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Mbappe double as France demolish sad Dutchman on Koeman’s return

France didn’t suffer from a World Cup hangover as they swept hapless Netherlands 4-0 in a one-sided Group B opener for Euro 2024.

New captain Kylian Mbappe was on target twice in the Blues’ first game since heartbreak losing the final on penalties to Argentina after a thrilling return to Qatar three months ago, with his side producing a devastating 21-minute blitz against injury. – ravaged the Dutch team in Paris to get off to a solid start on the road to Germany.

Antoine Griezmann brought home France’s fastest goal since 2006 after just a minute and 55 seconds after being perfectly coached by Mbappe, quickly putting reports of any rift between the pair to bed after Mbappe was recently named his country’s last skipper by head coach Didier Deschamps. to replace the retired Hugo Lloris.

Lloris was honored before kick-off along with fellow international retirees Raphael Varane, Blaise Matuidi and Steve Mandanda, with Karim Benzema apparently turning down an invite to the ceremony. There was also a minute of applause to remember the late France icon and all-time greatest goalscorer in a single World Cup in Just Fontaine, who sadly passed away earlier this month here at the age of 89.

The relentless Blues were eager to pay tribute to one of their most famous players as they went 2-0 down in just eight minutes, a dangerous free-kick from the pink-haired Griezmann bouncing off Bayern Munich defender Dayot Upamecano after Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen had been caught in no man’s land.

Two became three just 13 minutes later when Mbappe launched an attack and rushed into the box to collect Aurélien Tchouameni’s fine low pass through an expert dummy of Randal Kolo Muani, selected ahead of top scorer Olivier Giroud to lead the attack, then coldly on the wrong foot. Cillessen at his nearest post.

France had to wait a long time for their fourth, substitute Moussa Diaby seeing an accomplished finish ruled out for offside before Mbappe completed his double late, weaving here and there and sitting out both Jurrien Timber and Daley Blind – for his 100th Cap from the Netherlands which will quickly be forgotten – before winning the bottom corner masterfully.

His 38th goal in just 67 caps saw him walk away from Ballon d’Or holder Benzema as France’s fifth-highest goalscorer of all time at 24, with only Michel Platini, Griezmann, Thierry Henry and Giroud ahead of the Paris Saint-Germain superstar in the scoring charts.

A miserable opening to Ronald Koeman’s second reign as the Dutch national coach ended in the dying seconds, when Memphis Depay had a tame penalty thwarted by Lloris heir apparent Mike Maignan after Upamecano n couldn’t get his hand away from a Wout Weghorst header on the inside. the box.

France will be bursting with confidence as they travel to Dublin soon to face the Republic of Ireland on Monday night, while the Netherlands – who were already plagued with injuries before seeing five players withdraw with a virus in the day before that game – will be heavy favorites to bounce back against Group B minnows Gibraltar in Rotterdam.

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