A modest debut for Konate, who played a key role in the build-up to the equaliser by Mbappe. His overall performance was much better than his defensive partner Saliba, and this showing may be enough to convince Deschamps to give him another run in the team.
Theo Hernandez: 3/10
Hernandez’s main element is to provide an edge on the attacking side from the left flank. Unfortunately, the AC Milan defender never got going in the game and barely offered anything in the final third. Defensively, he was caught out a few times, often threatening to hurt his team.
Aurelien Tchouameni: 5.5/10
Tchouameni had a decent outing, where he seemed to take more responsibilities with his midfield role. However, while his overall performance was good, his passing became more sloppy as the game progressed, and Matteo Guendouzi replaced the soon-to-be Real Madrid midfielder.
Boubacar Kamara: 6/10
🇫🇷 • @boubaKamara_4 in his first start for France vs Austria
– 88 touches
– 62 passes (87% accuracy)
– 6 long balls completed
– 2 key passes
– 3 tackles
– 2 interceptions
— Aston Villa News (@AVFC_News) June 10, 2022
Deschamps went more defensive on his midfield selections, and Kamara was tasked with protecting the backline. He did his job well and provided ample cover, only for the backline to be sloppy all game.
Moussa Diaby: 3.5/10
It may still be a growing experience for a player like Diaby on the national side, but these performances tend to put off long-term futures. Diaby was decent in patches but could not perform consistency during the game.
Antoine Griezmann: 4/10
Griezmann had one great free-kick in the first half, which Pentz expertly saved. Besides that, the attacker barely got involved in the match, thus summing up a frustrating night.
Kingsley Coman: 4/10
Like Griezmann, Coman had one good opportunity that forced Pentz to make a terrific stop. However, he struggled to stay relevant on the pitch and barely threatened the Austrian defence.
Karim Benzema: 5/10
Benzema was one of the better attackers for France, and like the others, he, too, forced Pentz into making some decent saves. However, while he worked hard to get things going, the Austrian defence looked fairly comfortable containing his threat.
Kylian Mbappe: 8/10
Deschamps decided to keep his most lethal weapon on the bench, and unleashing Mpabbe salvaged a point, even though it was not the result he was hoping for. The PSG talisman scored the equaliser and perhaps could have netted the winner, only for Pentz to parry his effort away.
Kylian Mbappe vs Austria. Changed the game for France and showed levels. RTs appreciated. pic.twitter.com/pFf5G68XaJ
— Hesh (@HeshComps) June 10, 2022
Matteo Guendouzi: 6/10
Guendouzi provided a different option to Tchouameni as he began passing the ball more progressively.
Christopher Nkunku: 7/10
A bright cameo from Nkunku, who provided the crucial through ball for Mbappe to score the equaliser.