Sweden 0-1 France: Mbappé magic seals win

A Kylian Mbappé wonder goal gave France the spoils in Solna.

Highlights: Sweden 0-1 France
Highlights: Sweden 0-1 France

A memorable strike from Kylian Mbappé got France's UEFA Nations League campaign off to a winning start in Sweden.

Sweden vs France: as it happened

Match in brief

A moment of magic from Mbappé secured France all three points in their opener against Sweden. The striker scored from an almost impossible angle just before the break, beating Robin Olsen at his near post. It was the only shot on target the visitors mustered all night, and they were grateful to Hugo Lloris for a fine save to deny Marcus Berg with the score at 0-0.

Lloris denied Emil Forsberg in the second half and substitute John Guidetti snatched at a late chance, but it could have been two right at the end when Anthony Martial was brought down by Victor Lindelöf in the area only for Antoine Griezmann to smash the penalty over the crossbar.

Kylian Mbappé scores the only goal of the game
Kylian Mbappé scores the only goal of the gameGetty Images

Reporters' views

Sujay Dutt, Sweden reporter: An organised Sweden kept the French to just one attempt on target – and that one went in. France's 1–0 win can be put down to Mbappé's individual brilliance. But another factor is that many more French players have been involved in high-level competitive football in recent weeks. That's one reason why Mbappé, fresh from a UEFA Champions League final, so easily danced through the more rusty Swedish defence to score the winner.

David Crossan, France reporter: The game was decided by a moment of magic by Mbappé, captain Lloris performed well and N'Golo Kanté was terrific in midfield but this game didn't really answer Didier Deschamps' questions. Is 3-5-2 the right system for Les Bleus, should he persist with Adrien Rabiot and does Dayot Upamecano have a big international future? The coach's team selection for Croatia at home on Tuesday might give us a clue to his thinking.

Reaction

Mbappé squeezes in the winner in Solna
Mbappé squeezes in the winner in SolnaGetty Images

Didier Deschamps, France coach: "Not everything was perfect. It's a new system that worked pretty well. We could have done better in attacking terms. We were up against a 4-4-2 which is probably the hardest system to get around as they had a lot of players wide. I'm not looking for excuses but you have to take into account the fact that this was a first game back and the players aren't all at the same stage in physical terms. It's good to have started this new competition with a win. Tuesday will come around quickly."

Kylian Mbappé, France striker: "We're trying a new system and it was a difficult away game. We fought hard and managed a few good moves. We saw that it could be better in the future. I like being closer to goal in this system, it makes me happy. I think it's a system that suits the characteristics of other players in the team too and we'll work in it to make it work."

Reaction: Lloris on France victory
Reaction: Lloris on France victory

Janne Andersson, Sweden coach: "To sit here and feel that we had France within reach is really hard. Sometimes I would almost prefer to lose 3-0 than be so close and lose."

Robin Olsen, Sweden goalkeeper: "The first feeling is that I should have had it [the goal]. Mbappé's a good player, but in that situation he was also lucky to get the ball. He was so close and there were several options, he could play the ball or finish as he did. It's a disappointment. We said in the dressing room we deserved more. We did everything to get the ball into the back of the net, and play a good second half."

Antoine Griezmann fires a late penalty over the crossbar
Antoine Griezmann fires a late penalty over the crossbarAFP via Getty Images

Key stats

  • Mbappé has been involved in seven goals in his last seven internationals (four goals, three assists).
  • France have lost only two of their last 29 matches.
  • France have won each of their last four away matches without conceding a goal.
  • France have scored the first goal in 11 of their last 13 matches.
  • Sweden have lost only two of their last 14 competitive matches.
  • Sweden had kept a clean sheet in each of their previous three UEFA Nations League fixtures.

Line-ups

Sweden: Olsen; Lustig, Jansson, Lindelöf, Bengtsson (Sema 88); Larsson (Kulusevski 70), Olsson, Ekdal, Forsberg; Berg, Quaison (Guidetti 77).

France: Lloris; Upamecano, Varane, Kimpembe; Dubois (Mendy 88), Kanté, Rabiot, Digne; Griezmann; Mbappé (Martial 77), Giroud (Nzonzi 90)

Next up

Both teams are in action again on Tuesday, when Sweden host holders Portugal and France welcome Croatia in a repeat of the 2018 FIFA World Cup final.