Deschamps hails Benzema-Mbappe combination as France end year unbeaten

By Sports Desk November 16, 2021

Didier Deschamps hailed the complementary partnership between Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe after France ended their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-0 win over Finland.

Benzema's deflected 66th-minute effort and a sublime individual goal from Mbappe, who had teed up the Real Madrid star for the opener, 10 minutes later ensured victory for Les Bleus in Helsinki.

The result denied Finland a place in the play-offs as Ukraine finished second in Group D. France, meanwhile, end qualifying unbeaten and are undefeated in their past 27 competitive matches, though that run includes the stunning Euro 2020 shoot-out loss to Switzerland, a streak that stretches back to June 2019.

"We must not forget Antoine Griezmann," Deschamps said afterward when asked about Benzema and Mbappe. 

"It looks easy because the two players are technically complementary.

"They will have a lot of club matches between now and our next meetings. But the combination of all these talents allows the France team to be even more efficient."

Asked about the unbeaten run, he replied: "These are numbers. There are also 13 away matches. This shows the strength of this France team. The quality is there with the addition of new players, young or old.

"It's great to end the calendar year with this victory in Finland."

Reflecting on the year, Deschamps said: "It is a positive result if I rule out 10 minutes of fatal loss of the Euro. 

"We win the Nations League and then we qualify without trembling for the World Cup. 

"We end the calendar year undefeated even if the draw against Switzerland is a defeat despite everything. The France team has shown that it remains competitive.

"There are still improvements and things that could be improved."

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    - Marca reports that Barcelona have contacted Borussia Dortmund about signing Thomas Meunier on loan until the end of the season with BVB open to the idea.

    - Wolves will not accept bids below £40 million for Ruben Neves amid interest from Manchester United and Arsenal, claims The Sun.

    - Porto have turned down Tottenham's offer of £37m with add-ons for Colombian winger Luis Diaz reports the Evening Standard.

    - Jose Mourinho's Roma remain hopeful of landing Arsenal's Granit Xhaka before the transfer window closes according to the Mail.

    - Goal reports that Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign US international goalkeeper Matt Turner in the off-season from New England Revolution.

    - Aston Villa's Ashley Young has declined an approach from Newcastle United claims The Mirror.

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