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France vs Poland. European Championships Group D.

Signal Iduna ParkAttendance59,728.

France 1

  • K Mbappe (56th minute pen)

Poland 1

  • R Lewandowski (79th minute pen)

Euro 2024 - France 1-1 Poland: Kylian Mbappe returns with goal but Les Bleus finish second in Group D

Report from Euro 2024 as France held 1-1 by Poland in their final Group D game; Kylian Mbappe's penalty cancelled out by Robert Lewandowski's retaken spot kick; Austria win Group D, France finish second and Netherlands third; France will now play the Group E runner-up

Kylian Mbappe's France was frustrated in VAR drama
Image: Kylian Mbappe's France was frustrated in VAR drama

France had to settle for second-place in Group D after already-eliminated Poland held Les Bleus to a 1-1 draw, despite Kylian Mbappe returning from injury with a goal.

Back in the starting line-up after recovering from a broken nose, the masked Mbappe thought he had given his side a winning end to the group stages as he converted a second-half penalty after Jakub Kiwior clumsily fouled Ousmane Dembele.

But VAR drama would strike as Poland were awarded a contentious penalty after Dayot Upamecano was ruled to have fouled substitute Karol Swiderski in the box. Contact was minimal but Italian official Marco Guida gave the penalty after being asked to visit the monitor.

Poland captain Robert Lewandowski saw his initial penalty saved by Mike Maignan but VAR spotted the France goalkeeper off his line, so the effort was retaken. Lewandowski passed the second test, albeit via the woodwork.

It was a frustrating afternoon for France, with Mbappe denied four times by Poland goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski. Dembele also saw a one-on-one saved by the stand-in stopper.

France end the group stages with just one win, one goal scored by their 26-player squad, and their second-placed finish means they will face the runners-up in Group E - one of Romania, Belgium, Slovakia or Ukraine.

A tale of three penalties

Kylian Mbappe scores from the penalty spot
Image: Kylian Mbappe gave France the lead from the penalty spot
Poland got a penalty but Mike Maignan saved Robert Lewandowski's first effort
Image: Poland got a penalty but Mike Maignan saved Robert Lewandowski's first effort
Robert Lewandowski wheels away after equalising for Poland against France
Image: ... but Lewandowski got a second attempt and scored the retaken spot kick

Analysis: If England are bad, then what are France?

One win from three. None of their players scored from open play in the group stages. France aren't exactly living up to the most experienced favourites in this tournament.

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Les Bleus generated 6.44 xG in the group stages but were wasteful throughout. Could it be possible that, even with the most mercurial talent in the world in Kylian Mbappe, they do not have enough goals in them?

Mbappe missed a one-on-one against Austria in the first game. Antoine Griezmann squandered a sitter against the Netherlands, where Didier Deschamps' side could have lost were it not for VAR. Here, they missed four big chances. They're not exactly taking their moments.

Considering the criticism Gareth Southgate's England have received in this group stage, perhaps growing into the tournament is the fashionable thing.

What they said...

France manager Didier Deschamps:

"It's not frustrating. Clearly we wanted top spot but to get there, we needed to win. The moment you don't win, you have to accept it.

"We did the right things to win the game. You need to appreciate what you've done, we have qualified. The main objective is completed, even though we don't have the position we wanted.

"We could have done better in terms of efficiency, even though the goalkeeper made some very good saves.

"We would have liked to have a two-goal lead, that would have made things better. But we weren't able to do it."

Player of the match: Lukasz Skorupski


Were it not for Jakub Kiwior's rash challenge to concede the penalty, the Poland goalkeeper would have had a perfect afternoon.

Six saves from inside the box made it an impressive afternoon, particularly the first half stops to deny Kylian Mbappe twice and Ousmane Dembele once.

The Bologna goalkeeper was only brought in to give Wojciech Szczesny a breather. Imagine if he, and Robert Lewandowski, had started more games…

Stats: Story of the match

Group D final results...

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