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PLAYER RATINGS: Portugal 0-1 France: How the French fared

Get French Football News assesses Les Bleus’ individual performances against Portugal this evening in a friendly match, which the French edged 0-1.

Hugo Lloris – 6

Lloris did not have single save of note to make tonight, but his distribution from goal-kicks and throw-outs were poor, with France’s attack not done any favours by their captain.

Patrice Evra – 5.5

Patrice Evra struggled to contend with the trickery and pace of Nani, even if the latter’s end product was insufficient. Defensively, he was arguably France’s weakest link and the Juventus man was not assured enough on the ball going forward. He did however display certain moments of defensive prowess with a few key interceptions in the closing minutes of the encounter.

Laurent Koscielny – 7

He had little to do, with Eder being outmuscled mainly on the night by Varane, but the Arsenal man’s interception play was fantastic as usual. His route to such consistency has been long, but it has been certainly impressive in the more recent years of his career, as it was tonight.

Raphael Varane – 8

Varane was imperious tonight, nullifying the threat carried by Eder and carrying out some impressive interventions during dangerous Portuguese set-pieces. His tranquillity with the ball at his feet was again prevalent.

Bacary Sagna – 6.5

Continued his impressive start to the season, linking well with Sissoko and Fékir in the early stages of the second half. Was not impregnable however in defence, with Quaresma and Ronaldo able to put balls in the box from his flank on several occasions.

Yohan Cabaye – 6.5

Fared largely well in that deep-lying, creative midfield role that Deschamps loves to deploy him in. Was combative in thwarting driving Portuguese attacks from the midfield, but his creative side was consistently average, without producing any side-splitting passes over the top. Pogba largely took those responsibilities from him though, Cabaye was not hard-pressed to join the attack.

Paul Pogba – 7.5

The Juventus man had a difficult evening because of the game plan deployed by the Portuguese to rattle the French superstar with nuisance fouls. Pogba still oozed class with a Herculean strength to brush off opponents and a real urge to force the issue in the final third. No moments of magic, or any great penetration of the Portuguese back-line from the midfielder tonight though.

Blaise Matuidi – 8

A wonderful consistency to his game throughout the evening, playing in his usual left-sided central midfield role with PSG. Showed great determination and excellent technical ability to beat players, as well as supplying some good crosses in the first half.

Moussa Sissoko – 7.5

Was the best French outfield player in the first half, beating Portuguese opponent after opponent with smart dribbling and an infectious desire to speed the pace of the play up. Faded in the second half, for no particular reason either.

Karim Benzema – 5

Nothing impressive about the Real Madrid man’s performance tonight. Struggled to beat Pepe, making simple technical slip ups that are not really acceptable at this level. Had one significant chance on goal after being threaded through by Schneiderlin, but the ball got caught in Benzema’s feet. A night to forget.

Nabil Fékir – 6.5

Good early movement off the ball, dragging the Portuguese defence right, but was substituted off early on with a knee injury.

Substitutes:

Antoine Griezmann – 7

After a shaky entrance, Griezmann worked between the Portuguese midfield and defence and was one of the most dangerous outlets for France throughout. Had a great chance towards the end of the first half which he failed to convert.

Morgan Schneiderlin – 7.5

Made a fantastic entrance in the second half, not allowing a single Portuguese central player to evade him without making a crucial interception. His weight of pass was surprisingly superb during patches, but faded as the half wore on. Largely positive for Manchester United’s new man.

Anthony Martial – 6

Offered next to nothing when he came on, with a nutmeg his only memorable moment over the course of his 15 minute France debut. Had little time to make an impact, but from a technical point of view, the signs were discouraging. He displayed good energy though and tried to create space in front of the defence.

Mathieu Valbuena – 7.5

He might have only been on the pitch for 10 minutes, but made an instant impact even before his clinical free-kick goal. He provided an energy which kick-started France into action in the final stages, culminating in the procuration of the free-kick which he then converted.

 

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