Portugal vs France (Tactical Report)

Moussa Sissoko was France’s best performer on the night as his driving runs from the midfield troubled the Portuguese defence. But the game was panning out exactly the way Portugal wanted, it was being played in the midfield. France couldn’t really break free.

The Euro 2016 final was a rather drab affair, failing to live up to the occasion of the final of a major tournament.

Portugal played a rather defence-minded 4-1-3-2 with Pepe and William Carvalho returning to the line-up. France stuck with the 4-2-3-1 and the same personnel as the semi-final.

France started on the front foot and should have taken one of the many opportunities it had with Griezmann going close and Rui Patricio making a couple of decent saves. Portugal’s star man and only attacking threat, Cristiano Ronaldo, was injured early in the game and had to be brought off, which made Portugal recede further.

Moussa Sissoko was France’s best performer on the night as his driving runs from the midfield troubled the Portuguese defence. But the game was panning out exactly the way Portugal wanted, it was being played in the midfield. France couldn’t really break free.

This could be judged by the fact that most passes in the game were exchanged between the French central defenders, Koscielny and Umtiti (32), followed by Umtiti and Pogba. Pogba was particularly disappointing for the host as there were none of his trademark runs or crossing, but you can’t blame him for that as he was playing as a holding midfielder instead of a more central player. Playing Kante could have given him more freedom to go forward. Most of his passes were backwards or sideways, and his long balls failed to find the target.

Payet was another disappointment as his crossing was off, and he wasn’t allowed to cut-in and shoot, something he did successfully throughout the tournament.

For Portugal, Ricardo Quaresma who had replaced Ronaldo had a good impact on the game and was the main creator for the team. His passes were more often finding the intended target.

The game went to extra-time, where Eder, a striker nobody knew much about, scored with a wonderful 25-yard effort to crush France’s dream of winning the championship in front of its home fans.

Portugal lifted the trophy and the only game it won in 90 minutes was against Wales in the semi-finals.