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the Blues succeed in their entry into the running by outclassing Australia (4-1)

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Jacques Vendroux with AFP
10:20 p.m., November 22, 2022modified to

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09:27, November 23, 2022

Kylian Mbappé and the Blues have started the defense of their world title against Australia. France won 4-1. Rabiot (27th), Olivier Giroud (32nd, 67th) and Kylian Mbappé (68th) scored the goals that allow the French team to take the lead in group D alone, after Tunisia and Denmark drew in the afternoon (0-0). Australia opened the scoring through Craig Goodwin (9th).

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Deprived of Ballon d’Or Karim Benzema, midfield regulators Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté, injured, defense boss Raphaël Varane, left on the bench, and too quickly Lucas Hernandez, who was injured from the 9th minute, the Blues had to reinvent themselves.

Bad start to the game

The story got off to a bad start. After a dynamic start to the match, Didier Deschamps’ men conceded an early goal. Goodwin found himself alone in the area, forgotten by Benjamin Pavard, and easily deceived Hugo Lloris (1-0, 9th). Freezing shower! The French were struck by doubt in the following minutes.

Certainly, the flashes of Kylian Mbappé on the left and Ousmane Dembélé on the right, supersonic and unstoppable in their corridors, hinted at the possibility of making up the delay.

Unsustainable Rabiot

But it was Adrien Rabiot, the Juventus midfielder, who turned into band leader, to put the team back in the game and restart the seized machine. He first victoriously headed a deep ball from Théo Hernandez, who came into play to replace his brother Lucas (1-1, 27th).

Five minutes later, the same Rabiot furiously scratched a ball badly thrown by the Australians, to come and serve Olivier Giroud magnificently in the area. The 36-year-old center-forward scored his 50th goal in the blue jersey (2-1, 32nd), becoming the doyen of French scorers in the World Cup ahead of Zinedine Zidane, author at 34 of a panenka in final of the 2006 edition against Italy.

Led, the Australians were forced to take risks, and to open up spaces.

Henry’s record

And Giroud had his moment of glory, the 71st of this World Cup match, where only Benzema’s injury gave him a starting place. Served by Mbappé, the center-forward of AC Milan scored the 4th goal for the French, and especially his 51st in the jersey struck by the rooster. His teammates warmly celebrated him: he had just equaled the absolute record of goals in the France team, held since 2009 by his eldest Thierry Henry.

Shortly before, he had had a first opportunity to match Henry, with a spectacular bicycle in the area, unfortunately off target (50th). In the meantime, Mbappé had sheltered France by concretizing the superiority of the world champions in the second period, scoring with a header on a cross from Dembélé (3-1, 68th).

This victory, against an opponent certainly within reach of the Blues, will allow Didier Deschamps to prepare the sequel with more serenity. He had certainly lined up six holders of the 2018 World Cup final at kick-off: the attacking trio Mbappé-Griezmann-Giroud, full-backs Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez, and goalkeeper-captain Hugo Lloris.

Source: Europe1

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