UEFA EURO 2024: Austria 0-1 France – Kylian Mbappe’s Nasty Nose Injury Sours Les Bleus’ Slender Win

Kylian Mbappe Was One Of The Underperformers In The Semi-Finals
Kylian Mbappe Was One Of The Underperformers In The Semi-Finals

Tournament favorites France began their UEFA EURO 2024 journey with a high-intensity clash against Group D rivals Austria at the Dusseldorf Arena on Monday night (June 17). Kylian Mbappe and Co. created numerous goalscoring opportunities, but they lacked sharpness in the final third. As a result, they had to settle for a 1-0 victory, despite finishing the game with a much superior xG of 2.13.

Maximilian Wober’s Own Goal The Difference Between Austria and France

Austria were the undeniable underdogs coming into the match against two-time European champions France on Monday. However, they did not, for a second, think France were unbeatable. They took the fight to Didier Deschamps’ men, pushing them right until the last blast of the whistle. Les Bleus had their fair share of opportunities in Dusseldorf, but they could not bend Austria to their will. In fact, France’s only goal of the game came from the head of Austrian defender Maximilian Wober in the 38th minute.

Having slipped past a couple of defenders on the right flank, Mbappe zipped in a cross toward the center of the Austrian box. To take the ball beyond the French attackers’ reach, Wober tried to head it above the crossbar. Unfortunately, he could not make the right contact with the delivery and ended up diverting it into his own net.

Two minutes before conceding, Austria created an excellent goalscoring opportunity, as Marcel Sabitzer found Christoph Baumgartner with a brilliant flick. Baumgartner, however, failed to keep his cool and allowed Mike Maignan to make a save with his foot. The complexion of the game would have been a lot different had the 24-year-old put away his chance.

A Night To Forget For Kylian Mbappe

France captain Mbappe was the creator behind the winner, but he did not have a night to remember on Monday. In the ninth minute, Adrien Rabiot slipped Mbappe through down the left flank. The Real Madrid attacker charged down the wing and fired at goal, but his effort only managed to rattle the side-netting. Then, in the 55th minute, the 25-year-old missed an absolute sitter, dragging his effort wide of the right-hand post with only the keeper to beat.

Things went from bad to worse for Mbappe toward the end of the game, as he broke his nose after a coming together with Kevin Danso. The ex-Paris Saint-Germain superstar even saw a yellow card for prematurely coming back onto the pitch after receiving treatment.

After Monday’s painful turn of events, there are doubts about Mbappe’s involvement in EURO 2024. And even if he does return to action as usual, he will have to walk on eggshells to avoid a second yellow card — and a subsequent suspension — until the end of the quarter-finals.

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