Young guns fire as ten-man France topple England

Les Bleus

By S. Willis

Rising star Ousmane Dembélé clinched a 3-2 win for France in a thrilling match that saw Les Bleus' stars of the future Kylian Mbappé, Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Lemar shine despite being a man down for most of the second half.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

International friendly

Stade de France, Paris

 France 3 - 2 England 


The future of French football looked particularly bright on Tuesday night as France boss Didier Deschamps' young line-up got the business done in the last match of the season.  

Despite playing most of the second half a man down - following Raphaël Varane's video-assisted send-off for a tackle on Dele Alli - France managed to get on the front foot. Les Bleus' pace and creativity saw them create the lion's share of the chances, with AS Monaco's 18-year-old sensation Mbappé threatening (65') before crashing a shot off the bar after a superb touch and a breath-taking turn of pace from Dembélé.

Lemar was there to follow up with a wicked low drive (71'), but it wasn't until the 78th minute that Mbappé turned a pass from Paul Pogba, 24, wide for Dembélé to lash home with an angled shot and clinch a dramatic win (78').


It was a deserved win for Didier Deschamps' much-changed side, but England turned in an excellent performance, with Harry Kane opening the scoring with a neat finish from a low cross (9') and then getting his side back in it from the penalty spot (48') after 24-year-old Djibril Sidibé's follow-up to a dazzling - but blocked - Dembélé effort had sent France into the break with a 2-1 lead (43').

Barcelona stopper Samuel Umtiti, 23, had scored France's first, pouncing from close after Thomas Heaton had produced a superb save from Olivier Giroud's fierce downward header (22').

The win was the perfect response from France following their horror 2-1 loss to Sweden in World Cup qualifying on Friday night, and Deschamps will doubtless have a more than a few selections headaches for qualifiers against the Netherlands and Luxembourg on August 31 and September 3 respectively.

THE PLAYER: Ousmane Dembélé

The Borussia Dortmund speedster shone the brightest of France's young stars on Tuesday. On top scoring the winner and dazzling the England defence to set up Sidibé's strike, Dembélé showcased his pace, precision and composure in the box as well as linking up superbly with his teammates. More than just a fast motor.


When Dembélé hit the winner, he became the third player in the match - after Umtiti and Sidibé - to score his first goal for France's senior team. It has been steady progress for the 20-year-old since earning his first cap against Italy last September and his first start against the Côte d'Ivoire in November.  



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