France vs. Ukraine Review: 5 Important Lessons from Friday's Match

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France vs. Ukraine Review: 5 Important Lessons from Friday's Match
Ian Walton/Getty Images

It was one of the more bizarre matches in recent memory—nearly suspended due to inclement weather, with rains so fierce that the match was called off after less than five minutes due to severe thunderstorms.

Within minutes of that, sheets of driving rain had produced severe water logging on the pitch. It looked for all the world as if the Donetsk weather patterns would set France and Ukraine at a disadvantage in regards to their Group D rivals.

Were the match to be replayed on Saturday, as had to be the case, the two teams would have had one fewer day to recuperate ahead of their final group stage match—a terrible liability.

But the storm abated, the match resumed, and France looked as if they hadn't skipped a beat despite all the hiccups, torturing Ukraine for most of the match with a dizzying medley of one-touch passing, excellent movement, and, well, Franck Ribery down the left flank.

They deserved their 2-0 victory, which sent them to the top of Group D, where they maintain a slim advantage over England. Both have four points (to Ukraine's three and Sweden's zero), but France possess a superior goal differential, plus-2 to England's plus-1.

Here are five of the most important lessons learned from Friday's match.

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