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Mbappe back to his best as France beats Luxembourg in pre-Euro friendly


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Euro 2024 favourites France beat Luxembourg 3-0 in an international friendly on Wednesday with superstar striker Kylian Mbappe on the score sheet.

In the tournament that starts in Germany next Friday, France are in Group D with Netherlands, Austria and Poland, all far more challenging rivals on paper than Luxembourg, who, however, stood firm until late in the first half.

With a third goal in four games for France, Randal Kolo Muani scored a soft header on 43 minutes after a sweet centre from Mbappe, while Marseille defender Jonathan Clauss fired a scorcher into the top corner on 70 minutes to make it 2-0.

The biggest cheer of the evening came, however, when substitute Bradley Barcola waltzed around the visiting defence to set Mbappe up on 85 minutes, with the Real Madrid-bound forward slamming home with conviction.

"That did him good," France coach Didier Deschamps said of Mbappe, who looked off form in his previous two France games. "Kylian is a great leader and we need him at his best."

Al-Ittihad-based holding midfielder N'Golo Kante got his first run out since June 2022 and left the pitch exhausted midway through the second half after putting in a solid performance supporting both defence and attack.

"He was as good as ever," Deschamps said. "He did himself proud."

Mike Maignan was hardly tested in the France goal with his defence also enjoying a relatively quiet evening.

France were given hearty support at the match held at Metz, who were relegated from the French top flight in a playoff with Saint Etienne, who climbed back into the top flight on Sunday.

Deschamps' men take on Canada on Sunday in Bordeaux before their Euro 2024 opener June 17 in Dusseldorf against Austria.

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