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Five takeaways from France’s solid win over Australia: Olivier Giroud can score at World Cups

Five takeaways from France's solid win over Australia: Olivier Giroud can score at World Cups

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Cape Town – France opened their World Cup campaign with a solid 4-1 win over Australia. The result gives Les Bleus an early command over Group D after Denmark and Tunisia played out to a 0-0 stalemate in the earlier game.

With more than 63% ball possession and 23 shots at goal, France utterly dominated the Aussies and deserved victory.

The following are five things that we learnt from the game.

The Champion Curse could soon be a thing of the past

In the last three World Cups, the Champion team ended up bombing out in the group stage. It’s important to note that France have started their campaign as defending champions on a better note as compared to the previous three champions who bowed out before the knockout phase.

In 2010, Italy opened their World Cup campaign with a 1-1 draw against Paraguay. In 2014, Spain were mauled 5-1 by the Netherlands in their opener and in 2018, Germany started with a 1-0 defeat against Mexico.

France are not yet confirmed of progressing outside the group stage, but they have put themselves in a strong position to do so.

Olivier Giroud can score at World Cups

By scoring a brace against Australia, Giroud showed why France coach Didier Deschamps showed faith in him even though he is 36-years-old.

Giroud failed to score a goal in France’s 2018 World Cup winning campaign but was still an important component of the team due to his work ethic and link-up play.

He has since proven that he can score after all on the grandest stage.

In the process, Giroud also scored his 50th and 51st France goals to tie with Thierry Henry as the nation’s all-time top scorer.

France look okay in midfield

France were dealt a few injury blows in the build-up to the World Cup. Not only did Karim Benzema withdraw from the squad but they were dealt midfield blows as Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante picked up injuries.

In stepped Adrien Rabiot who scored and provided and assist. Granted, Les Bleus will have stronger tests than Australia if they progress to the deeper stages of the competition but they look good enough to navigate the group stages at least.

It will be another World Cup to forget for Australia

Australia have been present at every World Cup since 2006. At the 2006 showpiece in Germany, they advanced to the last 16 but since then, have just made up the numbers at the other three events.

Judging by their performance against France, they will once again make up the numbers in Qatar and both Denmark and Tunisia will also fancy that they can beat the Socceroos.

Graham Arnold’s side did lead France for 18 minutes which they may take as an accomplishment.

The electrifying reaction to the Socceroos' first goal against France has been captured in Melbourne. #9News pic.twitter.com/nKIO0xg4xE

— 9News Australia (@9NewsAUS) November 22, 2022

France still have speed and depth

They have not looked as strong as they were in 2018 during the build-up to the World Cup but they still do have enough depth and speed, enough to take them to the deep knockout stages of the competition.

Even one of Australia’s better players Aaron Mooy was exposed for a lack of speed by Les Bleus.


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