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Inside France’s eventful break: Deschamps turns 50, comeback results and World Cup rings

In the dressing room, Deschamps is not happy at all. The coach had rushed straight there after Serbian referee Milorad Mazic blew for half-time and yells: “We are not playing as a team. We need to put the effort in, put in more intensity.”

Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane also voice their frustration, with other players visibly fuming too. The keywords: togetherness, effort, attitude, intensity, mental strength come to the fore.

Towards the end of the first half, Deschamps had changed his tactics from his usual 4-4-2 formation into a 4-3-3 far better suited to how Germany were set up. And, before his players go back out for the second half, the coach challenges them to “show me what you can do.”
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France respond like World Cup winners and rally to win 2-1, extending their unbeaten run to 15 matches.

“In the first half, it was not us. After the break, we played like world champions,” admitted Antoine Griezmann after the game. The Atletico Madrid striker scored a brace in 18 second-half minutes, including a wonderful header, to turn the game around, pile more misery on the Germans and offer Deschamps a nice 50th birthday present.

Deschamps turned 50 on Monday and was presented with a giant rectangular fruit sponge cake with a chocolate football on top, as well as a big book full of photos from the World Cup signed by all the players. “DD” asked them to get him another present as well: a win.6

“My 50th year has been a very great year thanks to you,” he told them at the France’s team hotel in Enghien-les-Bains, not far from the Stade de France. “For it to be even better, and for me to remember even more my 50th birthday, you know what you have to do [Tuesday]. I am relying on you because I trust you. I am very happy to be with you tonight because you are a bit like my second family. So thank you.”

His team did just that. After the disappointing 2-2 draw last Thursday in a friendly against Iceland in Guingamp, they put in another performance full of character and saw another shining star performance — this time from Griezmann, five days after Kylian Mbappe had saved them.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

Having been 2-0 down against Iceland before Mbappe came on and bailed them out, Deschamps warned his men in the dressing room postmatch: “This should be useful to all of you. It can happen but it should not happen. You have to be aware of what we have to do so it doesn’t happen again. That’s the most important thing.”

Yet the beginning of their match against Germany was just as bad as Toni Kroos’ 14th minute penalty put them up against it.

“We can’t get into the habit of going behind. We know it. At this level, if you don’t start a game with the right aggression and attitude, you are in trouble,” goalkeeper Hugo Lloris said after the game. The memo for the two games in November, the friendly against Uruguay and the trip to the Netherlands for Les Bleus’ final Nations League group game, will be to start better.

Astros’ Jose Altuve ruled out after fan interferes with Mookie Betts’ attempt to catch fly ball

In the bottom of the first inning, Houston Astros designated hitter Jose Altuve launched a fly ball to the right-field wall that prompted Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts to go into a full jump. As Betts extended his arm high over the 7-foot wall, the ball bounced back onto the field of play.

Replays appeared to show that Betts’ left arm stretched over the wall and into the sea of fans. As he tried to make the catch, Betts’ glove closed a split-second too early. He says it was because the glove made contact on its back side with a fan’s hands. From there, the ball touched another fan before coming back onto the field.

“I was pretty positive that ball was going in my glove,” Betts said. “But as I jumped and went over, reached my hand up, I felt like somebody was kind of pushing my glove out of the way or something.”cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

When the ball didn’t land in Betts’ glove, a hustling Altuve was bracing for the possibility that he’d at least be standing on second base when all was said and done.5

“For a moment, when I saw the ball on the warning track, then I thought, ‘OK. That’s a double. I’ll take it.'” Altuve said.

Immediately, Astros manager A.J. Hinch popped out of the dugout to argue with crew chief and right-field umpire Joe West, who made the initial call. Their conversation took West and his crew to replay.

After 3 minutes, 13 seconds, the review resulted in the call standing. Altuve was declared out via fly out to Betts because of fan interference, nullifying what would have been a potential tying, two-run home run. George Springer was sent back to first base.

“[West] just said that it was fan interference on the field. And my argument was more about that the ball was leaving the yard, the trajectory was there,” Hinch said during the game telecast. “Jose paid kind of the ultimate price for something out of his control.

“I’m not sure if Mookie makes that catch. He’s a great athlete. But how it’s an assumed out, it’s unbelievable.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

After the game, Hinch expanded upon that latter thought, saying: “We assume — and you can assume a lot with Mookie because he’s an incredible athlete — we assume he’s going to make this spectacular catch, jumping as high as he can into the crowd.”

How the Chiefs coached the recklessness out of Patrick Mahomes

One of the third-quarter throws that Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes made recently against the Denver Broncos broke a lot of the NFL’s unwritten rules for a successful pass.

The right-handed Mahomes was drifting to his left. He threw the ball late to the middle of the field. The pass was made across his body.

But Mahomes still made it work. Tight end Travis Kelce was open and the Chiefs got a 29-yard gain on the play and, eventually, a field goal on the drive.

This was a case, and there have been others this season with Mahomes, when the Chiefs have benefited from letting their quarterback use his uncommonly strong arm.

“They never encourage that,” Mahomes said of coach Andy Reid and the other offensive assistants. “As long as you complete it and you get the first down, they’re fine with it. At the same time, you have to know when not to do that.
Mahomes has yet to get himself or the 5-0 Chiefs into trouble with any of his daring passes. The Chiefs have tamed Mahomes, who arrived with a reputation for making some reckless passes, without taking away the qualities that attracted coach Andy Reid to him in the first place.

That’s a big reason why Mahomes, in his first season as a starter, has 14 touchdown passes with only two interceptions heading into Sunday night’s game against the Patriots in New England.

“Most guys are told not to do that,” said fullback Anthony Sherman, who was referring to the Kelce pass but could have been talking about other unconventional Mahomes passes. “He goes out there and executes it and it’s like, ‘OK, I guess you can do that.’ … Coach Reid gives him the ability that if he thinks he can get it there, throw it and get it there. He knows he’s going to have to get the ball into some tight windows, but he trusts his arm enough.