Mbappe cooks Austria! France star lets play do talking in Nations League after bizarre week

France moved one step closer to salvaging their Nations League campaign with a 2-0 win over Austria, their first of the competition.

  • France beat Austria 2-0
  • Mbappe and Giroud on target
  • Win over Denmark sees Les Bleus avoid relegation

WHAT HAPPENED? After a scoreless first half, France finally got their goal from Kylian Mbappe in the 56th minute. Following a giveaway in midfield, Olivier Giroud found the Paris Saint-Germain star, who slalomed through Austria’s defense before ripping a beautiful shot into the back of the net. Giroud then doubled the advantage nine minutes later, effectively sealing the win for Les Bleus.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Nations League has been a struggle for France, who had failed to win each of their first four games. But now a win over Denmark would spare the reigning World Cup winners from an embarrassing relegation to the competition’s lower tier. Beating Austria was also a relief for a squad that has dealt with more bizarre controversy this week.

ALL EYES ON: Who else beat Mbappe? He had so much to do on his goal and, wow, did he do it. The PSG star has these moments where he simply takes over, and Thursday was another example of that as France march or, based on injuries, limp towards the World Cup.

MATCH IN THREE PHOTOS:

Olivier Giroud France Austria 2022Getty Images
Kylian Mbappe picture celebration France Austria 2022Getty Images
Jules Kounde France Austria 2022Getty Images

DID YOU KNOW? By starting Benoit Badiashile and Wesley Fofana, France handed two players their first caps. It’s the first time two French starters have earned their first cap in the same match since Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane did so back in March 2013.

THE VERDICT: France got a vital win, but it may have come at a cost as Jules Kounde and Mike Maignan were removed at half-time due to injuries. They’ll join Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, Presnel Kimpembe and Kingsley Coman among those dealing with injuries.

WHAT NEXT FOR FRANCE? Les Bleus will wrap up the Nations League group stage against Denmark before looking ahead to a World Cup group featuring the Danes, Australia and Tunisia.

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