What a match. While the much better team won the thrilling match 4-3, it’s a sad farewell to one of the great players of the beautiful game, Leo Messi. Unfortunately, he could not live up to the level of the greatest ever footballer, Diego Maradona. Now my 5 point take of the match:
- From the start, did not like Argentina’s strategy of 4-3-3. I felt that they need to acknowledge that France was a much better team and hence have a strategy that countered their strength of the midfield with 4 midfielders trying to block in the middle of the pitch itself. Also, playing without a genuine striker is a big mistake and they did not have any potency in the attack, both on the ground and aerially. Higuain could have put some pressure up in the final third. Then during the match, I cannot imagine the 3 defenders trying to defend, all in the same line! That’s exactly how France’s first goal came. Of course, credit goes to Mbappe for that pacy run, which just dissected the defense.
- The quality of Mbappe and the control by Pogba, Griezman created the difference. Absolutely impressed with the 19 year old of Mbappe – the control, anticipation, pace, skills – everything is brilliant.
- Leo Messi failed to play the false 9 nor did he play great in the final third. At times, he was nowhere near the action and in the second half looked disinterested as well. Probably he was mentally resigned to the difference in quality between the two teams. His dream will remain unfulfilled and the allegations that he does not perform great for the country will still be discussed after today.
- Two world class goals were seen today. One from Di Maria, which brought back Argentina back into the match. And the other one from Pavard which ensured that France wins this match and control the match from that instance.
- Finally, no Argentine fan can complain that they did not have any luck today. They had plenty of that today with their second goal, Griezman’s freekick hitting Argentina’s cross piece before moving out, etc. Today all needs to acknowledge that Argentina lost to a much better team and it was a good performance by Argentina given the fact that they lost by 3-4 at the end of the day