France and Scotland faced off in an international friendly on Tuesday evening, with the French thrashing the Scots 4-1 in this battle of two teams who have already qualified for Euro 2024. Both of the Real Madrid players in the current Les Bleus squad, Eduardo Camavinga and Aurélien Tchouaméni, started the match and did so alongside each other in a double pivot. And, despite this being a friendly, the former played all 90 minutes while the latter was on until the 76th tick of the clock.
Camavinga’s inexplicable error
Although this ended up being a comfortable win for France thanks to two headed goals from Benjamin Pavard and a Kylian Mbappé penalty in the first half, before a Kingsley Coman strike in the second half, it was Scotland who scored first, in the 11th minute.
Billy Gilmour produced a cool finish to score the first ever goal of his career, after he was assisted by Camavinga. Yes, you read that right. The Real Madrid man played the most inexplicable of back passes right towards the Scotsman, who punished the mistake to temporarily shock the French side.
France bounce back
Only Camavinga himself will know what he was trying to do, if there was any purpose to his back pass at all, but he and France bounced back well. That error was one of just six misplaced passes for Camavinga all night, as he completed 40 out of 46, including three of five long balls. That certainly wasn’t bad, on a Decathlon Arena pitch that was far from ideal after having hosted Rugby World Cup matches.
Playing in the double pivot, Camavinga was his usual self in terms of winning back possession, winning nine of his 11 ground duels and producing a couple of unexplainable moments in a positive sense, as the ball seemed to magnetically follow him out of the tackle.
Tchouaméni, meanwhile, had far less work to do in defence, as his club teammate was mopping up everywhere. He was looking towards attack, and played a great chipped ball that Ousmane Dembélé couldn’t make the most of as well as stinging Liam Kelly’s palms at one point with a fierce long-range strike.
It ultimately turned out to be a good night for the two Real Madrid France internationals, although Carlo Ancelotti would surely have preferred them to have played fewer than a combined 166 minutes.