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Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Olivier Giroud shine as France beat Italy 3-1

Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba of France relaxes before the international friendly match between Italy and France at Stadio San Nicola in Bari, Italy.
Modified 02 Sep 2016, 16:29 IST

Paul Pogba returned to play for France after his world record transfer, in stunning fashion as he created two goals in his national side’s thumping 3-1 victory over arch-rivals Italy.

France overcame the disappointment of their Euro 2016 final loss and put an impressive performance that saw Anthony Martial and Layvin Kurzawa score their first goals for the country. France beat Italy 3-1 in a game which also included a goal from the Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud.

Since the Euros, Olivier Giroud has not featured in any games as he was given extended leave by his club manager Arsene Wenger. However, France coach Didier Deschamps felt that Giroud was fit enough to play and to lead the French attack .

Also Read: France manager Didier Deschamps wants Anthony Martial to add consistency to his performances

Anthony Martial opened the scoring for France in the 16th minute. Paul Pogba showed why he is worth £89.3 million as he was at the heart of the good work that France were doing and instantly made the difference by curling a pass to Martial, setting him up for his first ever goal.

Soon, Italy equalized in no less than four minutes, courtesy a Graziano Pelle strike, but manager Giampiero Ventura’s first match in charge of Italy didn’t get better.

Also Read: Italy coach Giampiero Ventura jokes that he will manage Chelsea when Antonio Conte leaves

Olivier Giroud restored the lead for the French, by dispatching a volley to the back of the net, after Kurzawa brilliantly dinked the ball inside the box. Giroud scored his 21st goal for his country.

For the Italians, there was a debut for the prodigious 17-year-old Gianluigi Donnarumma, who came off the bench at half-time to replace Gianluigi Buffon, and became the youngest Italian goalkeeper of all time.


The AC Milan shot-stopper is highly rated and besides sharing the same first name as the Juventus legend, his traits also appear to be similar to Buffon.

Buffon has already publicly stated that Donnarumma is the future of Italy and has called him the ‘chosen one’. However, the Italian wonder kid’s first game for the Azzurri was somewhat short of a wonder debut ,as he let Kurzawa score the third goal past him in the 81st minute, which completed the comprehensive rout at Bari.

Both teams will now be seen in competitive action during the international break, as they kick start their World Cup qualifying campaigns. Italy face Israel while France will be up against Belarus on September 7th.

Published 02 Sep 2016, 16:18 IST
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