Mbappe return not enough as France drop points against Poland to allow Austria top Group of Death

Kylian Mbappe in action for France at EURO 2024 | Imago

Mbappe return not enough as France drop points against Poland to allow Austria top Group of Death

Ayoola Kelechi 19:11 - 25.06.2024

Les Bleus were disappointing against Poland, allowing Austria to leapfrog them to the number one spot in the Group of death

France talisman Kylian Mbappe returned to the starting lineup for Les Blues but his masked presence was not enough as a gritty Poland dug in deep to earn a point against the tournament favourites.

Mbappe got on the scoresheet on his return scoring the opener from the penalty spot before Poland captain Robert Lewandowski equalised with a penalty kick of his own to earn his side their first and only point at Euro 2024.

How it happened

With Mbappe back in the starting 11, France entered the game with hopes of a convincing win over Group D’s whipping boys Poland, but the Eagles showed from the start that they were willing to give as much as they got.

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France had the better of the early exchanges, but Lukasz Skorupski in goal for Poland stood between Les Bleus and an opening goal in the first half.

The group favourites eventually went ahead when Arsenal defender Jakub Kiwior brought down Ousmane Dembele in the penalty area and Mbappe stepped up to convert the ensuing penalty with aplomb.

Just as France were settling into the idea of all three points and first position in the group, Poland were awarded a penalty when Dayot Upamecano fouled Karol Swiderski to give Poland a way back into the match.

Lewandowski took responsibility for the penalty and missed the initial attempt but the referee ordered a retake after France goalkeeper Mike Maignan was adjudged to be off his line.

The Poland legend confidently dispatched the second attempt to equalise for his side, earning them a respectable but ultimately fruitless point against France.

The draw against Poland meant that France have now failed to win their last group stage match in nine consecutive major tournaments, and more crucially, they dropped to second in Group D after Austria’s shock win over the Netherlands left them with six points and at the top of the group of death.