France managed to overcome a determined Ireland side on Monday night as the road to UEFA Euro 2024 continues.
The journey to reach next summer’s European Championship in Germany has well and truly begun. Nations across the continent are all attempting to earn a place at the big dance and while some will feel much more confident than others, we still expect a few surprises along the way.
Last night, the ghost of Thierry Henry’s handball was looming large as Ireland went toe to toe with France. On this occasion, Les Bleus managed to pull out a narrow 1-0 win to ensure they kept their campaign going strong.
Today, we’ll be picking out a few big takeaways we had from what went down.
Mbappe still isn’t the leader
He may have had a few flashes of brilliance here and there, but we still don’t think Kylian Mbappe is the leader that many make him out to be. He’s obviously one of the best players in world football, but it neve really feels like he can be the one to push from the front. He did so in the World Cup final and they came up short and here, it was Benjamin Pavard who had to save the day after Kylian was largely kept at bay.
With 11 shots on goal and eight corners, it’s safe to say that Ireland made sure to put their best foot forward here. They kept the scoreline at 0-0 heading into half time courtesy of some nice defensive work, and they carried that mentality forward when they went behind. They forced a string of good saves out of Mike Maignan, especially from Nathan Collins, and proved that they more than belong at this level.
One foot in the finals
They may have only played and won two games thus far, but the French already look like they have one foot in the Euros next year. They’ve beaten the Dutch and the Irish, arguably their two toughest competitors, and it’s expected that Greece and Gibraltar will fall victim to the same fate. It’s important not to get too far ahead of yourself at this level, but qualifying feels like a formality here.
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