France took a giant step towards qualifying for the 2022 World Cup as Antoine Griezmann’s brace helped them pick up a 2-0 victory over Finland on Tuesday.
The hosts dominated proceedings from the get-go. They had an excellent opportunity in the 23rd minute, which Karim Benzema wasted.
The Real Madrid man made amends two minutes later by turning provider for Griezmann, who put France ahead after Finland failed to properly clear their lines.
A well-worked move down the left flank saw the Atletico Madrid man score with an exquisite outside-of-the-boot finish from the edge of the box. He doubled the advantage eight minutes into the second half.
Leo Dubois did well to create space through the middle, from which Griezmann dribbled across the Finnish defense before slotting past Lukas Hradecky.
The victory saw France solidify their position at the summit of Group D with 12 points garnered from six matches. Here’s a rundown of how each French player fared in the match.
France player ratings against Finland
Hugo Lloris – 6/10
Hugo Lloris did not have to make any saves on the night as France’s dominance meant that Finland were restricted to harmless shots off target.
Presnel Kimpembe – 7/10
The Paris Saint-Germain man made three tackles and three clearances but had to be substituted late on after suffering an injury scare.
Raphael Varane – 7.5/10
Raphael Varane was his usual composed self as the marshall of the French defense. He made three interceptions to snuff out Finland’s attacks on the rare occasions they ventured forward.
Kurt Zouma – 7.5/10
Kurt Zouma made an impact at both ends of the field and looked at ease on the right of a three-man defense.
Theo Hernandez – 6/10
Theo Hernandez did not really shine bright on what was his international debut for France. The AC Milan man was not as effective in attack as his wing-back partner.
Adrien Rabiot – 7/10
The Juventus man created one chance and had a pass accuracy of 94.3% in what was a thorough display in midfield.
Paul Pogba – 7.5/10
Paul Pogba was immaculate once again and played a key role in France dictating the tempo of the game from start to finish. The 28-year-old failed to hit the target with any of his three shots but put in a defensive shift with three interceptions.
Leo Dubois – 8/10
Leo Dubois was a menace to the Finnish defense down the right flank, and he was one of the main attacking channels for the hosts. His assist for Antoine Griezmann’s second goal showed the full range of his technique. The Lyon man sustained an injury midway through the second half and was replaced by Nordi Mukiele.
Antoine Griezmann – 9/10
Antoine Griezmann was the star of the show, with his brace helping France secure all three points. He also created three chances for his teammates before leaving the field in injury time.
Anthony Martial – 6/10
Despite France’s dominance, Anthony Martial was an anonymous presence in attack. He failed to fashion a shot in the game before being replaced by Wissam Ben Yedder in the 80th minute.
Karim Benzema – 7.5/10
Karim Benzema missed a number of gilt-edged chances but played his role in the victory by providing the assist for Griezmann’s opener.
Nordi Mukiele – 6/10
Nordi Mukiele replaced the impressive Leo Dubois, and there was a noticeable drop in quality down France’s right flank. He fashioned one shot that went off target.
Wissam Ben Yedder – 6/10
The Monaco man came on with 10 minutes to go and ended the game with a pass accuracy of 87.5%.
Clement Lenglet – N/A
The Barcelona man came on with one minute to go and barely had a kick of the ball.
Aurelien Tchouameni – N/A
The Monaco midfielder came on in the second minute of injury time and did not have enough time to make a mark on the game.