As we reach the halfway point of this most silly international break, we finally get a few games in Europe that mean more than absolutely nothing. Still not much, to be sure, but at least something, especially to the players themselves who obviously have the great honor of representing their countries.
Plus, any time N’Golo Kanté dominates a game and even scores a goal, an angel gets its wings, and who am I deny any angel any wings, let alone ones gifted by NG.
N'Golo Kanté's game by numbers for France vs. Portugal:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 14, 2020
100% aerials won
88% passing accuracy
5 tackles won (most)
4 interceptions (most)
2 take-ons completed (=most)
1 chance created
A match-winning performance. ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/KLq6jlFjUm
Kanté’s goal was in fact the only goal scored as France took on Portugal in Lisbon. Take that, Cristiano Ronaldo! With the win, France have reached the “final four” of the Nations League, whatever that means. Olivier Giroud made an appearance off the bench; Kurt Zouma did not.
Kanté’s goal, his first for France in over four years, was certainly unexpected. Goals from Timo Werner are certainly not, and he contributed with a couple of them to Germany’s 3-1 win over Ukraine, which put Die Mannschaft top of their Nations League group as well (with Spain only drawing 1-1 with Switzerland at the same time).
Both of Werner’s goals were simple finishes set up by excellent crosses from the right channel, the first by Leon “Hulk” Goretzka, the second by Matthias “now I’m a right back” Ginter. Antonio Rüdiger played once again for Germany as well, completing the full 90 minutes as part of a back-three.
Elsewhere, Mateo Kovačić and Croatia lost to Sweden, 2-1.