Euro 2024, Champions League, and Football News Update

France’s veteran midfielder N’Golo Kante rolled back the years with a vintage display in their 1-0 win over Austria in their Euro 2024 Group D opener. Despite calls to include the country’s young midfield talents, manager Didier Deschamps opted for the experienced 33-year-old, who is now playing for Saudi Arabian club Al Ittihad.

Kante was instrumental in France’s victory, winning the most tackles and making the most ball recoveries and possessions in the defensive and middle thirds of the pitch. His crucial intervention late in the game to deny Austria’s Patrick Wimmer a chance on goal was a testament to his enduring ability.

“It was like a younger version of himself,” said former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane of Kante’s performance. The World Cup winner from 2018 may prove crucial in France’s bid to add the European Championship to their trophy cabinet.

Elsewhere, Austria made a strong impression with their front-foot approach, challenging France throughout the match. Manager Ralf Rangnick’s pressing tactics saw the team make more tackles in the first half than any other team has managed in a full match at the tournament so far. While they ultimately fell short, Austria’s performance suggests they could cause problems for their Group D rivals Poland and the Netherlands.

In the Group E opener, Romania secured a famous 2-0 victory over Ukraine, with Tottenham’s new signing Radu Dragusin leading the way with an outstanding defensive display. The 22-year-old center-back made 10 clearances, twice as many as any other player on the pitch, as he helped his team soak up Ukraine’s pressure and punish them on the counter-attack.

However, the day’s biggest surprise came in the other Group E match, as Belgium suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Slovakia. Despite creating several clear-cut chances, the highly-fancied Belgian side were unable to find the back of the net, with Romelu Lukaku having two goals disallowed by VAR. This result will raise questions about the so-called ‘golden generation’ of Belgian players and their ability to perform on the biggest stage.

Elsewhere in football news, the Champions League final saw Real Madrid triumph over Borussia Dortmund, with Thibaut Courtois cementing his status as Carlo Ancelotti’s first-choice goalkeeper. The decision to start Courtois ahead of Ukraine’s Andriy Lunin proved pivotal, as the Belgian goalkeeper produced a commanding display to help his team secure the trophy.

In the Africa Cup of Nations, the standings remain tight with several teams vying for a spot in the knockout stages. Hosts Morocco and defending champions Senegal are currently leading their respective groups, while traditional powerhouses like Nigeria and Ghana are also in the mix.

The Premier League, EFL Cup, EFL Championship, EFL One, EFL Two, and FA Cup seasons are all building towards their respective climaxes, with fans eagerly anticipating the drama and excitement that lies ahead.

๐Ÿ”— Source