Inside Europe: Benjamin Pavard was catastrophic in France's disastrous draw with Hungary at Euro 2020
France surprisingly drew 1-1 with Hungary in Group F at Euro 2020 on Saturday which has sparked a negative reaction in the French media with the World Cup winners expected to easily win the game. France, still sitting top of the group on four points, face Portugal in their final group game on Wednesday night.
In the latest edition of Inside Europe, Eurosport's series that brings you all the latest goings-on across the continent, we turn our eyes towards France.
After tournament favourites France beat Germany 1-0 in their opening group game to get their European Championships off to the perfect start, Didier Deschamps' side drew 1-1 with Hungary on Saturday evening.
Eurosport France's Maxime Dupuis believes Benjamin Pavard had a disastrous match and thinks changes will be made to France's starting lineup when they face Portugal.
What has the reaction been in France? Is it being seen as a blip or a total disaster?
It's a bit of a disaster because we were stunned by how France approached the game.
But yesterday, in the end, France found themselves in a position that suits them least: they had to force the game. That's more complicated with this team. Nevertheless, there was no excuse and they had to win.
With greater efficiency in the first half, they should have won it. But the result is obviously more than disappointing.
France's coach Didier Deschamps greets France's forward Kylian Mbappe after the UEFA EURO 2020 Group F football match between Hungary and France at Puskas Arena in Budapest on June 19, 2021.
Image credit: Getty Images
What do you think was the main problem for France against Hungary? Was it Pavard or the inability to score? Or something else!
Both of them! Benjamin Pavard was catastrophic and that didn't help the French. France's lack of efficiency was also catastrophic but, beyond that, it was the lack of imagination and drive that stood out.
It was extremely hot conditions and that has to be taken into account, but it is absolutely not an excuse.
France, the world champions, must be better. Paul Pogba and Adrien Rabiot, too, have seemingly gone down a few levels.
Deschamps hinted at changes for the Portugal game, what changes are you expecting to see?
Lucas Hernandez will definitely be back. Pavard is now under threat but the worry is that the others right back may not be as safe as Lucas Digne on the left. Jules Koundé is new, Leo Dubois is raw.
In midfield, Corentin Tolisso could enter in place of Rabiot. In attack, Deschamps said that he maintained his trust in Karim Benzema. But it would not be surprising if Olivier Giroud gets more game time against the Portuguese. It is worth noting that Les Bleus could be qualified before kick-off (best third place at least).
It would be a shame to finish so low but, at the margin, it could influence Deschamps on one or two choices.
Do you think there is a problem with Benzema? Or should he still be starting?
Yes and no. He was out for five years, he's back. He should have scored yesterday, for sure. He didn't. But Deschamps doesn't want to throw him under the bus. But it's also safe to say that he has to score or at least play well against Portugal… The problem is also with the two other guys.
Yesterday, Antoine Griezmann stayed on the right side for a long time and they have to learn to play with each other.
Griezmann parle à Pogba durant Hongrie - France
Image credit: Getty Images
Patrick Vieira said that France still don't fear anyone, do you agree?
Very French! But I agree. This is a team with confidence, because what they did at the World Cup. I'm not worried and, to be honest, the fear is still coming from the opposition for the moment.
France could now play feasibly play England, are you scared of facing Southgate's team?
It's a possibility. Scared, it's not the word. In a way, it would look like in 2018 when they had to face Argentina in the round of 16.
It was a blessing in disguise for them. A big team, a huge atmosphere in Kazan to launch their tournament.