Kylian Mbappe found the back of the net on either side of a spectacular Paul Pogba free-kick to lead France to a win over Russia.
France bounced back from their defeat to Colombia last week, beating this summer’s World Cup hosts Russia 3-1 in St. Petersburg on Tuesday night.
Mbappe gave Didier Deschamps’ side the lead in the 41st minute after some fine work by Pogba, before the Manchester United midfielder made it 2-0 four minutes into the second period via a stunning free-kick.
Fyodor Smolov pulled one back for the Russians in the 68th minute, but Mbappe put the result beyond a doubt, netting his second of the game in the 83rd minute. Here’s how we rated the performances of both sets of players on the night.
Andrey Lunev: 5.5/10
Had a solid first half where he showed good command and presence in the box, until Mbappe’s goal. Nutmegged by the PSG man for the third goal.
Vladimir Granat: 5/10
Was never able to come to terms with the pace and movement of Mbappe in the attacking third. Missed a great chance to score in the second half.
Roman Neustadter: 4/10
Had a good block on the PSG loanee in the first period. But apart from that, he failed to keep the France attackers in check.
Fyodor Kudryashov: 4/10
Much like Neustadter, Kudryashov too struggled to keep up with the vibrant French attack, once they got into their elements after a slow start.
Aleksandr Samedov: 4/10
Offered very little going forward from right wing-back and failed to keep Anthony Martial under check for most parts. Subbed off at half time.
Aleksandr Erokhin: 5/10
Battled hard in the middle of the park to wrestle away the advantage from the visitors, but to little avail.
Alan Dzagoev: 5/10
A lot was expected from the 27-year old midfielder, but he too had an off day against the Frenchman. Never really got going.
Aleksandr Golovin: 4/10
The third central midfielder for Russia, Golovin had a night to forget. Could not keep up with the pace of the game and failed to keep Pogba in check.
Yuri Zhirkov: 5.5/10
Fared slightly better than his teammate on the opposite flank, but still could not make enough impact and was taken off at half-time.
Fyodor Smolov: 7/10
Brought Russia back into the game with a well taken goal in the second period, after having forced a save from Hugo Lloris in the first period.
Aleksey Miranchuk: 4/10
Smolov’s strike partner Aleksey Miranchuk failed to have a similar impact on the proceedings. Marshalled well by the French defence before he was taken off in the 66th minute.
Hugo Lloris: 5.5/10
Almost gifted Russia a way back into the game when he parried the ball straight to Granat in the second half, only for the defender to miss. Beaten for the goal.
Benjamin Pavard: 6/10
The right-back had a fairly decent game. Hardly threatened defensively, he looked to join forces in attack at every given opportunity.
Laurent Koscielny: 6/10
The experienced Arsenal defender wasn’t troubled much for large parts of the game and will be disappointed to have conceded the goal in the second half.
Samuel Umtiti: 6/10
Much like his defensive partner, Umtiti too wasn’t asked a whole lot of questions by the Russian attack and had a fairly straightforward game.
Lucas Hernandez: 6/10
Given the nod at left-back, the Atletico Madrid man gave a good account of himself on Tuesday night. Sound at the back, he showed good intent going forward.
Paul Pogba: 8/10
The Manchester United midfielder absolutely bossed the game against Russia. Set up the opening goal for Mbappe with a peach of a through ball before doubling Les Bleus‘ advantage with a stunning free-kick from 30 yards out. Brilliant.
N’Golo Kante: 7/10
Was the ideal foil for Pogba in the middle of the park, going about his duties of pressing the opposition and recycling possession, allowing his teammate the freedom to attack.
Adrien Rabiot: 7/10
The PSG midfielder provided a good balance to the midfield trio for France, balancing caution with aggression.
Ousmane Dembele: 6/10
There were a few bright spots here and there from the Barcelona attacker, but he failed to leave a mark on the game. Subbed off in the 72nd minute.
Kylian Mbappe: 8/10
Having missed a glorious opportunity to score early on, Mbappe made amends by opening the scoring in the 41st minute and then doubled his tally late on to kill the game off. Taken off with an injury scare.
Anthony Martial: 6/10
Set Mbappe up for a chance early in the game. Fluffed his lines from four yards out on the verge of half-time. Bright and lively.