France vs Netherlands – Football Match Report – March 24, 2023

Reuters4 minutes read

Hislop calls disagreements between Mbappe and Griezmann ‘nonsense’

Shaka Hislop breaks down why he sees the feud between Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann for the captain’s armband as outside noise and nonsense.

New France captain Kylian Mbappe lived up to expectations with two goals in a 4-0 home win over the Netherlands as Les Bleus recklessly started their Euro 2024 Group B qualifying campaign on Friday.

Mbappe, who was skippered after goalkeeper Hugo Lloris retired from international football in January, set up Antoine Griezmann for the opener before scoring the third after Dayot Upamecano doubled the tally in a first-half blitz , before he scored the late goal in front of an ecstatic crowd.

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With Lloris and influential centre-back Raphael Varane now out of the international picture, France wanted to impress in their first game since losing to Argentina in the World Cup last December and did just that against a virus-hit Dutch side under their new – appointed managing director.

The result was a slap in the face for Ronald Koeman, who took over his first game since taking over from Louis van Gaal after the Oranje reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar, for his second stint after a first spell in 2018-2020.

“It’s great,” said Mbappe. “We didn’t want to concede to make everyone happy. Mike doesn’t like conceding and for the first time as number one he kept a clean sheet.”

“We’re all behind him. We’ve prepared not to disappoint the fans for this first game here after the World Cup.”

France lead Group B ahead of Greece, who beat Gibraltar 3-0 away. Didier Deschamps’ side meet Ireland in Dublin on Monday while the Netherlands host Gibraltar.

Kylian Mbappe had a dream first game as the French captain.Marcel ter Bals/BSR Agency/Getty Images

The Dutch, missing five players after the squad was ravaged by a viral infection, got off to a dismal start as Les Bleus broke the deadlock after two minutes and Griezmann ended a great move in style with a curled shot from Mbappe’s cross inside the box.

The visiting defense then turned Griezmann’s free-kick into a dog dinner, and Upamecano pooled the ball home to double the advantage six minutes later.

“Obviously, if you’re 2-0 down after seven minutes, it’s going to be damn hard work,” said Dutch captain Virgil van Dijk.

“We just started badly and then you’re behind… Then they play a pretty easy game with their qualities. We have to look at that, it’s difficult to analyze so quickly, but 0-2 after seven minutes is just a shame.”

Mbappe made it 3-0 after 22 minutes and clinically rolled the ball into the goal from close range after a pass from Aurelien Tchouameni.

The Netherlands threatened briefly at the break, but Memphis Depay’s effort went just wide when Koeman sent on striker Wout Weghorst for midfielder Kenneth Taylor in the 33rd minute.

France were close again when Jasper Cillessen headed away a header from Ibrahima Konate nine minutes before the break.

The Dutch had an early chance in the second half with a Depay free-kick but that was as close as they came when Upamecano and Konate set up France’s centre-back.

Randal Kolo Muani, who started as the only striker in France’s 4-3-3 formation, also performed well until he came on for Olivier Giroud in the 76th minute.

France then took it easy before traveling to Dublin, but Mbappe rubbed salt into Dutch wounds and danced his way towards the box before unleashing a powerful cross shot for the fourth goal and 38th in 67 games.

Mike Maignan, the number one goalkeeper since Lloris’ retirement, then saved Depay’s injury time penalty and left fans wondering what would have happened if he had been between the posts in the World Cup final – a tournament he missed through injury.

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