Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, and Ousmane Dembele score in France’s triumph in Nice; free match highlights and report In the first half, Neco Williams was brutally sent off for deliberate handball; On his return to France, Karim Benzema missed a penalty.
World champions and favourites France began their Euro 2020 preparations with a 3-0 victory over Wales in Nice, where they played for nearly an hour with ten men.
Neco Williams was brutally punished for a handball from Karim Benzema’s effort in a frenzied 10-minute spell in the first half, but Danny Ward stopped the returning Benzema’s spot-kick with a brilliant save (27).
Antoine Griezmann scored the second goal with a fantastic curling drive from the edge of the area after Kylian Mbappe’s rebounding effort from another Ward save (35). (48).
Benzema, anxious for a goal to celebrate his return to the team after nearly six years away, struck the post late on, but substitute Ousmane Dembele scored on the rebound (79) to seal the victory.
Despite Wales’ promising start, France enjoyed the majority of the chances in the first half, earning a numerical advantage in contentious circumstances.
Neco Williams stopped Benzema’s rebound with his arm after Ward had magnificently swiped away Paul Pogba’s header, sparking a VAR review. Despite the fact that Williams was just half-a-yard away from Benzema’s stop, Portuguese referee Luis Godinho unjustly sent Williams out, considering the handball malicious.
Benzema, who hasn’t played for France in over six years due to a blackmail issue involving teammate Mathieu Valbuena, blasted the penalty low to Ward’s right, but the goalkeeper pushed it away well.
However, only eight minutes later, France took the lead when Adrien Rabiot’s low shot bounced off Griezmann, was saved by Ward’s foot, but dropped nicely to Mbappe, who forced the ball past the Wales goalkeeper.