PLAYER RATINGS | France 0-0 Canada – N’golo Kanté impresses as Les Bleus draw blank in final Euro 2024 warm-up friendly

MATCH REPORT – France 0-0 Canada

Didier Deschamps’ side would travel to Bordeaux’s Matmut Atlantique stadium to face Canada in their final preparation match before travelling to Germany next week for the opening of UEFA Euro 2024. With captain Kylian Mbappé injured, Deschamps would turn to a few changes which would see Marcus Thuram and William Saliba given opportunities as Ngolo Kanté would be named in the starting lineup for a second preparation match in a row. Veteran Olivier Giroud would start in his final match for the French national team on home soil.

Les Bleus started the strongest side, threatening through two unlikely attacking forces including Théo Hernandez and Ngolo Kanté. The bar would be struck only minutes later as Ousmane Dembélé combined well with Antoine Griezmann down the right side and Marcus Thuram’s header would strike the woodwork. It would take 10 minutes for France to generate another close chance, with Griezmann’s low strike parried just wide of the post. 

Canada would get their own chances on the counter-attack, as Alphonso Davies looked to use his pace and drive into the box, but the French backline held strong and crowded out the Bayern Munich star. As the first half went on, Deschamps’ men would drop back as the away side began to hold the ball more and threaten in attack – they would see out the half without scoring. Real Madrid man Ferland Mendy would see some action after replacing Theo Hernandez at the break.

Canada would come out quick for the second half, as Liam Miller rattled Maignan’s cross bar from a long-range effort which whistled a whisker away from putting the away side into a shock one-goal lead. Les Bleus would then pile on the pressure at the midpoint of the second period, threatening through set-pieces and being more positive on the ball in the final third. Ousmane Dembélé played a wicked ball into the box, and Giroud almost connected in spectacular fashion with the overhead kick.

Yet the away side would go on the front foot once again, with Lille man Jonathan David increasingly involving himself with the attacking action alongside Buchanan and Liam Miller. David had a glorious chance to open the scoring, but opted to square the ball across goal, then eventually cleared by William Saliba. Kylian Mbappé would be introduced to give France some more impetus in attack, and the captain immediately got involved with a strike over the bar. Randal Kolo Muani would make an entry in the final minutes, and the PSG man’s header in injury-time bounced fractionally wide of the left post. Kylian Mbappé would sting the palms of Crépeau in the final seconds, but his strike was parried away by the goalkeeper, as the final whistle blew to conclude a low-key affair at the Matmut Atlantique in Bordeaux.


Mike Maignan, 5

Jules Koundé, 5

William Saliba, 5 – Deschamps would test out the Arsenal man in his final preparation match before Les Bleus travel to Germany ahead of Liverpool’s Ibrahima Konaté, and he looked as assured as he has been for his club side this season. 

Dayot Upamecano, 5

Theo Hernandez, 5

N’golo Kanté, 6 – A second outing following a surprising inclusion in Didier Deschamps’ squad, the Al-Ittihad man looked assured and slotted seamlessly in his usual spot at the base of the midfield. The former Chelsea and Leicester man has been the biggest plus in the two warm-up games for the finals in Germany.

Edouardo Camavinga, 5

Antoine Griezmann, 4

Ousmane Dembélé, 6

Marcus Thuram, 5

Olivier Giroud, 5

Others: Bradley Barcola 5, Ibrahima Konaté 5, Kylian Mbappé, Kingsley Coman, 

GFFN | George Boxall

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