France sealed a comfortable 2-0 Euro 2024 qualifier against the Republic of Ireland on Thursday (September 7), although Kylian Mbappe failed to net.
It was an easy night for Didier Deschamps' men who toyed with the visitors at the Parc des Princes. They really could have headed in at halftime with more than just the one goal they scored.
However, the goal itself was a spectacular one and it arrived in the 19th minute. Mbappe capitalized on a poor header from Nathan Collins and found Aurelien Tchouameni. The French midfielder sent a stunning strike past Irish goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu.
It was one of 12 shots France attempted throughout a dominant first-half performance. Mbappe thought he had also got on the scoresheet in the 39th minute when Les Bleus' captain had the ball in the back of the net.
Mbappe received a clever ball from Tchouameni and his fierce effort found its way past Bazunu. However, VAR intervened and deemed the Paris Saint-Germain attacker to be offside.
Marcus Thuram had come on for Olivier Giroud in the 26th minute after the veteran striker went down with an injury. His replacement made the most of his opportunity by scoring his first goal for his national team.
The Inter Milan frontman did well to reshape himself to get into position in the 48th minute. He smashed the ball home from close range after some excellent build-up, particularly from Antoine Griezmann leading up to the goal.
Mbappe surprisingly missed a golden opportunity in the 55th minute when he ran through on goal. His shot bent past Bazunu but also wide of the post.
Tchouameni nearly grabbed himself a brace in the 65th minute with a fierce strike that was saved well by Bazunu. Ousmane Dembele then skillfully drove into Ireland's box seven minutes later, but again Bazunu was in his way.
France came away with the win and deservedly so as their unbeaten Euro 2024 qualifying campaign continued. They remain top of Group B and are on course to reach the championships in Germany.
One fan questioned how Lionel Messi's Argentina beat Deschamps' men at the 2022 FIFA World Cup:
"France are so good how did Messi beat this superteam."
Another fan was full of praise for France's skipper despite his failure to score:
"Mbappe is so so good. Makes the right decisions 95% of the time."
Here's how Twitter reacted to Les Bleus' comfortable win against Ireland:
Antoine Griezmann is pleased his France teammate Kylian Mbappe is staying at PSG
Paris Saint-Germain's entire summer transfer window was marred by constant speculation over the future of Mbappe. The French forward had informed the Parisians he wouldn't be extending his contract which expires next year.
This led to PSG making him available for sale but the France captain insisted that he wanted to see out the remaining year of his contract. He snubbed interest from Saudi Pro League giants Al Hilal who made a record-breaking €300 million bid for the Parisians' superstar.
However, last season's Ligue 1 top goalscorer has since held positive talks with PSG and is set to remain at the Parc des Princes until at least the end of this season. His France teammate Griezmann is pleased he's staying (via Tribal Football):
"Kyks is a great player, a great French personality. He was in turmoil this summer but he responded on the occasion of Toulouse. Good for us, good for PSG. It's up to us to make sure he feels comfortable with us with a light and open mind."
The 23-year-old has got back to his best at PSG after being reinstated by the Ligue 1 champions. He has bagged five goals in just three league games since returning.