Substitute Andreas Cornelius scored twice as Denmark recovered from a brilliant goal by Karim Benzema to beat France 2-1 on Friday in the UEFA Nations League at the Stade de France, the first game at the venue since the chaos that caused the Champions League of last weekend marred last. Benzema’s stunning strike put World Cup holders France ahead six minutes after the break, only for Trabzonspor striker Cornelius to score Denmark’s equalizing goal midway through the second half and then score a winner in the 88th minute. That meant it was a disappointing night for France, which saw both Kylian Mbappe and Raphael Varane come off with a punch.
There was a nearly full house of 75,833 people in the Stade de France, including 1,400 Danish supporters, but the atmosphere outside the ground before kick-off was calm.
That was in stark contrast to the scenes six days earlier, when serious organizational problems prevented fans from entering the stadium, while many peaceful supporters were treated with tear gas for Real Madrid’s 1-0 win over Liverpool in the Champions League. -final.
European football’s governing body, UEFA, on Friday apologized to spectators for what it admitted was a “terrifying and disturbing” experience for those involved.
Due to the pandemic, Friday’s game was the French national football team’s first game at the stadium without crowd restrictions since November 2019.
Home fans hoped to see Les Bleus start with a win as they defend the Nations League title they won last year by beating Spain in the final.
This was the first of four games they play in League A, Group 1 this month before their players are allowed to go on holiday, and the game didn’t really come to life in the first half.
Mbappe, Varane come down
France, whose coach Didier Deschamps was absent after his father’s death, was then dealt a blow when Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe pulled up with an apparent knee-knock just before the break.
He did not show up after halftime, with Christopher Nkunku taking his place, and the RB Leipzig attacker played a part in the opening goal in the 51st minute.
Benzema, on the same ground where he won the Champions League with Real Madrid last weekend, grabbed the ball from the right, played a one-two with Nkunku and left the Danish defense for dead before coming in to mark his 95th cap.
The home side then also saw Manchester United’s centre-back Varane stumble away, with William Saliba replacing him, and Denmark taking advantage as they turned the game upside down.
Cornelius hadn’t been on the field very long before he seemed completely unmarked in the area to apply a first finish to Pierre-Emile Hojberg’s floating assist.
Hugo Lloris held out Andreas Skov Olsen’s raspy drive shortly afterwards, before N’Golo Kante crashed an attempt off the woodwork on the other side.
Eriksen then lost a great opportunity to put the away side ahead in the 86th minute when Lloris denied his former Tottenham Hotspur team-mate from the start.
However, the Danes won it moments later when Cornelius beat the offside trap before running through Saliba and holding him off to somehow fire past Lloris from a tight angle.
The result is a warning for France, which will be in the same group as Denmark at the World Cup in Qatar later this year.
The sides will return to action on Monday in the Nations League with France heading to Croatia and Denmark in Austria.
Topics mentioned in this article