Mbappe and Giroud strike as France beat Austria in Nations League - in pictures

Win keeps alive Les Bleus' hopes of staying in the top tier going into Sunday's Group A1 finale in Denmark

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Olivier Giroud struck against Austria to become France's oldest international scorer while Kylian Mbappe was also on target in a 2-0 win in Paris.

Victory kept Les Bleus' hopes of staying in the top tier of the Uefa Nations League alive and moves them above Austria going into Sunday's Group A1 finale in Denmark.

Croatia lead the group following a 2-1 win against Denmark, who would have sealed top spot themselves had they won in Zagreb.

Mbappe opened the scoring with a stunning goal before Giroud, who again showed coach Didier Deschamps he is more than a third-choice forward, sealed the world champions' win with a header.

Victory came at a price, however, as defender Jules Kounde and goalkeeper Mike Maignan sustained injuries, and may join Karim Benzema, Hugo Lloris and Paul Pogba on the sidelines.

Deschamps was satisfied with the performance in front of an unusually enthusiastic crowd.

"We did what we had to do," the 1998 world champion said. "Our intentions were good, everyone defended a lot, there are a lot of positives. The mindset was good, it was a very good performance."

The hosts, who had lost two and drawn two of their four previous games, came out with all guns blazing at the Stade de France.

Mbappe fired a shot into the top corner in the second minute but the effort was disallowed for offside.

Aurelien Tchouameni's attempt from just outside the box after a quick combination between Antoine Griezmann and Mbappe was tipped over by Austria keeper Patrick Pentz as Les Bleus piled on the pressure.

Defender Kounde became the latest casualty in an injury-ravaged squad when he limped off the pitch with a muscle problem and Maignan was replaced by Alphonse Areola at half time due to a calf pain.

France defender Jules Kounde is consoled by France's assistant coach Guy Stephan after he was injured. AFP

Mbappe, denied by Pentz after a one-two with Giroud, tormented the Austrian defence with his pace and created space for his teammates, Jonathan Clauss just missing out on a goal early in the second half.

Mbappe broke the deadlock with a cool finish after beating five defenders following a perfect pass from Giroud.

It spurred Austria into action but they lacked accuracy in the box and it was France who scored again.

Giroud found the back of the net in the 65th minute from Griezmann's pin-point cross for his 49th international goal, two shy of Thierry Henry's national record.

At 35 years and 357 days, the AC Milan striker is 70 days older than Roger Marche was when he scored against Spain in December 1959.

Giroud was replaced by Ousmane Dembele to the Stade de France crowd's standing ovation, leaving Deschamps, who has only called up Giroud in the absence of Benzema, with a tricky decision before November's World Cup.

Updated: September 23, 2022, 4:20 AM
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