Didier Deschamps’ men march on at Euro 2024. Check out the best facts, stats and live Opta data from a slender win with our France vs Belgium stats page.

Once again, it wasn’t pretty, but France found a way. A hallmark of champions, as they say, and Didier Deschamps’ men keep themselves in the running to be just that thanks to a slender and largely unimpressive 1-0 win over Belgium in Dusseldorf on Monday.

After underwhelming in the group stage, France found themselves stuck with a potentially tricky last-16 opponent in the Red Devils. And although Belgium didn’t offer a great deal going forward themselves, it’s fair to say the 2022 World Cup runners-up weren’t exactly emphatic in victory.

It was scrappy, unspectacular and fairly bruising at times. The important thing for France was they march on to the quarter-finals, but you feel that at some point they’re going to have to find their groove to all the way.

They didn’t here.

France 1-0 Belgium stats

While Marcus Thuram and Antoine Griezmann were back in the France starting XI, it was very much a case of as you were with Les Bleus continuing to struggle in the final third.

They looked neat and tidy until that point, though, and there certainly wasn’t an issue of a lack of the ball. France enjoyed nearly 60% possession in the first half and their 92.7% passing accuracy was the fourth highest of any team in the opening 45 minutes of a match at this tournament.

Similarly, their 44 final third entries was more than double Belgium’s 19 and the Red Devils were outshot 9-1 – and yet, France only got one of those, a tame Griezmann effort from outside the box, on target.

Not that anyone who’s watched them in Euro 2024 will have been especially surprised; this was arguably their (and Belgium’s) campaign in a microcosm, with only Serbia (3.8%) having a poorer shot conversion record in the group stage than France and Belgium (4.2% each).

With Belgium seemingly happy to absorb pressure, managing their joint-fewest shots in the first half of a Euros game since 1980 (1), it was clear France were crying out for someone to pick them apart.

Kylian Mbappé looked lively on occasion, embarking on a few adventurous runs, but only once in the first half did he manage to get into the opposition’s box. That might have led to Aurelien Tchouaméni finding the net, but he smashed over not long before the break.

The other particularly notable France chance fell to Marcus Thuram, who headed agonisingly wide from Jules Koundé’s excellent right-wing cross.

Meanwhile, Belgium’s own attempts to be competitive didn’t appear to be helped by Kevin De Bruyne being deployed in a deep role. Wasteful in possession a few times and guilty of a risky pass back to Jan Vertonghen early on that required the centre-back to simply hoof clear, the Manchester City talisman was a bit of a duck out of water.

De Bruyne touch map first half
De Bruyne touch map second half

But a rare foray forward just after the hour seemed to persuade Domenico Tedesco into a change. De Bruyne’s perfectly weighted pass after William Saliba was forced into a mistake saw Yannick Carrasco released in behind the defence, though just when he looked set to pull the trigger, Théo Hernández hooked the ball away with a brilliant last-ditch tackle.

Almost instantly De Bruyne was permanently back into a more advanced position and Belgium suddenly appeared a little livelier in attack. Romelu Lukaku forced Mike Maignan into action, as did De Bruyne himself.

But the otherwise dominant France eventually got the breakthrough – just about. Vertonghen allowed Randal Kolo Muani approximately an hour to turn in the box and get a shot away in the 85th minute, and the effort deflected off the Belgian defender to leave Koen Casteels helpless.

And in many ways it was very France at Euro 2024. Sure, it was a goal, but still a Les Bleus player hasn’t scored in open play at this tournament, with Deschamps’ side now aided by two own goals (the other being vs Austria) and an Mbappé penalty against Poland.

France Shots at Euro 2024

That makes them the first European team to ever reach the quarter-finals of a major international tournament having only scored via own goals or penalties.

Again, the ability to grind out wins is valuable, make no mistake, but France have sleepwalked into the quarters. If they don’t wake up soon, their luck will surely run out eventually.

Our Opta match centre delivers you all the France vs Belgium stats from their Euro 2024 last-16 clash at Düsseldorf Arena.

The match centre below includes team and player stats, expected goals data, passing networks, an Opta chalkboard and more. It gives you everything you need to do your own post-match analysis.

Underneath the match centre you can find the official Opta stats on the game as well. 

France vs Belgium: Post-Match Facts

  • France have won all five of their meetings with Belgium at major international tournaments (Euros/World Cup), the joint-best 100% win rate one European nation has against another across the two competitions combined (Italy also winning all five of their encounters with Austria).
  • France have reached the quarter-finals at the UEFA European Championship for a sixth time, with no side reaching the final eight on more occasions than Les Bleus (level with Spain and Portugal, before their last-16 encounter with Slovenia this evening).
  • Belgium have now failed to score in five of their last six games at major international tournaments (Euros/World Cup), despite having a combined 59 attempts on goal and posting an xG of 6.85 across those five goalless matches.
  • France have scored three goals at Euro 2024, with two of those being own goals (Austria’s Max Wöber and Belgium’s Jan Vertonghen) and the other coming from the penalty spot (Kylian Mbappé v Poland).
  • There have been five instances in UEFA European Championship history of a side winning a game 1-0 courtesy of an own goal, with France accounting for three of those (vs Germany in 2020 and vs Austria/Belgium in 2024).
  • Aged 37 years and 68 days, Belgium’s Jan Vertonghen became the oldest ever player to score an own goal at the UEFA European Championship.
  • France midfielder N’Golo Kante has now played the outright most matches in European Championship history without ever ending on the losing side (P12 W7 D5).
  • Aurélien Tchouaméni made 21-line-breaking passes in this match, with 15 of those occurring in the final third; both the most by a French player in a match at Euro 2024 so far.
  • Belgium manager Domenico Tedesco became the 11th different Italian to take charge of a knockout stage game at the UEFA European Championship; the most different managers of any nation, moving ahead of German coaches (10).

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