Seems like the world Cup champions curse has already landed in France. Coach Didier Deschamps admits France football failed to perform after defeat to Holland left them in danger of failing to qualify for the Nations League finals.
A draw in Rotterdam would have ensured top spot in Group A1 for the world champions but they were outplayed by the dominant Dutch and slipped to a 2-0 loss.
Les Bleus must now hope Germany – who were relegated to League B by Friday’s result – beat Holland in Gelsenkirchen on Monday.
Coach Deschamps said he shared responsibility with his players for the disappointing display and surprise setback.“There was a team in front of us with a lot of envy and we were not good enough,” he said. “In the aggressiveness, there was no picture tonight and it’s logical that this team from the Netherlands wins this match.
“And I do not exclude myself from this analysis.”
France were without injured Manchester United duo Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial at De Kuip.
They were on the back foot for most of the match and fell behind to a Georginio Wijnaldum strike in the 44th minute, before an injury-time penalty from Memphis Depay sealed the hosts’ victory.
Deschamps, whose saw his side’s 15-match unbeaten run ended, added: “We’re not going to take refuge behind absences, the high level has requirements and we did not meet them. We had too much technical waste.”
France had not lost to Holland since a 4-1 defeat in the group stages of Euro 2008. They would have been beaten by a bigger margin had it not been for a string of saves from goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Captain Lloris says France must now cross their fingers for a favour from Germany during the final group fixture.
“The opponent was very strong. For our part, we did not meet the requirements of the highest level,” Lloris said. “We played below our potential and we paid for it. The score could have been more flattering for the Netherlands.
“We must challenge ourselves after this defeat and hope for a victory for Germany.”