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L'Equipe were pulling no punches with their ratings for the French side on Saturday—defensive partnership (well, what should have been) Eric Abidal and Laurent Koscielny coming in for particular attention—and nor should they have been after a lamentable showing left Les Bleus on the verge of finding alternative plans next summer.
Ukraine, workmanlike on the whole but all- too often uninspiring when they meet Europe's so-called big boys, helped themselves to a 2-0 win, and in truth they didn't have to do too much to find themselves with such a scoreline heading into the second leg.
Roman Zozulya was too strong for a ridiculously weak challenge from Mathieu Debuchy to hand the home side a 1-0 lead on the hour mark, and when he muscled Laurent Koscielny outside the box in the 82nd minute and closed into the penalty area, you could see the stupidity cogs working overtime in the Arsenal defender's head as he lunged into a ridiculously naive and utterly terrible challenge; Andriy Yarmolenko made no mistake from the spot.
This was a France side supposedly designed to control a game and to utilise their wing threat with the pace of Loic Remy and the excellent Franck Ribery.
However, as Ribery toiled against up to three markers and Samir Nasri failed to deliver in a No. 10 position, the reasoning for leaving out Mathieu Valbuena seemed only more ridiculous. Lacking any kind of intelligent attacking play, it seemed if Ribery wasn't going to be able to make something happen, no one else was even going attempt to give it a shot.
Now Didier Deschamps says his side must "keep faith." They'll need far more than that in the Stade de France on Tuesday.