A substitute, Andreas Cornelius, smacked the world champions and his two goals, the last in the 88th minute, saw Denmark come from behind Karim Benzema’s goal and knocked out France in their temple at the Saint-Denis Stadium (1-2).
On the first day of group 1 of the League of Nations, of which the ‘Bleus’ are current champions, the Nordic team froze Benzema and Kylian Mbappé’s team, who only played the first half due to knee problems.
If Benzema put his men ahead in the 51st minute with a stroke of geniusCornelius responded with two flag goals, in 68 and 88. Denmark, France’s rival in the World Cup in Qatar, broke a streak of seven wins in a row for the Gauls, a real cold shower.
The first proper name of the night was the meeting venue, the Stade de France in Saint-Denis. In its surroundings, the long lines and moments of tension of six days ago, in the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid, did not occur again. This time everything went relatively smoothly.
Started the crash, the protagonism returned to the soccer players. Mbappé and his reunion with Benzema focused attention. They played together again after the ‘pumpkins’ that the PSG striker gave Real Madrid and which, apparently, disgusted Benzema so much.
His connection left occasional flashes in the first period, such as in the assist that Mbappé offered Benzema after fifteen minutes, a goal that was ruled out for offside. With Mbappé’s replacement in the 46th minute, they had no more occasions to show their reconciliation.
Aurélien Tchouaméni, the powerful Monaco midfielder who plucked the daisy between Real Madrid and PSG, impressed with his defensive brilliance. He was everywhere. The coach Didier Deschamps, absent in the State of France due to the death of his father and replaced by Guy Stéphan, must be rubbing his hands for his new pearl in midfield.
And finally, the Danish Christian Eriksen, starter with his team almost a year after suffering a distressing cardiorespiratory arrest in a Denmark-Finland match. The Brentford midfielder, who plays with an implantable automatic defibrillator (ICD), put the touch and pause on his team.
A prolific first term for the reigning Nations League champions, with an impeccably organized Denmark, gave way to a toothy France.
Nkunku’s entry into the intermission by an Mbappé touched in a knee injected new energy. In the 51st minute, the wall that returned Benzema was at the origin of the tremendous goal from the Merengue striker. His diagonal, followed by feints and feints to three defenders, led to the goal that made the bolt jump. An example of delicacy and coldness in front of the goal.
The Danes did not sit idly by. Kasper Hjulmand moved the bench and Cornelius returned the pearl to his rivals, with a brilliant goal in the 68th minute thanks to a first shot from Hojbjerg’s pass. And in minute 71, Lloris took out his fists to a violent shot from left-handed Skov Olsen.
Kanté caressed the 2-1 with a threaded shot from outside the area that crashed into a post. Eriksen, on goal, had his own if he hadn’t run into an inspired Lloris.
But Cornelius ended up as executioner. A gallop in the 88th minute ended with a whiplash that entered the near post of the French goalkeeper. The world champions were left speechless.
– Data sheet:
1 – France: Lloris; Koundé (Diabi, min.92), Varane (William Saliba, min.61), Lucas Hernández; Coman (Clauss, min.92), Kanté, Tchouaméni, Theo Hernández; Griezmann (Adrien Rabiot, min.78), Benzema and Mbappé (Christopher Nkunku, m.46).
2 – Denmark: Schmeichel; Nelsson, Vestergaard (Rasmus Kristensen, min.60) Andersen, Maehle; Delaney (Jensen, min.85), Hojbjerg, Eriksen, Wass (Mikkel Damsgaard, min.60), Skov Olsen (Martin Braithwaite); Dolberg (Andreas Cornelius, min. 59).
Goals: 1-0: M.51, Benzema; 1-1: M.68, Cornelius; 1-2: M.88, Cornelius.
The referee Felix Zwayer (ALE). He booked Nelsson (min.73) for Denmark.
Incidents: League of Nations match played at the Stade de France in Saint Denis before some 75,000 spectators.