France made light work of the Republic of Ireland easing to a 2-0 victory in an international friendly courtesy of goals by Olivier Giroud and Nabil Fekir, writes MARSHALL GOUTS.
Didier Deschamps utilised the clash to iron out any last-minute concerns prior to the World Cup. The French mentor opted for an unconventional 4-2-3-1 formation, with Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud playing as the man-on-top.
The home side dominated early proceedings and looked particularly threatening through the pace and trickery of Kylian Mbappe, who had almost gifted his side the opener in the 10th minute, but a timely intervention from Seamus Coleman ensured that the scorelines remained level.
Despite knocking on the Irish door for most of the first stanza, France’s opener only arrived in the 40th minute when Giroud bundled home following a good corner by Nabil Fekir.
Fekir went from provider to goalscorer two minutes later as he bamboozled three defenders, before switching the ball to his weaker right foot, which goalkeeper Colin Doyle could only palm into his own net.
Ireland had their first chance at goal moments before the half-time break, but Shane Long could only sky his effort as France were in full control of the clash.
The second half started much like the first half ended, with France throwing numbers toward the Irish goal front. Fekir was having a memorable night and came close to setting up France’s third by jinxing his way into the area but Giroud was unable to complement the assist with a fine finish.
Star duo Paul Pogba and Ousmane Dembele were handed cameo appearances as they replaced Corentin Tolisso and Mbappe late on.
With 20 minutes left on the clock, Fekir made way for Antoine Griezmann as France looked to put the game to bed.
Giroud should have put the result beyond doubt after being put through on goal by Mbappe, but the Blues forward failed to get on the end of the ball in the area.
Ireland failed to put up any resistance to the French dominance as Les Bleus ran out comfortable 2-0 victors.
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