Euro 2020: France loses two vital players ahead of the knockouts

Full-back Lucas Hernandez will not be available for France’s round-of-16 match against Switzerland after suffering a knee injury in their last group stage match against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal. However, Hernandez’ condition is much better compared to his team-mate Lucas Digne, another French left-back who got injured in the same match. As per reports, the Everton defender has been ruled out of the tournament due to the severity of his injury.

France’s performance in Euro 2020 so far

France topped Group F of Euro 2020 after a nerve cracking game against Portugal on Wednesday. Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice in a game which involved three penalties in total. Karim Benzema’s two goals ended the match in a 2-2 draw against Portugal. Cristiano Ronaldo’s two penalties equalled the all-time international goalscoring record and helped Portugal into the last 16 of Euro 2020 with a 2-2 draw against France in Budapest on Wednesday. Ronaldo scored his 109th international goal in total, equalling the men’s record held by Ali Daei of Iran. Leon Goretzka’s goal ensured Germany’s place in the top 3. Hungary’s well fought EURO 2020 journey ended after their game concluded in a 2-2 draw against Germany.

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Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring his second goal vs Portugal

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Fernando Santos’ squad secured the third position in the Group. Portugal will face world’s top ranked side Belgium in the Round of 16 knockout stage in Seville on Sunday. France will face Switzerland on Tuesday in Bucharest. Didier Deschamps has concerns over the fitness of defensive duo Lucas Digne & Lucas Hernandez.

Lucas Hernandez started the game for France against Portugal. He was booked in the 36th minute of the game. Hernandez fouled Silva who was progressing up the pitch. Deschamps substituted Hernandez at half-time due to what he described as a minor knee issue & maybe because the French boss did not want to take the risk of a ban.

Lucas Digne came on as a substitute for Lucas Hernandez on the break. However, the Everton player did not last long on the pitch. After seven minutes of play Digne limped off and he was replaced by Rabiot.

What Happened to Digne and Lucas Hernandez

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Lucas Digne after his injury

In the post-match press conference Deschamps was asked about the fitness situation of both his defenders. The French boss said:

“The most worrying is Lucas Digne.

“He has a muscle injury; he felt a pull behind his thigh. It will be very complicated [for the rest of Euro 2020]”.

“Lucas Hernandez also had a small problem, his knee reacted a bit. I didn’t want to take any risks. Unfortunately, in the same game, I lost both. We’ll see for Hernandez in the next few days.”

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Deschamps also spoke about the difficulty in Group F: “Other teams were able to give a better impression than ours,” Deschamps said after engineering a path out of a tough group.”

“But a new competition will begin. Winning against Germany was very important for us. Having taken a point in a particular context against Hungary, it gave us the qualification before this match”.

“As I told the players, there was no math to do except at the end. We did not do everything well, but the state of mind was there, we can still improve things. I am very satisfied to be there once again.”

Portugal was leading the game 1-0 after Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot to give his side the lead. France’s Karim Benzema scored from the spot to level the score in the 45th minute of the game. Just after the break Benzema scored another to give France the lead for the first time in the game.

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France’s Lucas Hernandez will miss the Round of 16 match against Switzerland owing to an injury

“Everyone was waiting for this goal,” Real Madrid striker added in the post-match conference.

“I am used to the pressure but it is a different pressure with the national team because there’s a whole country”.

“I knew as soon as back in the national team to critics would come out. This is football but I never give up. As soon as I step on the pitch I want to score. For me it was a great pleasure”.

“You could see as soon as I put the ball down on the penalty spot the supporters helped me a lot to stay concentrated and to put in the second goal after half-time”.

Lucas Digne is out for the rest of the Tournament following a muscle injury in the game against Portugal. Lucas Hernandez is out for the knockout game against Switzerland. France lost Ousmane Dembele last week over injury issues.

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