MX23RW : Monday, November 19 12:04:23

Result: France overcome Netherlands on home soil

Olivier Giroud scores the winner as France record a 2-1 victory over the Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League.

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

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

France came close to taking the lead inside the first minute when Mbappe danced his way into the Netherlands box before firing towards goal, but Jasper Cillessen was on hand to make the save.

Quincy Promes had an opportunity down the other end moments later, but the attacker's low strike just missed the post during a very open start to the Nations League clash.

Mbappe and Cillessen again went head to head in the 11th minute when the former met a clever pass from Antoine Griezmann, and the Barcelona stopper made another save.

France did take the lead in the 14th minute, however, when Mbappe tapped a low Blaise Matuidi cross into the back of the net. The goal came from a huge mistake from the visitors though, with Promes's loose header falling straight into the path of Matuidi, and Mbappe simply could not miss from close range.

France had the chance to double their lead in the 18th minute when Griezmann found Atletico Madrid teammate Lucas Hernandez with a stunning through-ball, but the left-back lifted his effort high and wide.

Mbappe then flicked a header into the arms of Cillessen in the 26th minute as France continued to create chances.

Netherlands might have had a penalty in the 32nd minute when Georginio Wijnaldum went down under a challenge from Benjamin Pavard inside the France box, but the referee was not interested.

France's next opportunity fell for Samuel Umtiti 10 minutes before the break, but the centre-back's header was straight at Barcelona teammate Cillessen, and Mbappe's close-range finish was all that separated the two teams at the interval.

Mbappe had the first serious attempt of the second period in the 51st minute, but the forward's strike from distance was always high of the Netherlands goal. Griezmann then struck a low attempt wide of the post just before the hour during a low-key period of the match.

Netherlands had a golden chance to level the scores in the 66th minute when Wijnaldum broke into France box, but the Liverpool midfielder rolled the ball wide of the far post.

Ronald Koeman's side did equalise in the 67th minute, however, when Kenny Tete's low cross was converted by Babel to shock the home supporters.

Netherlands were the team on the front foot in the period that followed, and Memphis Depay struck a powerful effort into the side-netting with the visitors threatening a second.

France had a chance of their own in the 73rd minute when Mbappe delivered low towards Giroud following a swift break, but Virgil van Dijk was on hand to make the clearance.

Giroud did fire France ahead in the 75th minute, however, with the striker's excellent volley from a Benjamin Mendy cross finding a route into the back of the net.

France goalkeeper Alphonse Areola did well to keep out an effort from Daley Blind as Netherlands looked for a second, but the home side closed out the final minutes to collect all three points.

FRANCE (4-2-3-1): Areola; Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez (Mendy 62'); Pogba, Kante; Mbappe, Griezmann (N'Zonzi 81'), Matuidi; Giroud (Dembele 89')

NETHERLANDS (3-4-3): Cillessen; Van Dijk, Blind, De Ligt; Tete (Janmaat 82'), Propper, F De Jong, Babel (L De Jong 88'); Promes, Memphis, Wijnaldum (Vormer 76')

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Olivier Giroud in action for Chelsea in the FA Cup on April 22, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City1210203653132
2Liverpool129302351830
3Chelsea128402781928
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs1290320101027
5Arsenal1273226151124
6Bournemouth126242116520
7Watford126241714320
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd126242021-120
9Everton125431915419
10Leicester CityLeicester125251716117
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves124441213-116
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124261318-514
13West Ham UnitedWest Ham123361418-412
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle12237915-69
15Burnley122371225-139
16Crystal Palace12228817-98
17Southampton12156821-138
18Cardiff CityCardiff122281125-148
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield12147622-167
20Fulham121291131-205

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