France vs Australia, 4-1: Player ratings for Les Bleus’ first World Cup defence.

France vs Australia, 4-1

France vs Australia, 4-1: France had to overcome a one-goal deficit to defeat Australia in their first group-stage encounter of the World Cup.

The world champions led by Didier Deschamps went down early but responded with a brilliant collective effort.

Harry Souttar’s cross-field pass was received by Matthew Leckie, who dribbled inside Lucas Hernandez and crossed for Craig Goodwin, who blasted the ball into the top corner of the goal.

France vs Australia, 4-1: Australia came close to increasing their lead when Theo Hernandez, who had replaced his injured brother, ceded possession too readily to Mitchell Duke, whose shot just missed the post.

However, France equalised in the 27th minute when a cleared corner fell to Hernandez and Adrien Rabiot headed in his cross from a few yards away.

Nathaniel Atkinson was robbed by Kylian Mbappe and Rabiot shortly after the champions regained possession of the ball in a favourable position on the field. This player then selflessly set up Olivier Giroud to score on an empty net.

After rebounding from an early setback, France began to make progress against Australia. Mbappe continued to run circles around Atkinson, as Antoine Griezmann missed the target from 20 yards out.

At the stroke of halftime, Mbappe somehow volleyed a cross from Griezmann over the crossbar from six yards out, then Jackson Irvine headed against the post in stoppage time.

Giroud came close just after halftime with a spectacular overhead kick that brushed Mat Ryan’s upright.

Kye Rowles’ last-ditch tackle prevented Mbappe from scoring following a beautiful combination with Giroud, and Aziz Behich cleared Griezmann’s 18-yard attempt off the goal line.

Mbappe finally got on the board in the middle of the second half when he leaped high to head home a cross from Ousmane Dembele that had been deftly chipped.

In the minutes that followed Les Bleus’ third goal, Giroud matched Thierry Henry’s record as France’s all-time leading scorer with a header from a Mbappe cross.

Ibrahima Konate’s initial touch of the ball prompted Ryan to make a diving save, with the former Brighton goalkeeper diving over his line to deny the header. Hernandez had his own header blocked only seconds later.

France’s victory was confirmed after seven minutes of stoppage time, making them the first defending world champion to win their group stage opener since Brazil in 2006.

France player ratings

1. France (4-2-3-1)

Hugo Lloris – 5/10 – GK Both the goal and Australia’s greatest attacks were outside his control.

Benjamin Pavard, RB, received a rating of 5/10 for his effort, but only after losing Goodwin’s run for the opening goal.

CB: Ibrahima Konate – 6/10 – Wasn’t the greatest performance, but it didn’t really matter.

CB: Dayot Upamecano – 6/10 – Distribution was sometimes awry. It is unknown why William Saliba or Jules Kounde did not start.

Lucas Hernandez suffered a knee injury before to Australia’s first game and was replaced by his brother.

CM: Aurelien Tchouameni – 7/10 – At first, he seemed intimidated, but then he got into the game.

CM: Adrien Rabiot – 8/10 – Brought his unexpectedly strong club form to the international stage with a well-earned goal and assist.

RM: Ousmane Dembele – 8/10 – Played a touch more with his feet than he would have liked, but he dug in and was a tremendous contribution.

At times, Antoine Griezmann dropped into midfield to create a three-man midfield. Still very crucial for this France team.

LM: Kylian Mbappe – 9/10 – Australia’s only option against Mbappe was to hope he would miss his shots.

CF: Olivier Giroud – 9/10 – Works really effectively in unison with Griezmann and Mbappe. His goals and record provide excellent value.

Theo Hernandez (13′ for L. Hernandez) – 7/10 – Despite a shaky start, he demonstrated that he fits this system far better than Lucas.

Youssouf Fofana (for Tchouameni in the 77th minute) – n.d.

Kingsley Coman for Dembele in the 77th minute – n.d.

Jules Kounde replaced Pavard in the 89th minute.

Marcus Thuram (89′) replaces Olivier Giroud. – n.d.

Manager: Didier Deschamps – 7/10 – After falling behind, France might have imploded, but Deschamps and his soldiers fought to overcome the deficit. Excellent execution.

Australia player ratings

2. Australia (4-3-3)

Mat Ryan, goalkeeper – 5/10 – Pulled upon many times. Not actually responsible for the aims.

RB: Nathaniel Atkinson – 3/10 – Mbappe tore him to bits, but that’s no disgrace.

Harry Souttar’s rating for The Outback Maguire is 6/10. His passing range was a tremendous asset, as he seemed to have a handle on everything.

CB: Kye Rowles – 5/10 – He defended with his whole heart.

LB: Aziz Behich – 5/10 – Dembele was slowed, but not completely stopped.

Riley McGree, CM – 5/10 – Had an early look at the net, but spent the most of the game chasing shadows.

CM: Aaron Mooy – 4/10 – Appeared lanky from the beginning.

CM: Jackson Irvine, 5 out of 10 Like McGree, there were times when he surged up the field, but they were just minutes.

RW: Matthew Leckie – 6/10 – Assisted on a fantastic goal, but lost Rabiot for France’s equaliser.

Mitchell Duke, CF, received a score of 5/10 for his performance before being replaced by Cummings.

Craig Goodwin scored a goal that he will never forget. His early runs prompted Pavard to play with caution.

Jason Cummings (56′ for Duke) – 4/10 as a sub.

Awer Mabil subs for McGree in the 74th minute.

Garang Kuol replaced Goodwin in the 74th minute.

85th minute: Keanu Baccus replaces Irvine.

SUB: Milos Degenek (85′ for Atkinson) – N/A

Graham Arnold, manager – 5/10 – Arnold deserves credit for Australia’s exceptional performance.

Kylian Mbappe – Man of the Match

France vs Australia, 4-1 match was very exciting