Wednesday 20 June 2018

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'Ireland brought their weather but not much else' - French media reaction to Les Bleus' victory over Martin O'Neill's side

Harry Arter of Republic of Ireland during the International Friendly match between France and Republic of Ireland at Stade de France in Paris, France. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Harry Arter of Republic of Ireland during the International Friendly match between France and Republic of Ireland at Stade de France in Paris, France. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Olivier Giroud and Nabil Fekir staked their claims for France's World Cup opener as they struck to condemn the Republic of Ireland to a 2-0 friendly defeat amid a torrential Parisian downpour.

Chelsea frontman Giroud scored from close range and then saw keeper Colin Doyle's howler hand Fekir a second before the half-time whistle sounded on a night when Didier Deschamps' Russia-bound side turned in a slick display.

They face Italy and the USA before they open their campaign against Australia in Kazan on June 16, and they may hope for tougher tests with Ireland offering the physicality for which Deschamps chose them - both James McClean and Harry Arter were booked for rash challenges - but little else.

Ireland were not spared in the French media in the aftermath of the game.

Clément Guillou in Le Monde wrote: "Ireland brought their weather but not much else. The Irish XI seemed like a distant cousin of the team that had made life hard for France for an hour at Euro 2016.

"They even lacked the traditional fighting spirit of Martin O'Neill teams."

Le Figaro went with the headline, 'Against a feeble Ireland, France did the job well'.

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Le Dauphiné Libéré in an article entitled, 'France-Irlande : les tops et les flops', identified the Irish team among their list of flops.

"The Irish did not help to gauge where France are at before the World Cup. Weakened by injuries to key players, especially among their goalkeepers, Martin O'Neill's players strove to defend without weighing in on the game. Even their eternal "fighting spirit" left something to be desired. As a result, there are not too many lessons to be learned from this friendly encounter."

Ireland will be hoping from an improved display against the USA on Saturday evening at the Aviva.

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