Mbappé gives masterclass as France beat Iceland
Kylian Mbappé got on the scoresheet again as 2018 FIFA World Cup winners France maintained their 100% start to UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying with a 4-0 defeat of Iceland in Paris on Monday.
Monday 25 March, 2019
UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifying
Stade de France, Paris
France 4-0 Iceland
After their 4-1 win in Moldova on Friday, Les Bleus were not only looking to celebrate the French Football Federation's 100th anniversary in style, but also add a second win to their Group H tally.
Wearing special shirts in honour of the FFF's birthday, Didier Deschamps men had seen some of the great names of French football celebrated before kick-off. Many of the starting XI — the same as that which started in Chisinau — have already earned their place in the nation's sporting history, and it was one of the world champions who made the early breakthrough.
Samuel Umtiti's niggling knee problem has prevented him from playing matches regularly, but the Barcelona defender was given another start by Deschamps, and rewarded him by heading home Mbappé's cross just 12 minutes in (12').
Mbappé will have been disappointed not to have doubled his country's lead when he dragged his shot wide from a good position (24') and only a fine save shortly after the break from Hugo Lloris prevented Birkir Bjarnason from equalising (49') for an Iceland side that had claimed a 2-2 draw on its last visit to France in October.
The scare seemed to shake the hosts into action. Benjamin Pavard flashed a half-volley just over (58') before Olivier Giroud claimed third place on France's all-time scorers' list all for himself, moving ahead of David Trezeguet when he bundled a Pavard cross over the line (68').
Only a smart block by Sverrir Ingason denied the Chelsea forward another (75') before Les Bleus accelerated in the home strait. Mbappé netted his 12th goal in 30 international appearances after racing onto Antoine Griezmann's through ball (78') before the Atletico Madrid striker latched onto his Paris Saint-Germain counterpart's backheel to complete a handsome win (84').
THE PLAYER: Kylian Mbappé
What can be said about the PSG prodigy that hasn't already…another performance that belies his years, but not his immense talent. That there is more to come is simply incredible.
THE STAT: 31
None of the last 31 games France have played at the Stade de France has ended in a goalless draw — the hosts have won 23 of those matches, drawing the other eight. The last 0-0 was in a friendly with Belgium on 15 November, 2011.