France do Manchester United a favour over Varane and pay the price

Manchester United fans came into this international break full of dread after injuries twice suffered by Raphael Varane last season.

The centre-back has been in outstanding form lately, and Manchester United can ill-afford anything to happen to him ahead of a crucial month which begins with a derby against City next weekend.

So it was great to see France boss Didier Deschamps do United a favour on Sunday night and rest Varane entirely, after he played 90 minutes against Austria on Thursday.

Unfortunately for Deschamps, he discovered what life without Varane is like, with France slumping to a 2-0 defeat.

Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

France do Manchester United a favour over Varane and pay the price

Varane has been the key piece for Manchester United this season, conceding just two goals in 495 minutes of action.

Manchester United have won all five games Varane has played, and lost all three matches he has not played.

France have now discovered the same lesson. With Varane in the side they beat Austria comfortably last week – and without him they were beaten 2-0 by Denmark.

There’s obviously a lot that goes into 90 minutes of football other than simply whether Varane plays or not – but the win loss record is striking.

For club and country Varane has a 100 per cent record in the six matches he has played, conceding just two goals.

His teams have a zero per cent record in the four matches he has not played, conceding nine goals.

Erik ten Hag has learned a lesson already that Manchester United are simply not as strong without Varane, and heading into the World Cup, Didier Deschamps will be recognising the same conclusion.

France take on Denmark in the World Cup, and after Christian Eriksen helped to shred their defence with eight chances created, it’s a certainty Varane will be selected to start.

Deschamps picked a back three of Benoit Badiashile, Dayot Upamecano and William Saliba, who was hooked at half-time in a tactical switch.

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