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Euro 2020 qualifiers: Iceland 0-4 France - 5 talking points and analysis

SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
1.44K   //    26 Mar 2019, 14:07 IST

The victory lifted the hosts to the top of their Euro 2020 qualification table
The victory lifted the hosts to the top of their Euro 2020 qualification table

France swatted aside Iceland’s challenge as they ran out 4-0 winners at the Stade de France on Monday. The victory lifted the hosts to the top of their Euro 2020 qualification table, ahead of Turkey on goal difference.

The home side got off to the perfect start in the 12th minute when Samuel Umtiti scored the opener. Though the world champions applied pressure, they weren’t able to breach the away side’s defence further in the first half.

In the second period, Olivier Giroud doubled the hosts’ advantage eight minutes after the hour mark when he coolly slotted past Halldorsson. Ten minutes later, Kylian Mbappe put the result beyond doubt with a superb toe-poke finish.

However, France wasn’t done yet as Antoine Griezmann latched onto a sublime Mbappe back-heel to add more gloss on the score-line.

Here is a look at five talking points from the game.


#5 France’s attack too hot to handle for Iceland

Mbappe was sensational while Giroud turned in one of his better recent displays
Mbappe was sensational while Giroud turned in one of his better recent displays

Both teams came into the encounter at the Stade de France jostling for top position in the group. Though France boasted of a significant advantage on paper, many expected Iceland to punch above their weight. However, the hosts turned the screw spectacularly and blew the visitors away.

The world champions attacked from the outset and caused Iceland problems. Mbappe was sensational while Giroud turned in one of his better recent displays.

With the security of N’Golo Kante behind them, the hosts’ front five methodically pulled Iceland apart. Throughout the game, Giroud functioned as the ideal target man and brought the others into play. His movement created space for the likes of Griezmann and Mbappe to come in-field.

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Blaise Matuidi, meanwhile, was efficient if not extravagant, whereas Paul Pogba pulled the strings in midfield and distributed the ball with aplomb. The home side’s midfield superiority also allowed their full-backs to venture forward frequently.     

Since France’s World Cup triumph, Didier Deschamps’ men have stuttered and have failed to showcase their attacking verve.

Yet, on Monday, their offensive prowess came to the fore and eventually proved a little too hot to handle for Iceland. 

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