May 19 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Yann M’Vila showed his defensive qualities for France against Spain
Arsenal target Yann M’Vila had a reasonable game for France against Spain in their Euro 2012 quarter final, seldom letting the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and co past.
There were some flashes of genius from the defensive midfielder but the 21-year-old struggled to have much attacking possession against as the Spaniards looked to pass their way into the semi finals, but M’Vila worked hard to keep the Spain forwards away from the penalty area.
Indeed, early in the second half, Spain strung pass after pass together but M’Vila worked with his team to deny them any opening at all, causing the defending champions to lose possession.
M’Vila showed great skill to evade three midfielders early on and pick his pass to Franck Ribery with only six minutes on the clock.
The 21-year-old tends to sit just in front of the defenders and look to mop up any offences Spain had and cut out a number of attacks.
With other, more high profile players, such as Ribery and Karim Benzema, having poor games by their standards M’Vila looked to step up and adventure forward.
The danger, though, was that Spain are excellent on the counter and on one occasion Hugo Lloris had to be alert to stop Cesc Fabregas, who was playing in a striker role, from scoring.
The only times Spain, really, threatened the France goal tended to come down the flanks after M’Vila had helped shepherd them wide.
Indeed, the full back, Mathieu Debuchy, lost his footing allowing Jordi Alba to put his cross in and Xabi Alonso did the rest with his head to give Spain the lead.
M’Vila can also pick out a long range pass, spreading the ball wide to Samir Nasri as France poured forward searching for an equaliser but were unable to break through.
Through no real fault of his own M’Vila was sacrificed for Olivier Giroud, who is 90 per cent certain to make a move to Arsenal, as France made a bold statement of intent.
But his absence was felt as Spain broke through the middle and Pedro was brought down by Anthony Reveillere.
Alonso stepped up and slotted home the penalty to send M’Vila and co back home.
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