MX23RW : Sunday, February 24 06:02:58
Sep 9, 2018 at 7.45pm UK
Attendance: 80,000
Mbappe (14'), Giroud (75')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Babel (67')

Live Commentary: France 2-1 Netherlands - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the UEFA Nations League match between France and Netherlands from the Stade de France, which finished 2-1.
Live Commentary: France 2-1 Netherlands - as it happened
© Reuters

Olivier Giroud scored the winner as France recorded a 2-1 victory over Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League on Sunday night.

Ryan Babel had cancelled out an early Kylian Mbappe effort to leave the two teams on terms, but Giroud's excellent volley won it for the hosts 15 minutes from time.

World champions France have now moved onto four points in Group One of League A having opened their campaign with a goalless draw against Germany.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's live minute-by-minute coverage of the action below.

6.46pmEvening all! Sports Mole's live UEFA Nations League coverage continues from the Stade de France as France welcome Netherlands. France opened their Nations League campaign with a goalless draw away to Germany on Thursday. Netherlands, meanwhile, beat Peru in a friendly on the same night. Les Bleus would put themselves in a very strong position in the section with a win tonight, but it will be tough against a Netherlands team that has shown improvement under the management of Ronald Koeman.

6.49pmFrance have beaten Netherlands in each of the last four matches between the two teams, including a 4-0 victory in their last meeting during qualification for the 2018 World Cup. France have also won the last two friendlies between the two teams, although Netherlands were victorious when they last met at a major tournament - a 4-1 success in the group stages of Euro 2008.

6.52pmRight, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news. Are both sides at full strength, or have the respective managers shuffled their pack from Thursday night?


FRANCE (4-2-3-1): Areola; Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez; Pogba, Kante; Mbappe, Griezmann, Matuidi; Giroud

NETHERLANDS (3-4-3): Cillessen; Van Dijk, Blind, De Ligt; Tete, Propper, F De Jong, Babel; Promes, Memphis, Wijnaldum


7.02pmFrance boss Didier Deschamps has named the same XI for the second match in a row. Indeed, there are no changes to the team that started the goalless draw with Germany on Thursday night. As a result, Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante will sit as the two central midfielders, with Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Blaise Matuidi all supporting Olivier Giroud in the final third.

7.05pmAs for Netherlands, head coach Koeman has made three changes to the team that started Thursday's 2-1 win over Peru. Davy Propper, Frenkie de Jong and Quincy Promes all start, with Wesley Sneijder, Kevin Strootman and Ruud Vormer dropping out. Memphis Depay scored both of his team's goals against Peru, and will again start through the middle for the visitors here.

7.08pmSo there we have it. The two teams are in, and we are now just about 40 minutes from kickoff in this UEFA Nations League clash. France opened their League A (Group 1) campaign with a goalless draw against Germany on Thursday night. This is Netherlands' first ever match in the competition, however, which has been designed to add a competitive element to the international break, and it will provide a summer tournament in the years without a World Cup or European Championship.


7.15pmFrance are, of course, the world champions having beaten Croatia 4-2 in the final of the 2018 World Cup. After negotiating their way through the group stages of the competition, Deschamps' team overcame Argentina, Uruguay and Belgium en route to the final. Croatia had impressively overcome England in the other semi-final, but France proved too strong on the afternoon.

7.18pmIn terms of what is ahead for France, they will return to action with a friendly against Iceland on October 10. Les Bleus will then welcome Germany six days later for their third match of the UEFA Nations League. Germany will certainly be hoping for a favour from Netherlands in this game.

7.22pmNetherlands famously failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup after finishing third in their section. They won six of their 10 matches, but suffered three defeats to finish behind Sweden on goal difference. It was the first time that they had failed to qualify for a World Cup since 2002.


7.28pmRonald Koeman is now in charge of the Dutch national team, and his reign started with a 1-0 defeat to England back in March. Netherlands are unbeaten since then, however, beating Portugal and Peru, and drawing with Slovakia and Italy. Tonight will be a huge test for Holland though.

7.32pmMemphis Depay scored both of his team's goals against Peru on Thursday night, and it will be very interesting to see how the Dutchman performs tonight. Depay never really made it at Manchester United, but has scored 28 times and registered 26 assists in 73 appearances for Lyon since his move in January 2017. Just 24 years of age, Memphis can still become a top player.

7.35pmWhat is this?!

7.38pmJust a reminder of the two teams for this match...

