November 27, 2021

Kylian Mbappé, a jewel in three touches against Finland

He had ants in his legs, it felt, and his goal, the second for the Blues, his twenty-fourth in fifty-three selections, which occurred ten minutes after his formidable assist for Karim Benzema, came to reward this rise in power (2-0). Lucas Digne had not yet started his pass that Kylian Mbappé had sensed that the ball would come on the left side. The service of the French side was not perfect, a little floating even.

Mbappé, in the center at the top, at the time of his ball catch. (DR)

But, on his sole catch, the French striker managed to pass Robert Taylor, barely entered into the game, and stick a meter in his sight. Then three meters, on his second touch of the ball, the one that allows him to overflow on his wing.

Mbappé's second touch of the ball (DR)

Mbappé’s second touch of the ball (DR)

Behind, Taylor clings but there is already a form of renunciation. The Finn has TV at home in Bergen (he plays in Norway) and he knows the speed of the Parisian. Now he is five meters ahead. An abyss, a despair. His second touch, longer, allowed to refocus his race, to focus on the goal of Lukas Hradecky, who does not play the smart.

Mbappé just before his strike, his 3rd touch of the ball (DR)

Mbappé just before his strike, his 3rd touch of the ball (DR)

The goalkeeper of Bayer Leverkusen, remained one meter fifty in front of his line, seeks to close the angle at the near post. But he opens the one to the second. In the axis, Robert Ivanov is trying to come and cut Mbappé’s race with the energy of despair. A little more desperation than energy, by the way. At least he is the first spectator of what will follow.

Mbappé's coiled shot (P. Lahalle / L'Équipe)

Mbappé’s coiled shot (P. Lahalle / L’Équipe)

The Frenchman only looked up at the moment of his second touch. The third will be fateful. He has already been on the field and has already imagined the end of the action. He will open his foot, like Thierry Henry, who could soon become a Mbappé variant, as his strike would become almost as effective and more powerful than that of his predecessor. Hradecky dives but for the form. He can’t do anything. It is going too fast. “With the talent he (Mbappé) a, for the opponent, it’s complicated “, conceded Didier Deschamps, happy to be the coach of such a scorer.

Hradecky is beaten by the Frenchman's strike.  (P. Lahalle / The Team)

Hradecky is beaten by the Frenchman’s strike. (P. Lahalle / The Team)