World Cup 2022, France-Poland 3-1: Les Bleus in the quarterfinals

At the Thumama Stadium in Doha Giroud opens the dance, then Mbappé closes the accounts with a super brace. Lewa also scored from the penalty spot in recovery

To the World Cup 2022 test of strength France in the first challenge from inside or outside. In the round of 16 the team of Deschamps beat Poland 3-1 And take off the pass for the quarterfinalswhere he will face the winner of England-Senegal. At the Thumama Stadium in Doha he thinks about it Giroud to unlock the match at the end of the first half by making perfect use of an assist with the rev counter by Mbappethen in the second half the PSG phenomenon closed the accounts by signing a splendid double. In recovery Lewandowski shortens on penalty.

All easy for France. After the bitter painless interlude with Tunisia, in the first knockout match Deschamps’ battleship once again raises the level, sinks Poland and prepares to face the quarterfinals in the best possible way, immediately recovering play, goals and confidence. At the Thumama Stadium, Mbappé & co. they do not give a chance to Lewa and his companions, transforming the technical and competitive differences between France and Poland into an unbridgeable gap in terms of results. Numbers in hand, for “Galletti” there are three goals on the scoresheet, but Les Bleus realize much less than they create and always give the feeling of managing everything calmly, coldly and with quality. Apart from about ten minutes before Giroud’s goal, moreover, with Poland on the pitch the French are the masters, confirming the chevrons of the favorites for the final victory together with Brazil and Argentina.

Compared to the match against Tunisia, against Poland Deschamps lines up all the front lines and once again relies on Dembelé, Griezmann and Mbappé behind Giroud. Choices to which Michniewcicz responds by leaving Milik on the bench, thickening the midfielder and placing Zielinski in tow of Lewandowski to try to contain France and strike on the restart. As expected, at the start it was Deschamps’ formation that took possession and the match in hand, but with the spaces clogged, the French maneuver did not break through. A header from Varane following the development of a corner went wide, then the Polish defense blocked an attempt from Dembelé and Szczesny opposed a bolide from Tchouameni and another left foot from Dembelé. With France under pressure, the match is played almost entirely in the Polish half for the first twenty minutes, then Michniewicz’s men slowly gain meters and try to play it by doubling on the carriers, raising the pressure and increasing the laps in the median. On the one hand, a shot by Lewandowski went wide and the Lloris-Varane duo saved the result on a double attempt by Zielinski. On the other hand, Giroud got it all wrong on a cross from Dembelé, then made up for it by sending a delicious assist from Mbappé behind Szczesny. Flash that blows up the bank, unlocks the match and sends France into the locker room ahead.

The second half began without changes and with Poland trying to immediately raise the center of gravity by playing man against man across the board. An attitude that gives more vivacity and drive to Michniewicz’s manoeuvre, but which also gives more space to Les Bleus’ technique and counterattacks. Szczesny stops a free-kick from Griezmann, then Glik and his teammates defuse a couple of dangerous incursions on the wingers. To give more weight to the attack and dynamism, Michniewicz threw Milik, Zalewski and Bielik into the fray, but it was still France who managed the match and created the best chances. Giroud came close to the big target from a cross from Koundé, then Mbappé doubled his lead, making a great restart from Dembelé with a relentless right foot. A blow that secures the result and transforms the rest of the match into a formality for the reigning world champions. In the final, in fact, there was only room for a few more changes, for Mbappé’s splendid brace and also for a penalty from Lewandowski that shortened the distance just before the triple whistle. France wins, convinces and flies high.

France (4-2-3-1):
Loris 7; Koundé 6.5 (47′ st Disasi sv), Varane 6, Upamecano 6, T.Hernandez 6; Tchouameni 6 (21′ st Fofana 6), Rabiot 6.5; Dembelé 6.5 (31′ st Coman 6), Griezmann 7, Mbappé 7.5; Giroud 7 (31′ St Thuram 6).
Available: Mandanda, Areola, Pavard, Guendouzi, Kolo Muani, Veretout, Saliba, Konate, Camavinga. All.: deschamps 7
Poland (4-1-4-1): Szczesny 6,5; Cash 6.5, Glik 5.5, Kiwior 5 (39′ st Bednarek sv), Bereszynski 5.5; Krychowiak 6 (30′ st Bielik 5.5); Frankowski 6 (39′ st Grosicki sv), Szymanski 5.5 (19′ st Milik 5.5), Zielinski 5.5, Kaminski 6 (30′ st Zalewski 5.5); Lewandowski 6.
Available: Skorupski, Grabara, Jedrzejczyk, Wieteska, Szymanski, Swiderski, Zurkowski, Piatek, Gumny, Skoras. All.: Michniewicz 5.5
Referee: Jesus Valenzuela Saez
Scorers: 44′ Giroud (F), 30′ st Mbappé (F), 46′ st Mbappé (F), 54′ st pen. Lewandowski
Ammonites: Tchouameni (F); Bereszynski, Cash (P)
Note: recovery 2′ + 9′

– France are the only team ever to appear in the quarter-finals in the last three World Cups (2014, 2018, 2022) – Brazil can also reach this milestone.
– Kylian Mbappé is the first player in history to score 9 goals at the World Cup before his 24th birthday.
– Kylian Mbappé has been actively involved in seven goals in this World Cup (five goals and two assists), three more than the four total (four goals) at his previous 2018 World Cup.
– Kylian Mbappé is only the second French player to score at least five goals in one World Cup edition, after Just Fontaine in 1958 (13).
– Since the introduction of the round of 16 at the 1986 World Cup, France have qualified for the knockout stage on six occasions and progressed to the quarter-finals all six times (1986, 1998, 2006, 2014, 2018 , 2022).
– Mbappé is the first player in France’s history to score at least four goals in two different World Cups – the third player overall this century after Thomas Muller and Miroslav Klose.
– At 23 years and 349 days, Kylian Mbappé is the youngest player to score five goals in the knockout stages of a World Cup since Pelé in 1958 (17 years, 249 days).
– Olivier Giroud – with 52 goals new top scorer in the history of France – at 36 years and 2 months, he is the oldest scorer in the knockout phase of a World Cup since Roger Milla, who scored twice against Colombia at the age aged 38 in 1990.
– Giroud is only the 10th player in the history of France able to score at least three goals in the same edition of a World Cup (Mbappé, Griezmann, Benzema, Zidane, Henry, Giresse, Piantoni, Kopa and Fontaine the others).
– This is only the fourth time that France have seen two of their players with at least three goals scored in the same World Cup (2022 Giroud and Mbappé, 2018 Griezmann and Mbappé, 2006 Zidane and Henry, 1958 Piantoni, Kopa and Fontaine).
– France will play in the quarterfinals at the World Cup for the third time in a row after 2014 and 2018 (for the first time in its history three times in a row).
– Hugo Lloris equaled Lilian Thuram today as the most capped player in the history of the French national team (142 caps), and also tied Thierry Henry and Fabien Barthez for the most World Cup appearances for Les Bleus (17).

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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