What a shame.
A Kylian Mbappe stat shows just how impressive a job Ireland did against France on Monday night.
Mbappe came to town with a French team that were one kick of the ball away from winning back-to-back World Cups, against a young, inexperienced Irish side.
France won the game 1-0 thanks to a beautiful goal by Benjamin Pavard after Josh Cullen uncharacteristically gave the ball away.
It was an even game for the most part, and while France dominated the ball, Bazunu wasn’t kept too busy in the Ireland goal.
Meanwhile, Nathan Collins is likely still wondering how his header didn’t go in, with Mike Maignan pulling out one of the best saves the Aviva Stadium has ever seen.
One aspect of the game that Stephen Kenny will definitely be happy about, is how his team dealt with Mbappe, who is currently one of the best players in the world.
Andrew Cunneen pointed out one stat that showed just how well Ireland dealt with the electric French forward.
Kylian Mbappe vs Ireland
He wrote: “In Kylian Mbappe’s last 61 games for club and country in which he’s played 45+ minutes, the only two sides to have stopped him from having a shot on target were England in December and Ireland tonight.”
In Kylian Mbappe's last 61 games for club and country in which he's played 45+ minutes, the only two sides to have stopped him from having a shot on target were England in December and Ireland tonight.
— Andrew Cunneen (@Cunneen92) March 27, 2023
Mbappe not mustering a shot is a credit to how Ireland set up in general, but extra credit has to go to Seamus Coleman and Nathan Collins.
Coleman, at 34, having just passed a late fitness test, didn’t let Mbappe past him once, which is a complete rarity in the Frenchman’s game.
Normally, when Mbappe gets the ball, he opens his legs and he’s gone. But Coleman hardly let him out of his sights.
And if he ever did, Collins was there to sweet up, or Chiedozie Ogbene had made a run back to help deal with the threat.
It won’t mean much to the players this morning, but it’s certainly something they should be proud of.
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