Comp of Kylian Mbappe vs Australia shows he's ready to shine on the world stage once again
Kylian Mbappe was in top form for France, as they opened up their World Cup defence with a win against Australia on Tuesday night.
France were looking to make sure that they wouldn't be hit by the recent curse of defending world champions, as they opened their campaign.
Since 2002 only Brazil have won the competition and not gone out in the group stages four years later, following France's elimination that year, when Senegal helped knock Zinedine Zidane and co out.
When Craig Goodwin gave the Aussies the lead in the ninth minute, those in France would have been having flashbacks to Papa Bouba Diop 20 years ago.
However, Didier Deschamps side didn't flop to the same start to their World Cup defence, eventually coming out on top 4-1 against Graham Arnold's side.
Olivier Giroud became France's joint all time top goalscorer with a brace but it was Mbappe who really shone for Les Blues on the night.
Mbappe may have got an assist and a goal on the night but perhaps his highlight of the 90 minutes was his part in France's second goal.
The PSG forward played the defetest of backheels into the path of Adrien Rabiot, with the Juventus midfielder setting up Olivier Giroud, just five minutes after his own goal, to put the French ahead for the first time.
Player rating: 8.5/10
He ran at the defence all night and caused mayhem for Australia, who couldn't get to grips with the 23-year-old at all, as France won 4-1.
His goal, assist and pre assist were key to the win and he was the best player on the pitch, even accounting for Giroud's record breaking brace.
Reaction to Mbappe:
"The wonderful, mesmerising Kylian Mbappe scores his first goal of this World Cup," Gary Lineker said on social media, "I doubt it will be the last."
"Kylian Mbappe is probably already a top 5 forward of the last 20-30 years," one fan said,
Pointing out just how young the World Cup winner still is, another added, "It’s wild to me that Mbappe still has like another 3 World Cups ahead of him after this one."
On the penchant for fans still believing Ligue 1 is a 'farmer's league,' another joked, "Actually frightening how some people think Mbappe still needs to prove himself, because he hasn't played Fulham away in the league."
"I was on the wrong side of the GOAT debate for like 10 years I ain’t making that mistake again Mbappe you are HIM," one, presumably Ronaldo fan, said.
And on the difficulty in facing the most expensive teenager ever, another opined, "I feel like Mbappe's change of pace always shock defenders. It doesn’t really sink in till you’re fighting for your life to keep up."
Having lit up the World Cup four years ago, Mbappe made sure that he wouldn't be a one tournament wonder with a goal and an assist.
He ran at the Australian defence time and time again, making it really difficult for those in the wide channels and his cross for Giroud's second goal was perfect.
Mbappe isn't just all about speed though, he showed he's got everything in his locker as his goal showed excellent positional sense and a great header.
It was his fifth in World Cups, and also picked up his second assist, leaving him 11 behind Miroslav Klose. Considering his young age, he's the perfect candidate to take the German's World Cup record in the future.
Denmark and Tunisia will not want to come up against the PSG forward on this form, and nor will anyone else in the latter stages.
A second Team of the Tournament and World Cup trophy could beckon in the next four weeks.
Featured Image Credit: BBC
- We've run out of ways to describe Lionel Messi's pass for Kylian Mbappe goal, he's on another level
- "The information I'm getting" - Sky Sports reporter shares update over Man Utd's interest in Kylian Mbappe
- Kylian Mbappe scores insane solo goal for France against Austria, he's a cheat code
- "When we were little" - Arsenal star went to primary school with Kylian Mbappe