New French system makes Kylian Mbappe 'happy' after moment of magic seals win over Sweden

France get Nations League campaign up and running while Cristiano Ronaldo sits out Portugal's win over Croatia

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Kylian Mbappe said a change of formation against Sweden played to his strengths as France ran out 1-0 winners in Stockholm.

The Paris Saint-Germain striker gave Les Bleus a gritty 1-0 win away in Stockholm in their Nations League A Group 3 clash on Saturday with Antoine Griezmann even missing a last-minute penalty.

France coach Didier Deschamps tried a new 3-4-1-2 system but the Swedes, promoted to the competition's top tier after their group victory last year, frustrated the world champions for the first 40 minutes until Mbappe proved to be the difference.

The 21-year-old's 14th international goal came courtesy of a fortunate bounce off a defender's legs as he danced through the right side of the Swedish defence before beating goalkeeper Robin Olsen from a tight angle.

Mbappe was pleased with his coach's tactical switch.

"I like being closer to goal in this system, it makes me happy. I think its a system that suits the characteristics of other players in the team too, and we'll work on it to make it work," he told French TV channel M6.

Former Al Ain striker Marcus Berg caused a moment of panic at the death when thumped a shot that was deflected wide for a corner that the hosts could not capitalise on as France held firm.

Anthony Martial, back in the France squad for the first time since March 2018, replaced Mbappe in the second half and earned a late penalty when he was chopped down by his Manchester United teammate Victor Lindelof.

However, Griezmann fired over over the bar with the final kick of the game.

Despite France's attack failing to fire, Deschamps declared himself satisfied with the result.

"Not everything was perfect. It's a new system that worked pretty well, [but] we could have done better in attacking terms," he said.

On Tuesday, Sweden host Portugal, who beat Croatia 4-1 on Saturday without the injured Cristiano Ronaldo, while France take on the Croatians in Paris.

Portugal's forward Joao Felix (L) tries to score past Croatia's goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic during the UEFA Nations League A group 3 football match between Portugal and Croatia at the Dragao Stadium in Porto on September 5, 2020. / AFP / MIGUEL RIOPA
Portugal forward Joao Felix in action against Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic. AFP

Juventus striker Ronaldo was missing with an infected toe - caused by a bee sting according to Italian media - but Portugal were still too good for a disappointing Croatia.

Joao Cancelo, Diogo Jota, with his first international goal, Joao Felix and Andre Silva were all on target for Portugal who also hit the woodwork three times.

"It has been a long time since we all got together and some players came straight from their vacation, but the team responded well," said Felix.

Croatia were without Luca Modric and Ivan Rakitic who boast a total of 233 caps between them.

Bruno Petkovic grabbed a stoppage-time consolation for the visitors.

"This wasn't the Croatia I know. We let them do whatever they wanted. There was no aggression in our game -- it should have been 4-0 in the first half," said Croatia defender Dejan Lovren.

Belgium defeated Denmark 2-0 in Copenhagen, handing the Danes a first home loss in four years and an opening defeat for new coach Kasper Hjulmand.

Belgium, without the retired Vincent Kompany and Kevin de Bruyne, who was attending the birth of his third child, were in front after just nine minutes.

Lyon defender Jason Denayer tucked away his first international goal from Dries Mertens' free-kick.

Mertens added the second in the 77th minute when the Napoli striker pounced on a loose ball after Kasper Schmeichel had blocked a Youri Tielmans effort with his legs.