Monday, July 15, 2024

Netherlands 0-0 France: What Were The Key Talking Points As The Two European Giants Play Out A Goalless Stalemate In Leipzig?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, European Championships 22 Jun 2024

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While all eyes might have fallen on the Red Bull Arena on Friday night, the Netherlands and France played out a 0-0 stalemate in Leipzig.

Although both of the European giants might have all but officially wrapped up a EURO 24 knockout stage ticket, Holland and Les Bleus would have been disappointed by their respective toothless performances here.

While France might have squandered a handful of golden chances throughout the first-half, it was Ronald Koeman’s camp who will be most frustrated as Xavi Simons saw his strike controversially ruled out following a lengthy VAR check by England referee Anthony Taylor.

The 21-year-old’s thunderous effort was disallowed by the on-field officials for an apparent obstruction on the goalkeeper by Inter Milan’s Denzel Dumfries, who was standing in an offside position.

Both of Friday’s opponents have now collected four points from their first two Group D appearances, while their 0-0 stalemate in Leipzig also officially eliminated Poland from this summer’s tournament.

In what was the first goalless draw of EURO 24, we have taken a look at the main talking points from the Red Bull Arena.

Attacking issues still a headache for Les Bleus

Suffering major heartbreak out in the Middle East 18 months ago as they relinquished their world crown to South American giants Argentina, France made it no secret that they were seeking an immediate response on the major tournament stage this summer.

However, while Les Bleus might have opened their EURO 24 adventure with a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Austria last weekend, the European heavyweights have failed to click into top gear.

Watching both Adrien Rabiot and Antoine Griezmann squander respective golden opportunities during the first-half, Didier Deschamps’ side have yet to make a real statement of intent over in Germany so far this summer.

Although the now-former world champions might still be pencilled in alongside the likes of England as the standout contenders at this summer’s tournament, France do have the feel of a squad seeking a welcomed boost in the final third.

Signing off their pre-EURO 24 preparations with a downbeat 0-0 stalemate at home against Canada, Deschamps’ superstar squad have now registered just a single goal in any of their previous three appearances across all competitions.

Holland have their sights set on a late charge

While the Netherlands might have initially struggled to find any kind of fluidity after they welcomed back Koeman two years ago, Holland have certainly turned a real corner and the mood in their camp should be at a real high.

Although the former Barcelona boss might have been left frustrated on Friday night as Simons’ second-half strike was controversially ruled out, the Oranges will take plenty of positives away from a rugged performance in Leipzig.

Opening their EURO 24 adventure with a turnaround 2-1 victory against Poland on June 16th, the Netherlands have made it clear that they have their sights set on mounting a genuine late charge over in Germany this summer.

Signing off their pre-tournament preparations with back-to-back 4-0 romps against Iceland and Canada respectively, Holland will now be dreaming of the chance to finish at the top of the Group D table.

Edging ahead of Les Bleus and sat firmly in the driving seat, the Netherlands will be looking to extend on their unbeaten start when they meet Austria on Tuesday evening.

No Mbappe, no party for France

While we might have been treated to a showdown between two European giants on Friday night, all of the attention was stolen by one superstar who was forced to watch on from the sidelines.

Suffering what was a brutal broken nose against Austria earlier in the week and forced to play the remainder of this summer’s tournament with a mask, Kylian Mbappe was forced to settle for a spot as an unused substitute in Leipzig.

With it officially confirmed that the future Ballon d’Or winner has completed an historic move to Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid, Mbappe has France’s expectations firmly on his shoulders.

However, drawing a blank on Friday night and missing a string of first-half chances, Deschamps’ camp have now remarkably failed to win any of their previous seven consecutive matches without the ex-Monaco starlet.

Although Les Blues might remain optimistic that their attacking icon will be able to make a full return when they sign off their Group D campaign against Poland on Tuesday night, France can’t be solely reliant on Mbappe this summer.

Match Report

Netherlands: Verbruggen, Ake, van Dijk, de Vrij, Dumfries, Reijnders, Schouten, Gakpo, Simons, Frimpong, Depay

Subs: Wijnaldum, Veerman, Geeruida, Weghorst

France: Maignan, Hernandez, Saliba, Upamencao, Kounde, Rabiot, Tchouameni, Kante, Dembele, Griezmann, Thuram

Subs: Coman, Giroud

Goals: N/A

Yellow Cards: Schouten

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Anthony Taylor


Tom Dunstan

Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan



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