In Group A1, the previously victorious world champion France won 2-0 (0-0) against Austria around team boss Ralf Rangnick in St. Denis on Thursday and can hope to remain in the A-League after the first win of the season.
Looking at the blatant superiority of the French, one could have already stated at half-time: Austria leads 0-0 at the break. Kylian Mbappe couldn’t get the Austrians under control at all, the PSG attacker whirled as and where he wanted. Patrick Pentz prevented the 0:1 with two super saves – after a Benoît Badiashile overhead kick and a follow-up shot by Antoine Griezmann.
“I dare the thesis that if Mbappe had played with us, the game would have ended differently, but unfortunately we don’t have Mbappe,” said ÖFB team boss Ralf Rangnick after the final whistle. An analysis that probably falls short. In almost no phases could Austria could keep up with their opponent’s power and enthusiasm that evening, which was mainly due to the French themselves.
Above all, Mbappe fooled his opponents in rows and scored in the second round after a great solo to the long-deserved 1-0. Olivier Giroud added the second goal with a powerful header, then the fair was read.
Rangnick: “Could have defended with more physicality”
“It was also due to the way we played ourselves. Of course we could have defended and attacked with a little more physicality in one situation or another,” Rangnick said angrily. “But it wasn’t that easy. The opponent played with a back three and relatively high wing-backs. So actually getting early access wasn’t that easy for us.”
Rangnick energetically rejected the fact that some failures with the world champions, such as Paul Pogba, Karim Benzema or Kingsley Coman, represented an advantage for Austria: “Someone actually seriously believed it and asked me whether it would be an advantage if eight or nine players are missing there. If I just look at the substitutes’ bench for France, I think almost everyone here would have a good chance of being in the starting line-up.”
In Group A1, the Equipe Tricolore (five points) now relegated Austria (four points) to last place. The decision about relegation will be made on Sunday (8.45 p.m. / DAZN & ORF) when France travels to Denmark and the Austrians meet vice world champions Croatia.