Written by David Robinson
Euro 2016 kicked off in France yesterday with the host nation facing a Romanian side who were determined to halt one of the heavy favourites to win the tournament, in the opening game. A competitive game ended in a 2-1 win for Didier Deschamps men with Dimitri Payet scoring a spectacular winner in the 89th minute. I look at 3 things we learnt from the game
- Romania are no mugs
I was very impressed with Romania. Their organisation and assertiveness in the tackle made them hard to break down. However their display had a bit of everything and they had the best chance in the game in the 4th minute where Stancu somehow hit a shot from just a matter of yards straight at Lloris. You did feel that would have been a key point in the game with Romania likely to find goals hard to come by. In terms of stifling a top nation on the opening game it was a great impression to make but you feel that despite their team qualities they will lack the cutting edge to get the points needed to qualify.
credit Xavier NALTCHAYAN
2. Premier League stars shone
Two of the best Premier League signings of the season carried over their red hot form into the French National team. Payet has been a joy to watch with his creativity and scintillating technique on show again here. He put in a man of the match display and of course scored an incredible winning goal showing that he could be key for France this summer. Kante put in a typical display being effective in the middle of the park. He suits this team as more talented technical players ahead of him are used to create while he also has a key role in breaking up the play and keeping it simple, which he did well throughout the majority of the game.
3. Underwhelming France
The reality of the game is Payet got the nation off the hook with his late goal in what was an unconvincing performance. The team struggled to get a real firm grip of the game for large periods throughout the match. This possibly highlight that France can be exploited particularly with Evra a weakness defensively at left back. Despite this slow start in terms of performance the result is all that matters. Now that France have the first game out the way you would expect them to push on and improve which could potentially highlight how important Payet’s goal was.
How far do you see both sides going in the tournament? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Xavier NALTCHAYAN