Mbappé stars as France see off Wales
Kylian Mbappé put in a superb display for France as Les Bleus' secured a 2-0 win over Wales at the Stade de France in Friday's 2018 FIFA World Cup warm-up friendly.
Friday, 10 November, 2017
International friendly, Stade de France, Paris
France 2-0 Wales
Keen to silence those critical of their style if not their results, France started brightlyi. Paris Saint-Germain forward Mbappé used his electric pace to burst down the right before picking out Olivier Giroud.
The Arsenal striker, who had scored seven goal in as many starts for his country before kick-off, might have had another had he connected more cleanly, but instead he saw the ball ricochet off Wayne Hennessey and onto the bar (10').
With more than two-third possession, Les Bleus were very much on top, and Antoine Griezmann ensured their territorial dominance had some substance to it. Corentin Tolisso's ball was at the heart of the move, picking out the Atletico Madrid forward inside the box before Griezmann did the rest with a delightful volley (18').
Completely on top, France sought to make the most of Giroud, Mbappé and Griezmann, but were unable to find the right final ball. Wales, who were without the injured Gareth Bale, struggled to make an impression, though Laurent Koscielny's poor clearance did afford them a first-half opportunity - Chris Gunter could only force a save from Steve Mandanda though (36').
A fortunate ricochet from a Coman shot fell kindly for Giroud, who brought a save from Hennessey early in the second half to set the tone (47'). Coman then did all the work himself, but found the outside of a post with a fierce shot (48').
It took a double save from Mandanda to keep the scores level as the Olympique de Marseille 'keeper brilliantly denied first Aaron Ramsey and then Gunter once more (67') before Giroud put the issue beyond doubt.
Mbappé's acceleration again caused Wales untold problems while his first-time cross was ideal for Giroud - the Arsenal striker's shot was not the best, but a ricochet off James Chester's rear end was enough to fool Hennessey (71').
Mbappé was proving a real thorn in Wales' side and he teed up Samuel Umtiti for a shot after bamboozling a phalanx of defenders (76') before pulling another ball back for Benjamin Pavard - the Stuttgart full-back, who came on at half-time to make his senior international debut, was unfortunate to see his low drive ping off a post (80').
THE PLAYER: Kylian Mbappé
The 18-year-old's maturity on and off the pitch continues to surprise, and this was another eyebrow-raising performance from the precocious PSG teenager. Dangerous in front of goal, Mbappé is also proving a valuable asset for both club and country in a more creative role, and could have finished with a clutch of assists had Les Bleus' luck been in.
THE STAT: 10
Griezmann has been involved in ten goals in his last 12 internationals, scoring six of them himself.