Gakpo as a hero, Mendy as a fanny

Gakpo and Van Dijk decisive, Mendy guilty… find the tops and flops following the victory of the Netherlands against Senegal (2-0).


Gakpo by KO

In the absence of Memphis Depay, a time-out but finally coming into play for the last half hour, Cody Gakpo was the thrill guarantee of the Netherlands attack. And it did not disappoint. For his first outing in the World Cup, the new jewel of Dutch football, already captain of PSV at 23 (14 matches, 9 goals, 12 assists this season), first enjoyed in a playmaker role. comfortable breaking the lines (3 key passes), he was replaced in attack at the end of the match. With success, since it is he who arises to crucify Édouard Mendy and Senegal at the end of the match (84th). A successful first.

Van Dijk and Koulibaly, rocks in stock

As expected, the match within the match between the two captains lived up to expectations. On both sides, in both surfaces, the two men have long ruled the roost thanks to their athletic presence, in the air and on the ground. Van Dijk even allowed himself to stand out offensively with two headers from a corner (27th, 53rd). Opposite, Kouyaté will have ended up giving in … by his wait-and-see attitude when seeing Gakpo win in front of Mendy.

De Jong, decisive intermittent

Sometimes irritating but necessarily exciting. This is how we could qualify the game of Frenkie De Jong, as much guilty of dangerous loss of balls (30th, 46th) as delicious assists (for Gakpo). A game of risk-taking that is inevitably dangerous at times. Sometimes set back, the midfielder of Barça shines as well by his omnipresence in the heart of the game (80 balls touched, match record) and well-felt orientations. To his debit, this missed opportunity at the start of the match (19th). By greed, of course.


Mendy finds himself

In delicacy at Chelsea, where the new coach Graham Potter reshuffled the cards in favor of his competitor Kepa, the Senegalese goalkeeper cracked at the end of the match. First on a missed exit in front of Gakpo then by timidly repelling a shot from Memphis, pushed deep by Davy Klaassen (90 + 9). On arrival, the addition is salty for the former Rennais, who had not had much to do until then. It is still too premature to see his status also evolve in selection, he who was instrumental in the first continental title last February.

The tile for Kouyaté and Diallo

The turning point? Out on injury in the 70th minute, Cheikhou Kouyaté was cut in his tracks, he who was playing a boss match in midfield, with his friend Nampalys Mendy, just as decisive. His exit on a head injury, combined with that even earlier of Abdou Diallo (61st), sounded like a real blow on the band to Aliou Cissé, already deprived of his guide Sadio Mané. It remains to be seen whether the two men will be restored for the upcoming matches, which will undoubtedly condition the future of the Lons de la Téranga in the competition.

Stands again sparse

Is it his descheduling as the opening match? Initially scheduled to inaugurate this 2022 World Cup, the Senegal-Netherlands meeting did not attract crowds. The atmosphere also seemed very dull, even for the well-known “Oranje Army” of the Formula 1 stands, located in a bend. The many empty seats, especially in the first rows, were bad for this first “shock” of the competition.

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