A Matteo Guendouzi masterclass saw the France u21s top their European Championship qualification group over Switzerland on Monday.

France's defender Jules Kounde (R) jubilates with France's midfielder Matteo Guendouzi during the U21 European Championships qualification football match France vs Slovakia on October 12, 2020 at the Meinau stadium in Strasbourg, eastern France. (Photo by FREDERICK FLORIN / AFP)
France’s defender Jules Kounde (R) jubilates with France’s midfielder Matteo Guendouzi during the U21 European Championships qualification match on October 12, 2020. (Photo by FREDERICK FLORIN / AFP)

Having already qualified for the European Championships last time out, with Matteo Guendouzi providing two assists against Liechtenstein last Thursday, France went into the final match of the group looking to secure top spot over Switzerland.

Due to the head-to-head system to decide final positions when points are level, France needed a two-goal victory over Switzerland to overtake them.

At first, everything was going well. An Odsonne Edouard brace in the first 23 minutes gave the u21s a 2-0 lead, which they held until the break. However, before the hour mark, Colin Dagba was sent off for a second yellow card.

As Switzerland pushed to turn the game around, Guendouzi came into his own. GFFN report “phenomenal” pressing from the midfielder, calling him the “standout” performer on the night – particularly after the red card.

It looked like it might all be in vain with two minutes to go, as Switzerland pulled a goal back to reclaim the head-to-head advantage. Then Guendouzi had his highlight moment with an excellent assist in injury time.

Personally, I’ve always been a believer that these are the exact games Guendouzi is made for at this stage in his career. When things are chaotic and unstructured, that’s when he thrives.

His best Arsenal performances so far have been in comebacks, after red cards, and so on. The Spurs 2-2 and the Aston Villa 3-2 last September, those are the matches where he really made an impression.

By comparison, the two most recent 3-0 defeats to City are examples of when he just seemed to be chasing the play aimlessly.

With the right development and work on his attitude, he could grow to dominate the more tactical fixtures too. But I want to see him do so with Hertha BSC before jumping back on the hype train. That’s his task this season.