European Championship Qualifiers, 18/11/2023
France recorded the largest victory in their history, sweeping Gibraltar aside (14-0) during their Euro 2024 qualifier and beating the previous record (10-0 v Azerbaijan), which has stood since 1995.
The onslaught began almost immediately. In the third minute, Jonathan Clauss got in down the right, and his cutback was diverted by Ethan Santos into his own net. Just one minute later Les Bleus’ lead was doubled and it was another own-goal. This time it was Aymen Mouelhi, who diverted into his own net after Dayle Coleing parried Antoine Griezmann’s shot back into danger.
It had been all about Warren Zaïre-Emery in the build-up to the match. The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder became the youngest player to make his France debut in 109 years and it was only fitting that he got on the scoresheet, finishing the move that he himself started. However, he was injured by a clumsy challenge from Santos as he took the shot. Zaïre-Emery was forced off and Santos followed him, the defender being shown a straight red card.
Kylian Mbappé then made it four from the spot after Lee Casciaro handled in the box. Jonathan Clauss added a fifth from long-range, Kingsley Coman then added a sixth just two minutes later and Youssouf Fofana added a seventh just one minute after that. By the 37th minute, France were 7-0 up and the record victory was very much in reach.
We had to wait a while for the eighth of the night, and it was Adrien Rabiot who provided it in the 65th minute. The Juventus midfielder’s goal turned the tap and the goals started flowing once again. Coman then got his second before substitute Ousmane Dembélé showed some nice footwork to add the 10th.
One minute later, Mbappé scored the historic 11th, which took France past the previous goalscoring record, which has stood for 19 years. The captain, who scored the 300th goal of his career at the age of just 24, completed his hat-trick with a long-range chipped effort.
Mbappé was eating into Olivier Giroud’s goalscoring record, but France’s top goalscorer struck back with two of his own before the end. The first was well taken after Antoine Griezmann chested down for the AC Milan forward to finish into an empty net before an acrobatic overhead effort completed the scoring in style in injury time.
France player ratings
Mike Maignan – 5 – 0 saves and six touches. The AC Milan goalkeeper could sit back and enjoy the show.
Théo Hernandez – 7
Dayot Upamecano – 6
Jean-Clair Todibo – 6
Jonathan Clauss – 8 – a menace down the right. Wasn’t asked to defend and was free to bomb forward whenever he pleased. Got himself a goal and an assist.
Adrien Rabiot – 7
Warren Zaïre-Emery – N/A – It was Zaïre-Emery’s night. All eyes were on the 17-year-old, who is France’s youngest debutant since 1914, however, that debut only lasted 16 minutes. It was an eventful 16 minutes as he quickly asserted himself and even scored his first goal, but he was injured in the process of opening his account for France and was forced off. A bittersweet night for Zaïre-Emery. Replaced by Youssouf Fofana (7)
Antoine Griezmann – 7
Kylian Mbappé – 9 – three goals and three assists for the captain. A brilliant and historic night for Mbappé, who at the age of just 24 has now reached the milestone of 300 career goals.
Marcus Thuram – 7
Kingsley Coman – 8 – culpable of some poor finishing early on before netting his brace. His linkup play was exceptional throughout.