France warm up in style | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 03, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:58 AM, June 03, 2018

France warm up in style

Ousmane Dembele scored a terrific goal in an impressive display for France as the World Cup contenders defeated Italy 3-1 in a friendly in Nice on Friday.

Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti grabbed the opening goal after eight minutes at the Allianz Riviera, converting a rebound from close range after Kylian Mbappe's volley was saved by Salvatore Sirigu.

N'Golo Kante fired against the post from distance as Sirigu produced a fine fingertip save, but Antoine Griezmann added a second from the penalty spot following a foul on Lucas Hernandez by Rolando Mandragora.

Italy cut the deficit before the break when Leonardo Bonucci alertly followed up after Hugo Lloris failed to deal with a powerful Mario Balotelli free-kick.

Balotelli forced Lloris to save low with his foot within seconds of the restart after half-time, while Dembele rattled the crossbar moments later having burst past a pair of Italy defenders.

But the Barcelona forward sealed victory on 63 minutes, curling a sublime first-time shot into the top corner after Mbappe's searing run was halted on the edge of the area.

"There are lots of things that pleased me beyond the three goals," France coach Didier Deschamps told French television station TF1. "It could have been a bigger scoreline. If we had been more efficient we could have been at ease a bit earlier. We're not going to get carried away, there's still a second part of our preparation ahead of us."


Paul Pogba though 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.

Despite an underwhelming display from the Manchester United midfielder, Griezmann quickly sprang to his team-mate's defence.

"The whistles are part of football, you have to stay tough mentally. We're all playing for the same shirt. He plays his game, you're used to him scoring. We don't expect that from him, only that he rotates the ball and plays for the team," Griezmann said. "He has had a difficult season at Manchester United but he has a lot of confidence in himself."

The match was just the second in charge for Italy coach Roberto Mancini, who took the job last month after Gian Piero Ventura was sacked following the four-time world champions' failure to qualify for the World Cup for the first since 1958.

"We made some errors but France are among the best teams," said Mancini, whose side beat Saudi Arabia 2-1 in Switzerland on Monday. "We did some good things but we know that we must improve.

"I even had hope of equalising but I'm not going to say we deserved to win. France are better than us. Even if it's a friendly nobody likes to lose."

Tunisia were held to a 2-2 draw by 10-man Turkey in Geneva after Caglar Soyuncu scored a last-minute equaliser against the African side drawn in Group G with Belgium, Panama and England.

Cenk Tosun put Turkey ahead with a penalty early in the second half before Anice Badri equalised two minutes later.

Striker Tosun was then sent off just past the hour when he became involved in a verbal altercation with a Turkish fan and had to be restrained by teammates.

Ferjani Sassi fired the Tunisians in front with nine minutes remaining, before Soyuncu's late strike denied them victory.

Stay updated on the go with The Daily Star Android & iOS News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 22222

Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2222

Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2225

Leave your comments

Top News

Top News

Multimedia you may like

hazaribagh beribadh area


A City Corporation truck unloads scrap leather to dump them at Hazaribagh Beribadh area, although processing leather there is unauthorised. They, however, claim that the leather is processed at factories in Savar and brought to Hazaribagh for cutting. The photo was taken on Tuesday. Photo: Amran Hossain
Today's Gallery (2019.11.14)

a human haulier


Four men travel on the back of a human haulier, precariously standing on the foot stand and holding on till they reach their destination. Lack of available public transport often leads to this risky behaviour. The photo was recently taken near Tejgaon flyover. Photo: Prabir Das
Today's Gallery (2019.11.13)

second buriganga bridge


Vehicles on the wrong side of the Second Buriganga Bridge in the capital’s Babu Bazar area, running the risk of accidents. Such violation of traffic rules is common on the flyover due to a lack of monitoring by the authorities concerned. The photo was taken a couple of days ago. Photo: Anisur Rahman
Today's Gallery (2019.11.12)



Cyclone Bulbul leaves a trail of devastation in its wake. Photo: Partha Chakrabortty/Star
Today's Gallery (2019.11.10)

Photo of the day


ALL FOR A QUICK HIGH...Children sitting on a road divider and sniffing glue together after dark should not be a common scene, yet in this city that is the case. This photo was taken recently near Modhumita Cinema Hall in Motijheel area. Photo: Firoz Ahmed
Today's Gallery (2019.11.09)

Nature Quest


A black-crowned night heron sits on a neem tree looking for a hunt in a nearby pond in Chapainawabganj Sadar. These birds, which feast on fish, are found in fresh and salt-water wetlands. The photo was taken last week. Photo: Rabiul Hasan
Today's Gallery (2019.11.08)