Majestic Antoine Griezmann takes France team into World Cup semifinals
Majestic Antoine Griezmann: One of the key questions facing England coming into the FIFA 2022 World Cup quarter-final with France is how to slow down Kylian Mbappe. Gareth Southgate’s men found an answer to the determined poser but failed to account for Antoine Griezmann’s brilliance in the 2-1 French win as he became his nation’s all-time top assist provider with 28.
The direct threat of Mbappe’s searing pace has nothing to do with the Atletico Madrid man’s creative genius and his ability to complement Olivier Giroud. Griezmann tied both Aurelien Tchoumeni and the AC Milan target man at the Al Beit Stadium to almost single-handedly put Les Bleus through to next week’s semi-final against Morocco.
However, it wasn’t just the 31-year-old’s creativity that came to the fore against the Englishman – this was a more complete version of Griezmann, with a more assertive streak than ever before. He pulled the strings going forward and boasted 100% first-half pass completion but was physically involved when the midfield began to overrun, which helped turn the tide.
There was something about Griezmann’s approach to Atleti coach Diego Simeone’s game, where he gave his England counterparts a physical battle, that many did not expect from such a diminutive man. Since Didier Deschamps’ arrival in Qatar, his no. Working with 7 and it paid off here and will be key again in the Morocco clash.
Griezmann’s recent playmaking clinic, a continuation of the building form we’ve seen from him since the tournament began, has already paved the way for the French to clear chances to get out of the group stage. He may not rack up the assists, but he is often the architect of Les Bleus’ best openings, with someone else taking direct credit.
In many ways, it was a throwback to 2018, with Griezmann more directly involved in both goals, tying Tchoumeni the way Paul Pogba had previously done. However, perhaps most notable from that Russian success was the understanding between Giroud and Griezmann, which enabled the latter to create a chance that the veteran knew he could take.
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