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Mbappe and Giroud shine as France shrug off troubles to outclass Austria

Issued on: 22/09/2022 – 23:27

Kylian Mbappe scored a stunning opening goal as France shook off accidents to a host of key players and a series of off-field issues to say a welcome 2-0 win over Austria in the UEFA Nations League in Paris on Thursday.

Mbappe showcased his phenomenal tempo and strength on the way earlier than finishing emphatically to put the reigning world champions ahead within the 56th minute on the Stade de France.

The recalled Olivier Giroud doubled their lead 9 minutes later as France ran out deserved winners to stave off the specter of relegation from the highest tier of the Nations League, a competition they won simply last 12 months.

Didier Deschamps’ side nonetheless need to win their last Group A1 sport away in Denmark on Sunday to be certain of avoiding relegation, whereas qualification for the four-team finals next June is already out of attain.

France’s failure to win any of their four video games in June is the explanation for that, but the priority for Les Bleus nows the World Cup, with the first recreation of their title defence in Qatar precisely two months away.

Deschamps will hope to have recovered no much less than nearly all of his crocked stars by the time that match against Australia comes round on November 22.

Those lacking from this recreation would make up a very sturdy group in their own proper, with the absentees including goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris; centre-backs Lucas Hernandez and Presnel Kimpembe; left-back Theo Hernandez; midfield lynchpin N’Golo Kante and forward Kingsley Coman.

Karim Benzema is currently out too, and then there’s Paul Pogba, who faces a race against time to recuperate from knee surgical procedure.

Pogba has additionally been in the headlines after filing a complaint with Italian prosecutors saying he was the target of a 13 million-euro ($13m) blackmail plot.

His brother Mathias is one of 5 folks charged and detained within the case.

Giroud closes on goals record

Meanwhile this week started with Paris Saint-Germain famous person Mbappe refusing to participate in a photograph shoot in a row with the French Football Federation over image rights.

But neither Mbappe nor his teammates appeared distracted as they outclassed Austria.

Mbappe had the ball within the net inside 90 seconds only to be denied by the offside flag, and he was a continuing menace in the first half.

France ought to have led at the interval but Austria had goalkeeper Patrick Pentz to thank for a sensational double save in the 35th minute.

Pentz tipped Aurelien Tchouameni’s acrobatic overhead kick onto the bar and then got down low to save heaps of Antoine Griezmann’s follow-up attempt.

Before that the hosts — who gave debuts to Monaco centre-back Benoit Badiashile and his club colleague, midfielder Youssouf Fofana — noticed their injury worries enhance when Barcelona’s Jules Kounde limped out.

Goalkeeper Mike Maignan also got here off at half-time to be replaced by West Ham United’s Alphonse Areola, and France went forward soon after.

Mbappe collected a Giroud cross on the left before surging inside, bouncing off Austria’s Marcel Sabitzer, and lashing a shot past Pentz.

He celebrated by mimicking a photographer, an obvious nod to the troublesome quarrel over picture rights.

Giroud then marked his return to the facet by heading in Griezmann’s cross to make it 2-0 with his 49th international goal.

He is now just two shy of Thierry Henry’s French record of 51.

(AFP)

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