Player ratings as Mbappe’s absence leaves Les Bleus lacking

Sportem
Sportem
9 Min Read

France were held to an underwhelming 0-0 draw with the Netherlands in the third of Friday’s Euro 2024 games.

With Kylian Mbappe watching on from the bench just days after breaking his nose, France looked a little disjointed in attack, although Antoine Griezmann will still feel as though he had enough chances to seal the win.

Xavi Simons saw a second-half strike controversially chalked off by VAR, with the two sides ultimately labouring to the first goalless draw of Euro 2024.

How the game unfolded

Jeremie Frimpong got in behind in the opening two minutes but could not get a full connection on the shot amid pressure from the retreating Theo Hernandez, allowing Mike Maignan to deflect the effort wide. The stopper also got down well to deny Cody Gakpo soon after.

Griezmann was left wondering how he failed to open the scoring when Adrien Rabiot’s cut-back left him stretching. The ball was behind the Atletico Madrid striker, who could not convert from just a few yards out.

France soon wrestled control of the game and could have taken the lead through Marcus Thuram, but the Inter striker blazed his effort over the bar 30 minutes in after some good work from Jules Kounde down the right.

Xavi Simons and Memphis Depay both had dangerous moments as the first half wound down but neither managed to ask a serious question of Maignan in the France goal, while Griezmann’s tame header brought the first 45 minutes to an end.

A slow start to the second half saw both sides guilty of sloppy errors in the final third. Thuram fired wide on the hour mark, before Aurelien Tchouameni headed over from close range.

Griezmann again failed to make the most of a chance from close range. He could not trap N’Golo Kante’s quick pass and scuffed his shot wide.

France’s profligacy looked to be punished 20 minutes from time when Simons fired into the back of the net, but a late flag decided Denzel Dumfries, who was stood in an offside position, was obstructing Maignan. A lengthy VAR check ultimately agreed.

In the dying embers, Rabiot’s low cross failed to find Kingsley Coman, which summed up this game pretty well. A forgettable affair all round.

Xavi Simons

Simons thought he had scored the winner / Marvin Ibo Guengoer – GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

GK: Bart Verbruggen – 7/10 – A busy performance which featured a handful of smart stops.

RB: Denzel Dumfries – 5/10 – Confident defensively considering Rabiot was opposite him, but didn’t do nearly enough going forwards.

CB: Stefan de Vrij – 7/10 – Had to keep busy to stop Griezmann and Thuram. Held his own comfortably.

CB: Virgil van Dijk – 7/10 – A strong showing against France’s speedy forwards. Did his best to control his box.

LB: Nathan Ake – 5/10 – Didn’t get the chance to make as much of an impact as he did in the opening game. Pushed back by Dembele.

DM: Jerdy Schouten – 6/10 – A solid game at the base of the Dutch midfield. Given a harsh yellow card but didn’t let that impact his play.

DM: Tijjani Reijnders – 6/10 – Had to be patient and wait for his time on the ball and, despite some nice moments, didn’t always produce when needed.

RM: Jeremie Frimpong – 6/10 – Offered the occasional moment of quality but didn’t look completely comfortable in this new attacking role.

AM: Xavi Simons – 6/10 – The focal point of the Netherlands’ attack, but Simons was a little sloppy on the ball when it mattered most.

LM: Cody Gakpo – 6/10 – Some smart moments down the left but didn’t get a whole lot out of Kounde.

ST: Memphis Depay – 5/10 – Found it hard to get involved in the game and guilty of not putting enough effort in defensively.

Substitutes

SUB: Georginio Wijnaldum (73′ for Simons) – 5/10

SUB: Joey Veerman (73′ for Schouten) – 5/10

SUB: Lutsharel Geertruida (73′ for Frimpong) – 5/10

SUB: Wout Weghorst (79′ for Memphis) – 5/10

Subs not used: Justin Bijlow (GK), Mark Flekken (GK), Daley Blind, Ian Maatsen, Matthijs de Ligt, Micky van de Ven, Ryan Gravenberch, Brian Brobbey, Donyell Malen, Joshua Zirkzee, Steven Bergwijn

Manager

Ronald Koeman – 5/10 – A tough one to grade. Koeman clearly set up to try and stop France from scoring, which he achieved. That being said, perhaps he should have shown a little more desire to win this game without Mbappe lining up against him.

Memphis Depay, William Saliba

Saliba impressed at the back / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

GK: Mike Maignan – 7/10 – Didn’t need to do anything too difficult but managed to rise to the challenge every time.

RB: Jules Kounde – 6/10 – Composed on the ball to try and make things happen. Sometimes caught out of position but nothing too problematic.

CB: Dayot Upamecano – 6/10 – Caught out once or twice at the back but largely held his own against Memphis. His speed was needed at times.

CB: William Saliba – 7/10 – Showed some impressive one-on-one defending and did his best to lead by example.

LB: Theo Hernandez – 6/10 – A great run to stop Frimpong in the opening stages but faded out of the game after that.

RM: Ousmane Dembele – 7/10 – Some nice moments on the ball and seemed to grow into the game. His pace was far too much for Ake.

CM: Aurelien Tchouameni – 6/10 – Not at his most comfortable in this role but didn’t exactly get much wrong. Enjoyed playing alongside Kante.

CM: N’Golo Kante – 7/10 – Typical energy kept France in control of the midfield battle. Still clearly capable of playing at the highest level.

LM: Adrien Rabiot – 6/10 – His decision to pass to Griezmann will divide opinion. Whether he should have done it or not, the pass itself was not good enough.

AM: Antoine Griezmann – 6/10 – Buzzed around with great energy to try and link things up, but seemed to be lacking somewhat in the final third. Had several great chances to open the scoring but couldn’t find his feet.

ST: Marcus Thuram – 5/10 – A handful of decent runs but Thuram found it hard to make a noticeable impact on this game.

Substitutes

SUB: Kingsley Coman (75′ for Dembele) – 6/10

SUB: Olivier Giroud (75′ for Thuram) – 6/10

Subs not used: Alphonse Areola (GK), Brice Samba (GK), Benjamin Pavard, Ferland Mendy, Ibrahima Konate, Jonathan Clauss, Eduardo Camavinga, Warren Zaire-Emery, Youssouf Fofana, Bradley Barcola, Kylian Mbappe, Randal Kolo Muani

Manager

Didier Deschamps – 5/10 – France did have the chances to win this, and they were just about the better side, but this was far from convincing. The plan without Mbappe clearly needs a little work.

Player of the match – N’Golo Kante (France)

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