Euro 2024 data dive: Mbappe's wait rolls on as Lukaku rues his luck

By Sports Desk June 17, 2024

France got their Euro 2024 campaign up and running with a 1-0 victory over Austria on Monday.

That came after Slovakia had stunned Belgium by the same scoreline.

Elsewhere, Romania were big winners against Ukraine.

With the use of Opta data, we take a look at the standout statistics from day four at Euro 2024.

 

Austria 0-1 France: More Euros frustration for Mbappe 

Kylian Mbappe's quick feet did for Austria's defence in Dusseldorf, as the soon-to-be Real Madrid forward beat his man and whipped in a ball that was inadvertently turned home by Maximilian Wober.

That proved to be the decisive moment for Les Bleus, though Mbappe could have put an entertaining contest to bed midway through the second half, only to miss when one-on-one with the Austria goalkeeper, from a chance that registered a 0.6 expected goals (xG) value.

Mbappe remains without a goal from a total of 18 shots at the European Championships, while he has registered 12 goals from 39 shots at World Cups, and to compound his frustration, he appeared to suffer a broken nose in a challenge with Kevin Danso late on.

France got over the line, though. Their coach Didier Deschamps has now won 100 matches in charge of Les Bleus, (D30 L24), 59 more than any other manager (41 wins under both Michel Hidalgo and Raymond Domenech).

Les Bleus have won their sixth consecutive opening game of a major tournament, the longest current run of any European side.

Austria, meanwhile, saw a run of seven games without a loss (W6 D1) come to an end. It was only a second loss in their last 17 matches (W12 D3) for Ralf Rangnick's team.

France are the first European side at major tournaments to benefit from 10 own-goals, four more than any other side (Germany next best on six).

Deschamps fielded France's youngest starting XI at the European Championships (27y 273d) since June 26th 2012 against Spain (27y 079 d).

At the other end of the spectrum, veteran Olivier Giroud came on from the bench to play at his seventh major tournament.

Romania 3-0 Ukraine: No possession, no problem

Romania earned just their second win at the Euros (D5 L10), and they did it in style by thrashing Ukraine. In fact, this was their biggest-ever victory at a major international tournament. 

 

The victory came with Romania recording just 29 per cent of the possession. That is the lowest share for a winning team on record (since 1980) in a single match at the European Championships.

Nicolae Stanciu got things started with a stunner. He became the first player ever to score at the European Championships while playing for a Saudi Arabian club (Damac).

Excluding own goals, Romania had three different goalscorers (Stanciu, Razvan Marin, Denis Dragus) for the fourth time in a match at a major tournament, also doing so against Peru (1930 World Cup), Cuba (1938 World Cup) and England (Euro 2000).

Dennis Man, meanwhile, is the first Romanian to provide multiple assists in a major tournament match since Gheorghe Hagi against Colombia at the 1994 World Cup.

Ukraine, on the other hand, extended their record of most games played at the Euros without keeping a single clean sheet (12). They have also failed to score in 67 per cent of their games at the competition (8/12), the highest rate of any nation to take part in more than one edition.

Belgium 0-1 Slovakia: Bang out of Luk

Romelu Lukaku was guilty of missing several gilt-edged chances, while also being frustrated by VAR, as Belgium suffered a shock loss to Slovakia in Group E's other match.

Belgium missed four Opta-defined big chances in this match, the first time they’d done so in a European Championship game since 1980 against Spain (also four missed), as Slovakia held on after Ivan Schranz's goal in the seventh minute, which was the quickest goal Slovakia have scored at a major tournament.

While Slovakia have won each of their last four competitive internationals, their best winning run in competitive games since a run of five between October 2016 and September 2017, Belgium suffered their first group stage defeat at the European Championships since going down 2-0 to Italy in 2016.

Kevin De Bruyne did not have his best game, though still created four chances, taking his overall total of opportunities created at the Euros to 40. Since 1980, only Luis Figo (42) and Cristiano Ronaldo (41) have crafted more chances at the finals.

Jeremy Doku was at fault for Slovakia's goal, though he did his best to make up for it going the other way, completing six dribbles to put the opposition on the back foot.

Across the last two editions of the Euros, there have only been four instances of a player completing six or more dribbles in a match, and two of those have been Doku.

Slovakia's defensive grit, and a little bit of luck, got them through in the end.

They named three players in the starting XI who were 35 or older – Peter Pekarik (37), Juraj Kucka (37) and Martin Dubravka (35). Slovakia are only the second nation in European Championships history to do so, along with France in 2008. 

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    "And then you have to accept it. It's easier to accept a win than to accept a loss but yeah, for me that takes it took a while."

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