Coming off the back of winning the World Cup can actually be pretty hard, as difficult as that may be to believe. There’s a certain standard you need to uphold in the years following the tournament, because if you don’t, then the masses will jump at the chance to ridicule you. We’ve seen it happen many times in the past, but when it comes to the French, it seems like they’re in a pretty good place right now.
Getting the job done
Case in point: they tore through Iceland 4-0 tonight to keep their UEFA Euro 2020 qualification campaign going strong. Les Bleus played against the ultimate underdogs just a few years ago in Euro 2016, bringing their valiant push for a European title to an end in the quarter finals. On that night the Icelandic faithful were able to celebrate a few goals, but it quickly became obvious that history wouldn’t repeat itself this evening.
France kept the game at their pace for the opening 10 minutes or so, as you’d expect them to do in a game of this nature. They were slowly making strides forward at will, with Samuel Umtiti’s header finally putting them ahead in the 12th minute. They wound up taking that lead all the way through until half time, and looked pretty comfortable in doing so.
They’re just too good
Iceland had a few bright moments, but they were just no match for Les Bleus on the night. Olivier Giroud wound up scoring the second of the game in a fortunate manner after Pavard started off the move with a nice cross. Kylian Mbappe’s rise continued after he slotted home a nice third, with Antoine Griezmann completing the rout with just six minutes remaining.
The comprehensive win will be no less than the French expected from this game, and now, they’ll have a few months off from qualifiers before tackling a tough away day in Turkey on June 8th. They’ll then have another away game against Andorra, whereas Iceland will have two slightly more winnable fixtures as they host both Albania and Turkey – with the latter being considered more ‘their level’.
France: Lloris (7.5), Pavard (7), Varane (8), Umtiti (8), Kurzawa (7.5), Kimpembe (N/A), Pogba (8.5), Kante (8), Lemar (N/A), Mbappe (7.5), Griezmann (7.5), Matuidi (7), Giroud (8), Sissoko (N/A)
Iceland: Halldorsson (5), Saevarasson (5.5), Skulason (N/A), Ingason (5), Arnason (5), R.Sigurdsson (6), Magnusson (5.5), Sigurjonsson (5.5), Traustason (6), Gunnarsson (5.5), Bjarnason (5), G.Sigurdsson (6), Gudmundsson (5.5), Finnbogason (6)
Referee: István Kovács
Goals: Umtiti, Giroud, Mbappe, Griezmann
Yellow Cards: Griezmann, Bjarnason
Red Cards: N/A
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