It was a hard-fought contest and Sweden were prepared to put up a fight. However, the French defence was up to the task and held their own against the Swedish attackers. Les Bleus had the chance to make it 2-0 as Victor Lindelof conceded a penalty in the last minute of the match by bundling Anthony Martial inside the box.
However, Antoine Griezmann failed to hit the target from the spot with the last kick of the game. France would count themselves fortunate to have clinched the victory at the Friends Arena.
Let's take a look at how the French players fared in their opening fixture of the UEFA Nations League 2020-21 campaign.
France Player Ratings
Hugo Lloris (c) - 7/10
Lloris made a couple of crucial saves for France, one of them coming in a one-on-one situation from Marcus Berg when it was still 0-0. His goal was never under any sort of prolonged threat despite Sweden having a lot of time on the ball.
Dayot Upamecano - 6/10
Had a couple shaky moments and there were a few teething issues but it was a largely decent France national team debut for the promising centre-back.
Raphael Varane - 7/10
Showed his experience on several occasions and did well to marshall the tenacious Swedish attackers. Varane was reliable at the back and negotiated the threat of the Swedish attack with confidence. He made an excellent block at the edge of the area in the dying embers of the game to deny Sweden an equalizer.
Presnel Kimpembe - 7/10
Solid at the back, Presnel Kimpembe did well under the Swedish press for the most part. He proved once again that he is the best option to be Varane's companion at the back.
Leo Dubois - 6/10
Efficient in a defensive sense, Dubois would have loved to get more involved in attack for France but it was a solid showing nevertheless.
N'Golo Kanté - 7/10
One of France's World Cup heroes, Kante was his typical industrial self, covering every blade of grass and making sure the French defence was given a solid layer of protection. After a season blighted by injuries, Kante looks like he is getting back to his best.
Adrien Rabiot - 6/10
Took some time to grow into the game but once he did, there was more zing in his passes and he drove forward with intent on multiple occasions even though it didn't amount to much.
Lucas Digne - 6/10
Tracked back well though he wasn't afforded a lot of room on the left side of the pitch going forward. Digne could not combine with Griezmann nearly as well as he would have hoped.
Antoine Griezmann- 4/10
The Barcelona man had a rather silent outing and never really got into his stride. Missed a real good chance for France in the 74th minute at the end of a measured counter-attack as he skied from a Digne cut-back. He blazed a last-minute penalty over the bar with the last kick of the game after Martial won a penalty.
Olivier Giroud- 5/10
Came close to scoring in the 54th minute with a header and that was incidentally the first time that France manufactured that sort of a situation for their tall centre-forward. Other than that, Giroud was nearly invisible for the rest of the game.
Kylian Mbappe - 7/10
A little bit of good fortune followed by a moment of individual brilliance from Mbappe gave France their lead. Always eager to take players on, he kept the Swedish defenders on their toes whenever France broke and once again showcased his maturity and incredible ability to score from a very tight angle.
Anthony Martial- 6/10
Looked sharp after coming on. The Manchester United man marked his return to the international stage after a long absence by showing that he can offer a slicker option upfront ahead of the European championships. He won a penalty against club teammate Victor Lindelof in the last minute of the game.
Ferland Mendy- N/A
Came on in the 88th minute and didn't have much time to do anything.
Steven Nzonzi- N/A
Nzonzi came on in the last minute to help see off the game.Published 06 Sep 2020, 02:39 IST