France v Australia player ratings: Mbappe 9, Giroud 9; Goodwin 7, Mooy 5

Les Bleus open World Cup defence with comfortable 4-1 win at Al Janoub Stadium

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Olivier Giroud netted twice to become France's joint record scorer as the defending champions fought back to ease past Australia, opening their World Cup defence with a 4-1 Group D win on Tuesday to silence talk of a holders' curse.

Australia had taken a stunning lead at Al Janoub Stadium when Craig Goodwin applied a super finish to Mathew Leckie's cross after nine minutes, but France levelled when Adrien Rabiot headed home and Giroud's tap-in gave them the halftime lead.

Kylian Mbappe's glancing header in the 68th minute was followed by Giroud's 51st international goal three minutes later, drawing him level with Thierry Henry as France's all-time top marksman.

Didier Deschamps' side, who lead the Group D after rivals Denmark and Tunisia drew 0-0 earlier on Tuesday, ended a run of poor starts for World Cup holders, after the previous three – Italy, Spain and Germany – all failed to win their openers.

In the photo gallery above, Andy Mitten has provided his player ratings for the France squad, while Danny Lewis gives his verdict on Australia. To move on to thee next photo, click on the arrows or swipe if using a mobile device.

Updated: November 23, 2022, 4:27 AM
MORE FROM THE NATIONAL