The “Boys in Green” are clearly beaten in Paris by a top French team

And unlike previous visits to Paris, there was no losing streak from the Irish camp as they were outplayed and outplayed over a tough 90-minute period.

France were limited to “just” two goals in a game they had effectively won three minutes into the second half, preventing further goals due to a combination of poor finishing, woodwork and also a fine save from Gavin Bazunu, the Aurélien Tchouaméni parried a specific target.

Stephen Kenny likes to claim that his team “deserved” at least a draw after a couple of defeats against the lies of France and Portugal, but here a truly superior France deserved more than a 2-0 win, which on paper looks respectable for Ireland However, he fails to mention the sheer gap in performance levels between the two groups of players.

France’s Olivier Giroud and Ireland’s Shane Duffy battle for the ball during the UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifying Group B match at the Parc des Princes, Paris

And Ireland clearly hadn’t learned from their past mistakes, as the manner in which they conceded – first a shot from distance, then another straight after half-time – was almost inevitable and certainly predictable. Knowing your story is enough to make your heart say “No, not again.”

Despite this great start to the season – four wins, four goals conceded before Ireland’s visit to Paris – the French had to work hard at times and remained goalless at half-time in their away games against Ireland and at home against Greece.

But given the amount of possession and the pressure they put on Ireland from the start, an early goal was inevitable as Ireland are simply not strong enough to withstand the French superiority, and also the manner of the goal, a long-range shot , was inevitable.

Kenny seemed annoyed – in a polite way – when a French journalist asked him at his pre-match press conference why Ireland were conceding so many goals from distance. Kenny insisted this had been the case, but it had only happened once recently (France at home).

Well, it happened in the second leg when Tchouameni’s goal beat Gavin Bazunu, but substitute Marcus Thuram’s second goal was very avoidable and after the 48th minute it was just a matter of how many goals would score.

France had already harassed Ireland before they scored, playing with the visitors in a way that was far from arrogant, but simply expressed the difference in class. Almost everything France did resulted in an attack on the Irish goal, or at least something that made Bazunu and the players in front of him nervous.

Nothing Ireland did caused Mike Maignan any pain in the French goal. He won his ninth cap but certainly the easiest 90 minutes of his international career, apart from a save early in the second half when Chiedozie Ohabene should have scored.

France’s Marcus Thuram (left) and Ireland’s John Egan fight for the ball during the Euro 2024 qualifying Group B match at the Parc des Princes in Paris

It was Antoine Griezmann who tormented Ireland in Dublin with a stunning midfield performance more impressive than his more famous teammate Kylian Mbappé, and while Adrien Rabiot was a standout here in Paris, Griezmann received a deserved standing ovation upon his exit, a player of true world class to see.

France had attempts from Mbappé, Rabiot and Griezmann before Tchouameni scored. France were on alert when a free kick from Nathan Collins found Mpappé on the edge of the penalty area, his second goal in 26 international matches after just 19 minutes.

France’s plans were then thwarted when striker Olivier Giroud got the worst of it in a challenge with John Egan and had to be substituted. Marcus Thuram brought in the veteran. A goal down against Ireland seemed prone to more pain and a half-time substitution was necessary. James McClean came on for the tired Enda Stevens but it took the French just three minutes to give Ireland the lead. From their point of view it was a brilliant move, straight from the training ground, as the outstanding Griezmann played the ball wide to Theo Hernandez, his cross landed at the feet of Mbappé and John Egan was able to block the shot, having been substituted by Thuram for his first International goal way too much space and time to turn and shoot.

Josh Cullen and Jayson Molumby were forced out of a midfield that was in French hands, so a long ball over the top was Ireland’s most likely route to joy, which was the case in the 52nd minute, where Idah’s patience and persistence paid off Cross that landed well for Ogbene but his header from close range lacked power and conviction.

Anyone who expected Ireland to draw confidence from this brief moment of joy would be disappointed, as France controlled the rest of the game with a firm hand. Tchouameni forced an excellent save from Bazunu in the 66th minute, local hero Ousmane Dembélé hit the post in the 77th minute, while the outstanding Theo Hernandez’s stoppage-time cross earned more of the final score than Thuram’s weak header that would have scored meant to be .

The final minutes were a mess for Ireland. Will Keane came on for Idah and was then forced off, Aaron Connolly came on as a substitute. The only relief after France’s attack was a free kick from McClean Shane Duffy headed the game over, but there was no looking back for Ireland, either in the tie or in the group, a group of death for Ireland’s hopes.

France: Maignan; Koundé (Pavard 88), Upamecano, L Hernandez (Saliba 73), T Hernandez; Griezmann (Camavinga 88), Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembélé (73rd Coman), Giroud (25th Thuram), Mbappé.

Ireland: Bazunu; Egan, Duffy, Collins; Browne, Cullen, Molumby (O’Shea 66), Stevens (McClean 46); Knight, Ogbene (Ebosele 83); Idah (Keane 66, Connolly 77).

Referee: Urs Schnyder (Switzerland). The “Boys in Green” are clearly beaten in Paris by a top French team

Snopx is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button