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France 2-1 Denmark: Player ratings as Mbappe hits brace

France booked their place in the World Cup round of 16 with a 2-1 victory over Denmark today.

Les Bleus had the better of the first half. They came closest to opening the scoring in the 20th minute when Adrien Rabiot’s corner was well saved from Ousmane Dembele’s cross.

They continued to press for the opener but were unable to find the net before the break. Olivier Giroud couldn’t hit the target from Kylian Mbappe’s looping ball, and the latter fired over from Dembele’s cutback.

Denmark were struggling to create anything of note at the other end. Andreas Cornelius had a powerful shot miss the target at the front post, and Rasmus Kristensen’s low cross alluded everyone.

There was far more to report in the second half as France began to crank up the pressure. Mbappe saw his effort turned over after a brilliant solo run, and Antoine Griezmann blazed miles off the target after being picked out by Aurelien Tchouameni’s long pass.

But Didier Deschamps’ men eventually found the opener. Mbappe linked up with Theo Hernandez down the left, and the latter cut the ball back for the former to sweep into the bottom corner.


However, Denmark were not deterred and netted an equaliser seven minutes later. Christian Eriksen’s corner was flicked on by Joachim Andersen, and Andreas Christensen nodded in at the back post.

It was end-to-end from then on, with both teams pressing for a winner. For France, Rabiot had an acrobatic volley fly over the crossbar, and Tchouameni had a close-range header blocked by Joakim Maehle.

Meanwhile, Denmark had some chances of their own. Hugo Lloris saved well from Jesper Lindstrom, and Martin Braithwaite struck the side netting from Kasper Dolberg’s low cross.

The winning goal eventually came, and it was Mbappe once again with it. Griezmann picked out the 23-year-old with a cross, and he bundled in at the back post.

The victory guarantees France’s place in the knockout stage, and they will secure top spot if they avoid defeat against Tunisia. Denmark need a win against Australia to avoid elimination.

France

Hugo Lloris (6/10) – Made one good save from Lindstrom. Can’t be blamed for the goal.

Jules Kounde (6/10) – Good enough defensively. Offered very little going forward.

Raphael Varane (6/10) – Effectively dealt with Cornelius in the first half. Found things tougher against Braithwaite.

Dayot Upamecano (7/10) – Rarely beaten at the back. A solid performance.

Theo Hernandez (8/10) – Linked up well with Mbappe down the left. Got himself an assist.

Aurelien Tchouameni (7/10) – Got the better of Denmark’s midfield. Strong on the ball and composed.

Adrien Rabiot (7/10) – Contributed at both ends of the pitch. Unlucky not to score on a couple of occasions.

Ousmane Dembele (7/10) – The standout player in the first half. Mellowed after the break.

Antoine Griezmann (8/10) – Heavily involved in a lot of France’s attacking play. Put in a beauty of a cross for the winner.

Kylian Mbappe (9/10) *MOTM* – Another fine performance from the Paris Saint-Germain forward. Caused problems all evening and won the game with a brace.

Olivier Giroud (5/10) – Didn’t show enough goal threat and struggled against the Danish centre-backs.

Substitutes

Marcus Thuram (6/10)

Kingsley Coman (6/10)

Ibrahima Konate (6/10)

Youssouf Fofana (NA/10)

Denmark

Kasper Schmeichel (7/10) – Required on a few occasions to keep France out. Little he could do about the goals.

Rasmus Kristensen (5/10) – Showed some attacking threat but was no match for Mbappe and Hernandez.

Joachim Andersen (7/10) – Provided threat from set pieces, getting himself an assist. Coped well with the physical presence of Giroud.

Andreas Christensen (7/10) – Also dealt with Giroud well. Instinctive finish for the goal.

Victor Nelsson (6/10) – The weakest of Denmark’s three centre-backs, but still put in a decent performance.

Joakim Maehle (6/10) – Made a couple of vital clearances. Offered very little going forward.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (5/10) – Grew into the game as time went on, but generally struggled against Tchouameni and Rabiot.

Christian Eriksen (6/10) – Showed some of his obvious quality, most notably with his set-piece delivery. Didn’t consistently produce his best stuff.

Jesper Lindstrom (6/10) – Drifted in and out of the game. Had one shot well saved by Lloris.

Andreas Cornelius (5/10) – Had one shot that went wide, but was otherwise quiet. Substituted at half time.

Mikkel Damsgaard (5/10) – Had a couple of nice touches but was unable to have much of an impact in the final third.

Substitutes

Martin Braithwaite (7/10)

Kasper Dolberg (6/10)

Christian Norgaard (NA/10)

Alexander Bah (NA/10)

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