Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud guide Didier Deschamps’ side to Nations League victory

France 2-0 Austria: Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud lift Didier Deschamps’ side from the bottom of their Nations League group as the Blues put off-pitch problems behind them

  • France sealed a 2-0 win over Austria in the Nations League on Thursday night
  • Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud both scored in the second half of the game
  • Didier Deschamps’ side moved into third place in Group 1 with five points
  • The Blues went into the game without a win in the Nations League campaign this season

France kept their hopes of staying in the Nations League top flight alive as goals from Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud secured a 2-0 win at home to Austria on Thursday.

PSG striker Mbappe opened the scoring with another stunning goal before AC Milan star Giroud, who again showed coach Didier Deschamps that he is more than a third-choice striker, seals the victory of the world champions with a head.

France, who travel to Denmark on Sunday, moved into third place in Group 1 with five points from as many games.

France sealed a 2-0 win over Austria in the Nations League in Paris on Thursday night

Kylian Mbappe opened the scoring in the 55th minute with a superb right-footed effort

Kylian Mbappe opened the scoring in the 55th minute with a superb right-footed effort

Olivier Giroud doubled the Blues’ lead with a header into the top left corner against Austria

The victory comes at a price, however, as defender Jules Kounde and goalkeeper Mike Maignan have been injured and could join Karim Benzema, Hugo Lloris and Paul Pogba on the sidelines.

The hosts, who had lost two and drawn two of their previous four games, came out looking great at the Stade de France.

Mbappe fired into the top corner in the second minute but the effort was disallowed for offside.

Victory comes at a price, as Jules Kounde (pictured) and Mike Maignan were injured

Victory comes at a price, as Jules Kounde (pictured) and Mike Maignan were injured

Aurelien Tchouameni’s attempt just outside the box after a quick combination between Antoine Griezmann and Mbappe was knocked down by Austrian goalkeeper Patrick Pentz as the Blues put on the pressure.

Defender Kounde became the latest victim of an injury-ravaged side when he limped off the pitch with a muscle problem and Maignan was substituted for Alphonse Areola at half-time with calf pain .

Mbappe, denied by Pentz after a one-two with Giroud, tormented the Austrian defense with his pace and created space for his teammates, Jonathan Clauss narrowly missing a goal early in the second half.

PSG striker Mbappe celebrates his goal as he helps France end a run without a win in the Nations League

PSG striker Mbappe celebrates his goal as he helps France end a run without a win in the Nations League

Mbappe broke the deadlock with a cool finish after beating five defenders following a perfect pass from Giroud.

This pushed Austria into action but they lacked precision in the box and it was France who scored again.

Giroud found the back of the net in the 65th minute on an accurate cross from Griezmann for his 49th international goal, two short of Thierry Henry’s national record.

The AC Milan striker was replaced by Ousmane Dembele to a standing ovation from the Stade de France crowd, leaving Deschamps, who only called Giroud up in the absence of Benzema, with a tricky decision ahead of the Cup November world.

Giroud scored his 49th international goal, now two steps away from Thierry Henry's national record

Giroud scored his 49th international goal, now two steps away from Thierry Henry’s national record

Croatia top the group after a 2-1 win over Denmark, who would have secured top spot themselves had they won in Zagreb.

Defender Borna Sosa put the hosts ahead with his first international goal. Manchester United midfielder Christian Eriksen equalized with a sensational long-range strike, but two minutes later Lovro Majer scored the winner from outside the box.

Croatia need only beat Austria on Sunday to qualify for next year’s final and secure a place in the Euro 2024 play-offs.

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