France 4 - 0 Netherlands: Lemar and Mbappe to the fore as France crush 10-man Holland

Posted Friday, September 01, 2017 by PA

France 4 - 0 Netherlands: Lemar and Mbappe to the fore as France crush 10-man Holland

Thomas Lemar and Kylian Mbappe underlined why they have had Europe's top sides chasing them all summer as they scored three goals between them in France's crushing 4-0 victory over Holland in a World Cup qualifier at the Stade de France.

Lemar, who has been tracked by Liverpool and Arsenal in the close season, scored two goals after Antoine Griezmann's first-half strike, the first of them a peach of a volley from the edge of the area.

Eighteen-year-old forward Mbappe, who completed what could ultimately be a B£166million move from Monaco to Paris St Germain on deadline day, demonstrated his dynamism in an incredible 15-minute cameo, playing a give and go with Djibril Sidibe before drilling in France's fourth in injury time.

The win took France three points clear of closest challengers Sweden in Group A in the race for a place in next summer's finals in Russia as the Scandinavians suffered a defeat in Bulgaria.

Les Bleus dominated the early exchanges and the goal the hosts had threatened arrived in the 14th minute. Griezmann played a one-two with Olivier Giroud on the edge of the box and rolled a low left-foot shot through the legs of Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen in the Dutch goal.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah did well to get ahead of Giroud and prevent him volleying home Sidibe's floated cross, before Layvin Kurzawa spooned a shot over with almost half an hour played.

Arjen Robben almost gifted France a second early in the second period when he was dispossessed inside his own penalty area but Pogba's low shot was saved, with Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny on the receiving end of a nasty challenge from Robben as he lost the ball.

Holland were reduced to 10 men just after the hour mark when Kevin Strootman received a second yellow card - which looked harsh in the extreme - for a challenge on Griezmann.

Robben was unable to convert a free header for the Dutch as they appeared set to score a scarcely-deserved equaliser, and as play continued Pogba weaved his way into the opposite penalty area but Cillessen stayed on his feet to block as the Manchester United man cut in from the left.

Lemar finally killed off the Dutch with a stunning demonstration of technique as he unleashed a rising shot which gave Cillessen no chance at all.

He was joined on the pitch shortly afterwards by former Monaco team-mate Mbappe, whose slaloming run and shot from the edge of the box forced a smart low save by Cillessen.

Lemar added his second and France's third as he finished off a break with a close-range finish from Griezmann's square ball.

Robben rattled the crossbar, but substitute Mbappe had the final word.

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