Defending champion, Portugal is out of the UEFA Nations League after their defeat last night against France. N’Golo Kante’s 53rd-minute goal sealed the victory of the world champions.
Portugal was playing with a 4-3-3 formation yesterday. France was playing with a 4-3-1-2 formation with Anthony Martial and Kingsley Coman upfront. Anthony Martial has attempted four shots in the first half for France vs. Portugal, more than any player in the pitch but failed to score. In the 53rd minute, N’Golo Kante scored from a simple tap in. Portugal failed to respond to it. Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo is yet to score against France in 6 appearances.
Portugal boss Fernando Santos was disappointed with his team’s performance. He said, “Bad, very bad. It’s difficult for me, it’s difficult for the players too. It’s obviously difficult to take it. And we won’t probably sleep tonight. But even without sleeping, tomorrow we need to focus on Tuesday’s game”
“We have the responsibility to feature in that game and we represent Portugal. The Portuguese fans are used to seeing this team playing well and winning games. Fortunately, we have won many games. I believe tonight was my fourth defeat at the national team since I got here. Therefore, we have to keep our heads high.”
“Obviously it will be difficult tomorrow but we must move on and focus on the game against Croatia. We must go there and play well, as this team is used to doing.”
Portugal will face Croatia on Tuesday in their last game in UEFA Champions League this season.
France boss Didier Deschamps was very happy after the game. After some speculations in the last few days about Paul Pogba’s fitness and form, he started him again. France is unbeaten in the last 20 games [Win-14 & Draw-6] when N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba started together.
After the match, Didier Deschamps said, “Given the quality of the opposition, it’s, of course, one of our best performances of recent times.”
“We deserved the win and we’ve fulfilled our objective of finishing top. I’m very proud of the players. They proved tonight that France is still a great team.”
France will face Sweden in its last game in the UEFA Nations League group stage.