France ride their luck to deliver masterclass against brave Croatia
Twenty years on from their greatest generation of players, France could be set to dominate world football once more. A second half masterclass from Les Blues blew Croatia out of the water and delivered a second World Cup final win.
It was a victory though which came with more than a hint of luck. In a first half display, the French were second best. Croatia played some lovely stuff and can rightly feel aggrieved by both goals conceded in the first forty-five.
The underdogs more than played their part against France today. Showcasing their neat, clever movement and passing. Croatia will be proud but left to feel deflated as their ageing side will be unlikely to repeat these efforts at another tournament.
The French have been excellent throughout their passage in Russia. Capable of tight, reargard displays as well as deadly attacking performances, Deschamps’ young side are poised to go on and dominate in a similar manner to Spain’s great side.
They showed the many sides to their gane today. Able to dig in, they rode multiple, aggressive waves of Croatian attacks. Verane and Hernandez in particular looked composed for the French.
They were lucky though. A soft free kick after a blatant dive from Griezmann was turned in by a Croatian head for their first. Peresic smashed home a deserved equaliser before the second dose of Frech fortune. This one a tad bigger than the first.
Following a French corner the Argentine referee signalled for a VAR review after the ball struck the hand of Ivan Peresic. After lengthy deliberation, the ref pointed to the spot in what was neither a clear or obvious incident.
This brace of luck ultimately took the sting out of a dominant first half for Croatia. Goals shift momentum in games, and suddenly it was France with their tails up.
Turning it up
The second have spell by Frence was terrific attacking, confident football at it’s best. Pogba and Mbappe upped the ante and showed their class with beautifully taken goals to crush Croatian hopes.
The ball was fizzed around at real pace, pulling the Croatian backline apart as Vida and Lovren looked lost at times during the spell.
Mbappe is now the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since none other than Pele back in 1958. The forward looks a class act and could carry this team for years to come.
A howler from Hugo Lloris allowed Mandzukic a tap in with twenty minutes still to play. It gave Croatia a sudden injection of belief after their heads had understandably dropped.
For a brief few minutes it looked as though there may be have been something on the cards. Croatia pressed but the French sensibly dropped a few yards and went direct.
Ultimately they were more than capable of seeing the game out with a two goal advantage. Their celebrations at the end were hugely deserved. Their bold football has been a real highlight of an excellent World Cup.
The French are right to be excited by this young side. At this current moment, Spain, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands are in flux and trying to rediscover their best form. Belgium and England have done well, but neither looked capable of matching Deschamps’ men.
France are now purring. The new World Champions are primed, ready and capable to use Russia 2018 as their base for global domination.