After being ignored, Anthony Martial actually became France’s savior against Ukraine

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“If it weren’t for Martial, France would have suffered their first defeat since November 11, 2020.”

1NEWS – Failing to enter the French squad in two consecutive major tournaments, namely the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020, did not make Anthony Martial lose touch with the national team. The Manchester United player actually became the savior of Les Bleus from defeat when they traveled to Ukraine, Sunday (5/9/2021) early morning WIB.

Martial underwent a senior France call-up on 26 August 2015. At that time, Didier Deschamps called up the forward for friendlies against Portugal and Serbia the following month.

He made his debut on 4 September 2015 at the Estadio Jose Alvalade, Lisbon, coming on for the substitute Karim Benzema for the last 16 minutes of a 1–0 win. Then, on 11 October 2015, Martial made his first start for Les Bleus in a 2–1 win against Denmark at Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, and assisted Olivier Giroud’s opener.

Due to his performances in the 2015/2016 season with Manchester United, Martial earned a place in France’s 23-man squad for Euro 2016. At that time, France were runners-up in the tournament after being beaten by Portugal.

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Then, Martial returned to the French squad in several international matches. However, on 17 May 2018, Martial was only included in the standby list for the 23-man French squad at the 2018 World Cup. However, he was not included in the final squad. At the tournament in Russia, Les Bleus became world champions for the second time.

After missing Euro 2020, Martial returned to the French squad for the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers. When France traveled to NSC Olimpiyskiy, Kiev, Deschamps played Martial from the first minute.

Unfortunately, France actually suffered a goal before the end of the first half. Kurt Zouma’s clearance was controlled by Mykola Shaparenko, then finished with a long-range shot into the top right corner. France hit back in the 50th minute. Coman’s cross from the right was headed by Adrien Rabiot at Martial and finished into the bottom right corner of the net.

Despite being a hero and scoring the first goal for France in five years, Martial could not rejoice. The reason, as a team, France is far from the standard. Evidently, this is the fifth draw for Les Bleus in a row.

Previously, they were also held to a 1-1 draw with Bosnia-Herzegovina. Then, in the last three matches of Euro 2020, France also drew with Hungary (1-1), Portugal (2-2), and Switzerland (3-3). Against Switzerland, France had to be eliminated in the round of 16 through a 4-5 defeat on penalties.

(andri ananto/you)

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