France show attacking credentials in comfortable Italy win
Nice: France displayed full range of their attacking weapons in Nice as they beat Italy 3-1 to continue their impressive build up to the World Cup in Russia.
Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti put the hosts in front after PSG starlet Kylian Mbappe’s effort was parried by the Italian goalkeeper, Salvatore Sirigu.
Didier Deschamps’s side doubled their lead when Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann converted a penalty after Lucas Hernandez had been fouled.
Full back Leonardo Bonucci reduced the deficit for Italy but youngster Ousmane Dembele’s terrific chip rounded off a fine French display.
However, Manchester United’s influential midfielder Paul Pogba who started in the midfield was jeered by a section of home fans in the second half after a misplaced pass, and again when he was replaced by Steven N’Zonzi with five minutes remaining.
Former Manchester City and Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini’s second game in charge of Italy, who did not qualify for the World Cup, provided a decent challenge with Mario Balotelli looking dangerous on his club turf at Nice.
France had defeated the Republic of Ireland 2-0 on Monday in which Olivier Giroud scored.
“We showed that we can be fast and create a lot of chances,” said Deschamps, who was France captain when they won their only World Cup title in 1998 on home soil.
“We have a good mindset but let’s keep our feet on the ground. Let’s stay how we are – ambitious and enthusiastic.” The coach added.
The 2000 world Cup champions play their final pre-tournament friendly against the United States on 9 June before facing Australia in their World Cup opener a week later.
Les Blues also face Peru on 21 June and Denmark on 26 June in Group C.