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3 Things that went right for France against Russia

Akshaj Sinha
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
907   //    28 Mar 2018, 02:48 IST

France v Spain International Friendly
Mbappe was the hero in France's win

2018 World Cup favourites France beat Russia 3-1 in St.Petersburg to cap off the international break with one win and one loss.

However, it was the hosts, Russia who came close to taking the lead early on through Fyodor Smolov.

Later, France were the ones who came close but Kylian Mbappe fluffed his chance as he missed from six yards out.

But, they did break the deadlock in the 40th minute when Paul Pogba played a beautiful through ball to Mbappe and this time the 19-year-old made amends as he put the ball in the back of the net to make it 1-0.

The second half kicked off ideally for the Les Blues when Pogba converted his free kick to double the scoreline just four minutes in.

The Manchester United man was having an excellent game thus far, thriving in his free and natural attacking role.

The Russians did pull one back through Smolov in the 68th minute after an excellent out swinging cross from Igor Smolnikov which was failed to be intercepted by the defence.

But any hopes of a comeback vanished when the away side scored in the final ten minutes, again through Mbappe, who wrong-footed the defender with his shot eventually going through the legs of Russian keeper Andrey Lunev to hand Didier Deschamps' men a 3-1 victory

Here's what went right for France:


#3 Young and Deadly Attacking Trio

France v Ivory Coast - International Friendly
Dembele had an influential first half

France manager Didier Deschamps lined up his front three with Anthony Martial, Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele with the PSG forward operating in the middle. The average age of trio was only 20 years of age.

However, age was going to be no defining factor as the three of them linked up very well with each other.

Martial, as usual, thrived on the left wing, with his pace, dribbling and skillfulness on the ball, causing problems for the Russian defence as he cut inside on his right foot.

Dembele who has been receiving a good amount of time on the pitch with Barcelona which has seen him produce good performances.

He continued his decent streak of form and could have had a couple of assists in the first half itself, only for Mbappe not to capitalise on the chances he was set up by the winger.

Dembele finished the game completing two take ons before being substituted in the 72nd minute.

However, in spite of missing two glorious chances, the PSG star did redeemed himself by converting on the opportunities he had later in the game to finish off with a brace.


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Akshaj Sinha
ANALYST
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