France continued their winning streak in Euro 2024 qualifying with a 2-0 win over Ireland with a victory which included a rocket from outside the box from Aurélien Tchouameni to give the team the lead on 19 minutes.
The holding midfielder started alongside Adrien Rabiot in a position that most in France had expected to be occupied by Eduardo Camavinga, but Didier Deschamps favoured Tchouameni in the role from the off.
His first real highlight came with his goal, as shown below, with a strike from distance which found the side netting and left Gavin Bazunu with no chance in goal for Ireland. It came from an effort worth just 0.02 on the xG scales, showing the power of his traction engine right foot.
The impressive finish was his second goal for France in 25 appearances, adding to a strike against England in the 2022 World Cup quarter-final. Later on, Inter forward Marcus Thuram scored an early second-half strike, who pounced on a loose ball in the box to double the French team’s lead.
Tchouameni’s midfield presence
Beyond just his goal, Tchouameni was France’s star man at the Parc des Princes. He recorded a total of 102 completed passes, 22 more than anybody else on the field and only six fewer than Ireland’s starting midfield three combined.
That included a 96% pass completion rate, creating two chances in the process, though his team-mates were unable to finish them. 11 passes were into the final third, including two of his three attempted long balls, while losing possession only once.
Defensively he was also assured, recording another match high with two successful tackles and 10 recoveries. He was the destructor in the middle of the park, winning half of his ground duels but operating even more effectively with his reading of the game.
That was added to his goal, alongside another two shots, one of which was blocked, and another late on from a similar position to his goal which tested Bazunu again. The combination produced a strong performance from the midfielder, who maintains his impressive form early on in the 2023/24 campaign.
Camavinga started on the bench
Even so, it still gave him time to record 14 completed passes from 15 attempts and to complete one dribble. His lively impact is likely to put him in contention for the remaining game of this international break.
The result makes it five wins from five for France, who were knocked out by Switzerland in the last 16 in Euro 2020. They are top of their group and edging closer to qualification with a nine-point lead over The Netherlands, albeit with an additional two games played, after the Dutch side beat Greece 3-0 on Thursday night.
Next up for Didier Deschamps’ side is a friendly against Germany on Tuesday, with Camavinga and Tchouameni taking on Antonio Rüdiger at the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund.