Kylian Mbappe Watch: Not on the scoresheet but France’s captain leaves Dublin with the win

France's Kylian Mbappe in action against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium. Photo: Michael P Ryan/Sportsfile

John Brennan

Two mins – Score one for the Irish. Mbappe shifts the ball out from his feet and beats two players before Chiedozie Ogbene ruffles his feathers with a well-timed challenge. Mbappe gets the ball back, but only by fouling the Corkman and Ireland get a free.

15 mins – The great man has stationed himself on France’s left-wing, trying to take on Séamus Coleman. He has seen little of the ball until a dangerous cross is picked from the night sky by Gavin Bazunu.

23 mins –  Mbappe has space to run into, so he turns on the turbo and leaves Coleman for dead. But Coleman gets back to make a challenge that the ref gives as a corner when Mbappe was the last player to touch the ball. If something had come from the corner...

Halftime –  Mbappe has words in the ear of referee Artur Dias of Portugal as the teams leave the pitch at the end of the first period. He does not seem happy about something. Whatever it is, Coleman is soon over for a chat with the ref too, to put the Irish point of view across.

50 mins – He was a happier bunny five minutes into the second half when France take the lead through Benjamin Pavard off Josh Cullen’s poor pass. That’s international football in a nutshell. One bad pass will cost a goal.

80 mins –  On the occasions that Coleman went forward, even from what was now an orthodox right-back role, Mbappe was not too bothered about chasing back.

88 mins –  Mbappe finally got free off a long ball from Konate, but he hooked his goal effort hopelessly high over the Irish crossbar. It was that sort of night for Mbappe, but he still left Dublin with the win.