WC 2022 | Antisèche from France – Morocco (2-0): Their happiness is in pain

The game: Long-winded

Poland. England. But not Morocco. Didier Deschamps was unable to field his eleven-type for the third time in a row. Sick, Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano had to make way for Youssouf Fofana and Ibrahima Konaté. Rabiot even stayed at the hotel to watch his friends, with their 4-3-3 World Cup, dominate the Atlas Lions.

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The Tricolores began to make their task easier by opening the scoring quickly through Théo Hernandez (5th). Romain Saïss had to leave his mates in the 20th minute, Noussair Mazraoui at the break, but Morocco somehow hung on.

After rocking, the Moroccans finished the first period strongly. And generally dominated by the blues, who found themselves in a corner in the heart of a match, who would not have liked to see the man in black take a few more boxes out of his pocket. On arrival they won anyway. But it was strange and annoying to say the least.

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The players: Konaté better than a double, Griezmann crowned number

The Blues suffered against Morocco but were able to count on an ever-present Antoine Griezmann. The Madrilenian delivered another masterclass on Wednesday. Behind, Ibrahima Konaté held the barracks on his broad shoulders. It was more complicated for the trio Kylian Mbappé – Olivier Giroud – Ousmane Dembélé.

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X Factor: El Yamiq’s night

A WC semi-final can be played out on details. She partially decided on a slide from El Yamiq. On an opening by Varane, the Moroccan defender tried to pass in front of Griezmann. His fall opened the way to number 7 and the road to happiness for the Blues. The other goal? A lost ball from him, the one who had been on the verge of equalizing in the first period on a magnificent return.

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The statistics: Four in a row

France had paid to learn. Three times she had broken before the penultimate step, against Brazil (1958) and FRG twice (1982, 1986). Since then, it has been the main road to success: the Blues have won their last four World Cup semi-finals. From Croatia in 1998 to Morocco in 2022.

The statement: Didier Deschamps

“There are emotions, pride. Of course it was still an important march today, which will be a last one. We’ve been together for a month, it’s never easy, but here it is, it’s been blissful so far, and my players are rewarded, as well as the whole squad.”

The question: Were the Blues playing with fire?

In the World Cup, we rarely play at home. We move outside even less often. On Wednesday night, the Blues experienced a rare night at the Al-Bayt stadium. Because it was a half of the World Cup, anyway. Because she was at the heart of an arena won over to the cause of Morocco. And which would only ignite.

The Blues have yet to juggle a lighter and a rag soaked in gasoline. For, having opened the score very early, as all the world advised them, they knew not how to close the debates, which only required it. And then, little by little, Morocco got back on their feet until they frankly threatened a French team whose composure was not obvious.

After the quarter-final against England, Olivier Giroud compared the blue performance to Belgium’s 2018. Wrong. It is unlikely that he will do it again. Because the Blues did not control much in the heart of a match that could have changed if the Moroccans had shown more spontaneity, freshness, even experience.

This famous experience that we get during adventures, especially unusual. The French team had experienced one four years ago. She does it again, four years later. A rare luxury that is not offered to first-timers. On Sunday, against Lionel Messi’s Argentina, she will aim for eternity, immortality, eternity or whatever you want that ends in “é”. We let you choose. We would like to be satisfied with a doubling.

Kylian Mbappé, Randal Kolo Muani and the others celebrate the French team’s second goal against Morocco

Credit: Getty Images

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