World Cup | Senegal – Netherlands | Edouard Mendy doubly at fault, indisputable patron of de Jong: The tops and flops

Tops

  • Gakpo, higher and higher
He was watched by the biggest in Europe. He woke up to the eyes of the world. Brilliant with PSV last season and author of a great start to the year (9 goals and 12 decision-makers assists in 14 league games), Cody Gakpo justified the confidence that Louis Van Gaal placed in him by unlocking the match ( 84th). His call, from the right towards the axis to get ahead of Edouard Mendy with a header, is perfect. His talent could wreak havoc during this World Cup. His nascent complementarity with Memphis Depay, too.

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Forget Virgil van Dijk. The indisputable leader of this team is none other than Frenkie de Jong. The FC Barcelona player, whom the Catalan club wanted to get rid of last summer, took care of everything when his team failed to take control of the game. Omnipresent – he touched 80 balls, best total for an Oranje – precious for recovery, the midfielder also and above all delivered the love of the center which led to the opener.

  • The overall performance of Senegal
On the scoreboard, Senegal did not fulfill its mission. But in the game and especially in the intensity, the Teranga Lions have shown that they are able to respond, despite the absence of their leader Sadio Mané. Defeated, the reigning African champions would be wrong to be defeated. If they have managed to keep the same level of rigor on the physical and technical levels, Aliou Cissé’s men can still consider the serene future, against Qatar, before a potential “final” against Ecuador.

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The flops

If Senegal was considered among the big outsiders in this World Cup, it is in particular because it had a great goalkeeper and a great striker. Problem, the great striker is forfeited and the great goalkeeper is no longer quite imperial. Back behind Kepa Arrizabalaga in the hierarchy of goalkeepers at Chelsea, Edouard Mendy has not found his best level in selection. Guilty of an exit too late on the opener of Gakpo, the former Rennais was not irreproachable either on the second but Dutch, pushing back into the feet of Davy Klaassen, after a strike from Memphis Depay which however lacked power. Worrying.
  • Silk continues for Senegal

In the absence of Sadio Mané, the Teranga Lions were already leaving with less sacred strength. The least we can say is that the situation of the African champion did not improve during his match against the Dutch. At the hour mark, Abdou Diallo had to give up his place after contact with Denzel Dumfries, when he was performing more than correctly on the left. A few minutes later, Cheikhou Kouyaté also came out after what looks like a tear in the thigh. The duo he formed with Idrissa Gueye in midfield posed a lot of problems for Louis van Gaal’s men. Cruel.

The failed exit of Edouard Mendy during the match between Senegal and the Netherlands, November 21, 2022 at the World Cup

Credit: Getty Images

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