Already qualified for the ‘Final 4’, France, reigning world champions, closed their participation in the group stage of the Nations League with a 4-2 victory against Sweden that allows the ‘Bleus’ to finish undefeated in the group A3.
Viktor Claesson put the Swedes ahead as soon as the game started (4), but before the break the French had already turned the score around with goals from Olivier Giroud (16) and Benjamin Pavard (36).
Giroud again scored again in the second period (59) and the Swedes cut to two minutes to go, through Robin Quaison (88), although in discount Kingsley Coman scored the final 4-2 (90 + 5) .
With this defeat, Sweden finished last in group A4 and dropped to League B, having a worse goal difference than Croatia, both with three points, after the Balkans lost 3-2 against Portugal in the other match of the key. .
With qualification in their pockets, achieved last Saturday after beating Portugal in Lisbon (1-0), the reigning world champions wanted to end the group stage of the Nations League with a new victory, although there were no spectators in the Stade de France.
“In March we will have three qualifying games for the World Cup in nine days, so it is always good to see how the players are doing (…) There are young people who are coming in little by little and veterans who are always there, like Giroud,” he said. after the game the French coach, Didier Deschamps.
Regarding the great offensive capacity of the ‘Bleus’, the coach admitted having “different options, but above all some world-class players with great commitment.”
The Swedes opened the scoring in a play in which the locals were not very lucky, first because Paul Pogba failed to reject a cross from the right and then because Claesson’s shot touched Raphaël Varane and deceived Hugo Lloris (4) .
The ‘Bleus’ reacted quickly and after a first chance by Giroud, with a header rejected by Robin Olsen, the Chelsea center forward equalized after hitting a cross from the left by Marcus Thuram (16) to the net.
– The Swedes go down to League B –
Twenty minutes later, after a good play from Thuram, the rejection of a defender fell to the right flank of the area, where Pavard connected a cross volley to overcome Olsen (36) again.
The French had even another chance before the break to extend the score, but Olsen managed to extract a poisoned shot from Adrien Rabiot (39) with his fingertips.
In the second half, with Kilian Mbappé already on the court once he recovered from his physical problems, Didier Deschamps’ men sentenced with a center from the Paris SG forward who headed Giroud (59).
Robin Quaison cut differences to two minutes to go 88), but Kingsley Coman pointed the Nordics in the discount, scoring the final 4-2.
mcd / dr