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Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud on target as France defeat Wales

The hosts also struck the woodwork three times in Paris

FOOTBALL 12/11/17 13:21
Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud on target as France defeat Wales

Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud were on target as France beat Wales 2-0 in their Paris friendly.

Griezmann gave France an 18th-minute lead before Giroud’s deflected effort in the final quarter gave the scoreline a fairer reflection of their dominance.

France struck the woodwork no less than three times with Wales’ best chances coming from the unlikely figure of defender Chris Gunter, who twice forced saves from Steve Mandanda.

What they said

Chris Coleman saw Wales lose 2-0 in Wales
Chris Coleman, second left, knew his Wales side were up against it in Paris (Steven Paston/PA)

Wales boss Chris Coleman: “We can take positives, but it was always going to be tough. Not because of their quality, but where we are mentally after losing out on the play-offs. There is still a bit of a hangover there and I think that will be there for a while.”

France boss Didier Deschamps: “We had good speed and movement and we maybe could have scored more. The Welsh team was defending quite deep but overall it was a good game and we played quite efficiently.”

Tweet of the match

Star man – Kylian Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe performed well for France
Kylian Mbappe, right, stood out in Paris (Steven Paston/PA)

Atletico Madrid striker Griezmann was central to most of France’s scintillating one-touch football in the first half and volleyed Les Bleus into the lead, but Mbappe edged it as star of the show. The jet-heeled teenager gave Wales a torrid time whenever in possession. The Paris St Germain forward has all the tricks and electrifying pace, showing glimpses of what can be expected on the world stage next summer in Russia, and was given a rapturous send-off when withdrawn late on by the Stade de France crowd.

The future is bright for Wales

Wales boss Chris Coleman sent on teenager Ethan Ampadu and David Brooks for their full international debuts, while Ben Woodman joined them off the bench for the final half an hour. They injected infectious enthusiasm and energy into Coleman’s side. Soon after going on, all three were involved in one of Wales’ best moments as shots rained in during a 66th-minute goalmouth scramble. Sheffield United forward Brooks and Liverpool winger Woodburn then combined in the closing stages for the latter to fire off target. All three could star for their country for years to come.

Les Bleus spoilt for choice

Olivier Giroud netted France's second goal
Olivier Giroud started up front and scored for France (Steven Paston/PA)

France manager Didier Deschamps was without goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and playmaker Paul Pogba, plus a host of defenders, but the striking talent at his disposal ahead of next summer’s World Cup finals is awesome. Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette, Manchester United’s Anthony Martial and Lyon’s Nabil Fekir all had to settle for a place on the bench as Griezmann, Kingsley Coman, Giroud and Mbappe took the game to Wales.

Ratings

Wales: Wayne Hennessey 6 (out of 10), Chris Gunter 6, James Chester 7, Ashley Williams 7, Ben Davies 7, Neil Taylor 6, Joe Allen 6, Joe Ledley 6, Andy King 5, Aaron Ramsey 6, Sam Vokes 6. Subs: Ben Woodburn (for Davies, 63mins) 6, Ethan Ampadu (for Ledley, 63mins) 7, David Brooks (for King, 63mins) 6, Tom Lawrence (for Vokes, 83mins) 6.

Who’s up next?

Germany v France (friendly, Tuesday November 14)

Wales v Panama (friendly, Tuesday November 14)

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