FRANCE (4-2-3-1): Areola; Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez; Pogba, Kante; Mbappe, Griezmann, Matuidi; Giroud

NETHERLANDS (3-4-3): Cillessen; Van Dijk, Blind, De Ligt; Tete, Propper, F De Jong, Babel; Promes, Memphis, Wijnaldum

7.42pmHere we go then; both sets of players have joined us on the pitch ahead of kickoff in France. Following the national anthems and exchanging of flags, we will just about be ready to get this game underway. It is France against Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League, and kickoff is next.

0 minKICKOFF:  Netherlands kick things off tonight...

1 minCHANCE!  Big moment inside the first minute as Mbappe dances away from the orange shirts inside the Netherlands box before striking towards goal, but Cillessen is on hand to save!

3 minCLOSE!  Not too far away from Promes as Netherlands' number nine fires a low effort wide of the post. It has been a very, very open start to this UEFA Nations League fixture in France.

5 minHardly time to take a breath at the moment as both teams continue to commit players in the final third of the field. France again break clear through Matuidi, but De Ligt is across to challenge.

7 minFrance are again sitting quite deep, but they break with such pace and power, which was the case for the majority of the 2018 World Cup. Griezmann works space in a wide position before delivering low towards Giroud, but Van Dijk is on hand to make a smart clearance.

9 minFrance again find some space in a wide position with Matuidi delivering, but Netherlands manage to clear. Pavard then delivers from the right as the pressure from the home side continues.

11 minQuite a scrappy game in the last couple of minutes, with the referee forced to intervene following a couple of late challenges. France are having a lot of the ball though as they pass and probe.

11 minCHANCE!  Griezmann delivers a super pass into Mbappe, who strikes towards goal, but Cillessen is on hand to make the save. Mbappe looks incredibly sharp for the home side at the moment.

12 minSAVE!  Comfortable save for Cillessen to keep out an effort from Lucas Hernandez.

14 minBabel races clear of the Netherlands defence, but the number 11 was offside. Babel is quick, but let's be honest, he is not racing clear of Varane if the two players are level. Correct decision.


15 minBreakthrough! France make the breakthrough in the 14th minute as Mbappe taps a low Matuidi cross into the back of the net. The finish was simple, but it came from a terrible mistake from Promes, who headed the ball straight into the path of Matuidi inside the Netherlands box.

17 minAll France at the moment as they continue to pass and probe in the final third of the field.

19 minCHANCE!  Another chance for France as Griezmann finds Lucas Hernandez with a wonderful pass, but the left-back fires over the crossbar. France have been absolutely excellent here.

21 minNetherlands just cannot live with the movement of Mbappe and Griezmann at the moment as the duo continue to pick up the ball in dangerous positions. The visitors are really struggling here.

23 minBit of possession for Netherlands in the last couple of minutes, but they are not really going anywhere with it. Umtiti and Varane are very comfortable at the heart of the France defence.

25 minSmart goalkeeping from Areola as the France stopper comes a long way to claim a high ball. Netherlands are seeing much more of the ball at the moment, but France are still in control.

27 minSAVE!  Good work from Cillessen this time as the Netherlands goalkeeper keeps out a flicked header from Mbappe, although it is certainly a save that he will be expected to make.

29 minEverything is too slow from Netherlands in the final third, with Babel having his pocket picked following a period of possession. The Dutch are good on the ball, but are not creating chances.

32 minThe home supporters are in fine voice at the moment, which is not a surprise. France are perhaps not always that expansive, but they have dominated this match, and should be two or three goals ahead as the first period approaches its latter stages. The first half has simply flown past here.

33 minPenalty shout for Netherlands as Wijnaldum goes down inside the box under a challenge from Pavard, but the referee is not interested. I have certainly seen those ones given!

35 minSAVE!  Cillessen is on hand to keep out a close-range Umtiti header.

38 minLittle over five minutes of the first period remaining, and France still lead courtesy of that Mbappe finish. Since then, France have dominated without really peppering the Dutch goal.

40 minFrance have possession as we approach the latter stages of the first period. Griezmann has just put the ball through the legs of De Ligt, and the Dutchman brings the forward to the deck.

41 minMbappe goes down inside the Netherlands box, but Cillessen gets enough on the ball to clear for a corner. Mbappe wanted a penalty, but it was the correct call from the referee.

42 minPogba, Griezmann and goalscorer Mbappe celebrate the game's only goal...

Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring France's first goal against Netherlands with Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann on September 9, 2018© Reuters

44 minPossession football from France as we approach the end of the first period here.


8.31pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with France leading 1-0 courtesy of a close-range Mbappe goal in the 14th minute of the match. Netherlands have had a decent share of the ball, but the away side have really struggled to hurt the world champions here.

8.36pmSTATISTICS! France had 58% of the ball in the first period, while the home side had 10 attempts, seven of which were on target. Netherlands, on the other hand, only had two shots, and neither were on target. No yellow cards to report in the opening 45 minutes despite some late tackles.

8.41pmBENCH WATCH! Janmaat, Kluivert, Strootman, Vormer and Van Aanholt are among those on the Netherlands bench tonight, and we should see a couple of those in the second period. France, meanwhile, have the likes of Dembele, Fekir, Lemar, Thauvin and Tolisso on a ridiculously strong bench.

46 minKICKOFF:  France resume the action on home soil...

47 min... no changes from either side at the break, but I suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind as the second period gathers pace here. Let's hope for more goals!

49 minFrance have started the second period on the front foot, with Griezmann and Mbappe getting on the ball. Netherlands really need to find a way of causing France's defence some problems.

51 minSHOT!  Half-chance for the home side as Mbappe finds some space outside the Netherlands box before striking towards goal, but his effort was always flying over the crossbar.

54 minBlind breaks forward for Netherlands before delivering a low cross into the France box, but Varane is on hand to make the clearance. The resulting corner is then gathered by Areola.

56 minYELLOW CARD!  Griezmann (France) is booked for a foul on Wijnaldum.

58 minNot too much to report in the way of chances at the moment, with Netherlands quite comfortable despite their lack of threat down the other end. Little over 30 minutes of football remaining here.

59 minSHOT!  Griezmann's strike from outside the Netherlands box was always moving wide.

62 minFRANCE SUB! Mendy replaces Lucas Hernandez for the home side.

64 minNot too much is happening at the moment. It almost feels like an international friendly. Netherlands have just had another free kick easily claimed by the huge presence that is Areola.

66 minCHANCE!  Huge chance for Netherlands as Wijnaldum breaks into the France box, but the midfielder slides the ball wide of the far post! Easily the away side's best chance of the match.


68 minOh my word! Netherlands level the scores in the 67th minute as Tete breaks down the right before delivering a low cross into Babel, who converts past Areola from close range!

70 minSHOT!  Another warning for France as Memphis strikes into the side-netting from a wide angle. Netherlands are the better team at the moment, no doubt about that.

72 minTete again delivers towards Babel as Netherlands look for a second, but Pavard clears on this occasion. France are struggling at the moment as the away side continue to press.

74 minCHANCE!  Super chance for France as Pogba's excellent pass releases Giroud, who finds Mbappe, and the youngster's low cross almost falls for Giroud, only for Van Dijk to make the block.


76 minFrance regain the lead in the 75th minute of the match as Giroud, who has not had the best night, turns a Mendy cross into the back of the net. It is a wonderful volley from the striker!

77 minNETHERLANDS SUB! Vormer replaces Wijnaldum for the away side.

80 minYELLOW CARD!  Pavard (France) is booked for a rash challenge on Babel.

81 minFRANCE SUB! Griezmann is replace by N'Zonzi for the home side.

82 minNETHERLANDS SUB! Janmaat replaces Tete for the away side.

84 minNetherlands are preparing to make their third change with 84 minutes on the clock.

85 minSAVE!  Smart goalkeeping from Areola to keep out an effort from Blind.

86 minGood pressure from Netherlands in the last couple of minutes here.

88 minMendy delivers another dangerous cross into the Netherlands box, but it bounces away from Mbappe at the final moment. Netherlands have still not managed to get a third sub on here.

88 minNETHERLANDS SUB! Babel is replaced by De Jong for the away side.

89 minFRANCE SUB! Giroud is replaced by Dembele for the home side.

90+1 minWe are into the first of four additional minutes at the end of the match.

90+3 minAgain it is very good goalkeeping from Areola, who collects a cross from Janmaat. France's goalkeeper has been impressive tonight in the absence of Lloris. Not long left in this one.

90+4 minThe France supporters are in fine voice as we approach full time here.


9.37pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with France recording a 2-1 win over Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League to move onto four points in their second. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live coverage once again. See you next time!

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