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Winners & Losers

Mbappe makes the World Cup his playground! France winners, losers and ratings as Kylian downs Danes to seal last-16 spot

2:31 AM SGT 27/11/22
Kylian Mbappe France Denmark World Cup 2022
The Paris Saint-Germain superstar made it three goals in two games by netting a double against the Danes as Les Bleus broke the champions' curse.

Kylian Mbappe is a bully, and the World Cup is his playground. There's just no other way to say it. The France forward is as terrifying as he is talented, and he's tormenting every defender that dares to get in his way.

What's more, this competition just brings the very best out of him. It's now three goals in two games for Mbappe at Qatar 2022, after the Paris Saint-Germain superstar's double earned France a 2-1 win over Denmark at Stadium 974 on Saturday night.

The Scandinavians had threatened to spoil his night, with Andreas Christensen equalising from a corner after Mbappe had broken the deadlock following a brilliant one-two with Theo Hernandez.

However, there was no denying Mbappe. He is simply unstoppable right now. And he bundled home a cross from Antoine Griezmann to secure a victory that made France the first team to qualify for the last 16.

Below, GOAL runs through the winners, losers and ratings from another Mbappe masterclass...

  • Kylian Mbappe France celebrate 2 Denmark World Cup 2022

    The Winners

    Kylian Mbappe:

    In the build-up to this game, Emmanuel Petit once again brought up the issue of Kylian Mbappe's ego, which has been a major talking point in France since Euro 2020. In fairness, though, it would hard not to be a little cocky if you were this good. The kid is just incredible. His pace is frightening and finishing clinical. It's now 14 goals in his last 12 appearances at international level, while he's become the first Frenchman to score in three consecutive World Cup games since the legendary Just Fontaine. More records are a formality, because this has been Kylian Mbappe's World Cup so far, and the rest of us are just here to bear witness to his brilliance.

    Theo Hernandez:

    Theo's first start in a World Cup did not come in the best of circumstances, with the AC Milan attacker benefiting from the tournament-ending injury his brother Lucas sustained against Australia. However, he made the most of his opportunity to shine, setting up the opening goal for Mbappe with the kind of rampaging run forward that Serie A fans have grown accustomed to over the past few seasons. Theo doesn't offer anything like the same defensive security as his brother but he is electric going forward and his partnership with Mbappe could prove one of France's most potent attacking weapons in Qatar.

    Antoine Griezmann:

    The Atletico Madrid attacker is a polarising figure. There are plenty who feel he is over-rated, that he simply doesn't score enough goals for a forward, and there's no denying that he flopped badly at Barcelona. However, Griezmann is utterly integral to the French attacking unit. His work-rate is absolutely exceptional, and his passing key to every break or build-up. Griezmann blew a big chance during the second half but he also created the winner for Mbappe, which rather beautifully summed him up as a player. For all his flaws, he is inspirational and indispensable as far as Deschamps is concerned.

  • Martin Braithwaite Denmark France World Cup 2022

    The Losers

    Denmark's attack:

    It wasn't the least bit surprising that Denmark's equaliser was scored by a defender, and came from a corner, because none of their attackers looked like scoring from open play. For example, their centre-forward, former Cardiff flop Andreas Cornelius, had just 20 touches - and an xG of 0.03 - before his withdrawal, while Martin Braithwaite squandered the one good chance that came his way. Granted, it was always going to be tough for the Danes to break down France but let's not forget that they came into this game on the back of a dour 0-0 draw with Tunisia. The Scandinavians are clearly an awkward side to play against, as they once again underlined here. But the suspicion remains that they don't their forwards have enough goals in them to go all the way in Qatar.

    The World Cup champions curse:

    The curse has been broken. Not since Brazil in 2006 had a defending champion made it out of the group stage. France, though, are through to the knockout stage with a game to spare thanks to a second successive victory in Qatar. This victory may have come by the narrowest of margins but its merit should not be overlooked. France were beaten home and away by the Danes in the Nations League this year and there was a fear that Les Bleus might struggle to take top spot in Group D. They've instead cruised into the last 16 and look more than capable of becoming the first nation to win back-to-back World Cups since Brazil in 1962.

  • Jules Kounde France Denmark World Cup 2022

    France Ratings: Defence

    Hugo Lloris (7/10):

    Came and claimed a few difficult crosses under pressure, as well as making a good stop from Jesper Lindstrom while the game was delicately poised at 1-1.

    Jules Kounde (6/10):

    Had one decent effort blocked on the line by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg but booked for following through on Victor Nelsson.

    Raphael Varane (7/10):

    Went close to scoring from a corner early on but Maehle cleared off the line. Came off with 16 minutes of normal time remaining after an encouraging return to action after injury.

    Dayot Upamecano (8/10):

    Good strength and anticipation to take the ball away from Cornelius to spark a counter-attack, and also made a terrific block on Martin Braithwaite in the area. The Dane was offside but Upamecano didn't know that, making his intervention all the more impressive.

    Theo Hernandez (7/10):

    Not great defensively. Nutmegged by Rasmus Kristensen, whose cross deserved better. However, showed what he brings to this side with the brilliant link-up with Mbappe for the game's opening goal.

  • Aurelien Tchouameni France Denmark World Cup 2022

    Midfield

    Adrien Rabiot (7/10):

    Picked up where he left off against Australia, going close to breaking the deadlock with a fine header which was beaten away by Schmeichel. Was effectively muscled off the ball by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg as France briefly lost control of midfield but finished strongly.

    Aurelien Tchouameni (7/10):

    A class act. Kept it all very nice and simple, throwing in the odd lovely touch here and there, before putting Griezmann in on goal with a terrific ball over the top only to see it go to waste.

  • Ousmane Dembele France Denmark World Cup 2022

    Attack

    Ousmane Dembele (7/10):

    Showed off his dribbling skills early on, turning Maehle inside out at one point. Also produced a terrific cross from Rabiot, who drew a fine save out of Kaspser Schmeichel. His influence waned, though, the longer the game went on.

    Antoine Griezmann (8/10):

    Didn't get on the scoresheet but his all-round game was excellent. The highlight was arguably his stunning outside-of-the-boot through-ball for Mbappe, which led to Christensen being booked 20 minutes in. But his cross for the winner was pretty good too.

    Kylian Mbappe (9/10):

    Had a good battle with Kristensen in the first half but he ultimately claimed a decisive victory. It will be fascinating to see if anyone can contain him in Qatar. He's on fire.

    Olivier Giroud (5/10):

    A constant threat in the air, hurling himself at every single cross that came into the area but he ran out of steam, a second game in four days perhaps taking its toll on the 36-year-old.

  • Didier Deschamps World Cup 2022

    Subs & Manager

    Marcus Thuram (5/10):

    Took over up top from Giroud for the final half hour but didn't make his mark with his dad Lilian looking on from the stands.

    Ibrahima Konate (N/A):

    Came on for the man that took his place in the starting line-up, Varane, with just over 15 minutes to play.

    Kingsley Coman (N/A):

    Replaced Dembele in the 74th minute.

    Youssouf Fofan (N/A):

    Only thrown on in injury time in place of Griezmann.

    Didier Deschamps (7/10):

    His side looked dangerous, and the manager didn't do much wrong, but, let's face it, France won this game because of Mbappe - not the coach's changes.