Didier Deschamps knows many of his players are focused on club duties as the conclusion to the domestic season looms, but he was satisfied with France’s performance in their 3-1 friendly win over Russia.
After a slow start in St Petersburg, Paul Pogba created the opening goal for Kylian Mbappe and netted a stunning free-kick to make it 2-0.
Russia pulled one back through Fedor Smolov, but Mbappe netted his second and France’s third with seven minutes to go to make the result safe.
And Deschamps feels his team, who surrendered a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 to Colombia in Paris on Friday, can be satisfied with their efforts at Petrovsky Stadium.
“We scored three goals, so no matter the system, we created opportunities,” he told TF1 when asked about the team’s switch from 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3.
“We made fewer errors in the second period, even if we conceded the goal.
“We did not do everything well, but this is a time when players have a lot of matches and goals to achieve [for their clubs].”
Deschamps was also impressed with World Cup hosts Russia, who produced an improved showing after going down 3-0 to Brazil in Moscow last week.
“They were [impressive] in their style … there is quality and commitment, a bit too much,” he added, jokingly.
— French Team (@FrenchTeam) March 27, 2018
Mbappe became the youngest player to score a brace for France in the post-war period and limped off in the final minutes, but the Paris Saint-Germain forward did not appear to be in any discomfort during his post-match interview, and also sought to play down his entry in the record books.
“It’s good, I’m happy, but the important thing was to win,” he said.
“I do not chase after the records.
“I felt good because I played with players with whom it is easy to combine… Ousmane Dembele, Anthony Martial, who is a great player.
“There are automatic [things] to create [between the players] but it’s a good start.”
France’s World Cup campaign begins against Australia in Kazan on June 16, followed by meetings with Peru and Denmark.
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