France Ukraine Kylian Mbappé
Les Bleus

Deschamps: Mbappé 'knows he didn't have a good game'

Deschamps: Mbappé 'knows he didn't have a good game'

Les Bleus
Publish on 03/25 at 10:00 - S. WILLIS


France boss Didier Deschamps recognised that it's not always easy for Kylian Mbappé after the Ligue 1 Uber Eats top scorer struggled to make an impact as Les Bleus were held 1-1 by Ukraine in their opening World Cup qualifier at the Stade de France on Wednesday.

Despite Antpoine Griezmann's spectacular curling opener early in the piece, France failed to convert their dominance over Ukraine and paid the penalty when PSG stopper Presnel Kimpembe unwittingly deflected a fierce shot past captain Hugo Lloris just before the hour-mark.

'The opponent adapted'

It was a less than auspicious start to Les Bleus' defence of their World Cup title, especially for PSG superstar Kylian Mbappé who, effectively marked out of the game, had   few chances to make the difference.  

"I'll have a quiet chat with him about it. He knows he didn't have a good game," said Deschamps after the match. "He wasn't feeling his best and he couldn't really settle into the match. The opponent adapted; there were two or three players on him all the time. Ukraine's set-up made it difficult for him to influence the game."


So what's to be done given that Kazakhstan and Bosnia and Herzegovina - France's opponents in World Cup qualifiers in Astana (Sunday) and Sarajevo (Wednesday) - will doubtless have taken note of this plan to counter the mercurial prodigy?

"Given the quality Kylian possesses, I understand that the opponent takes these measures. We need to be able to find him in space, and sometimes get two or three of our lads around him," the France boss explained before noting that of course it's not just up to the rest of the team to support one man. "There are also choices that he must make himself: lean on others, and perhaps find more of a balance between dribbling and passing."