Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has this evening lavished praise on Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante, after the Frenchman played a starring role in his country’s victory over Australia yesterday.
Les Bleus went head to head with the Socceroos at the Kazan Arena, with Didier Deschamps’ men having headed into proceedings as overwhelming favourites to take all 3 points.
#FRAAUS // FORMATIONS
— FIFA World Cup 🏆 (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018
An entertaining affair in Kazan saw France dominate the majority of possession, though it took the 1998 World Cup winners almost an hour to get on the scoresheet.
It was Antoine Griezmann who opened Les Bleus’ account at this summer’s tournament, smashing home a penalty with aplomb with 58 minutes on the clock.
However, incredibly, Australia leveled things up just minutes later, as a moment of madness from Samuel Umtiti saw the Barcelona man blatantly handle the ball in France’s box to give away the game’s second spot-kick, before Mile Jedinak confidently dispatched the ensuing spot-kick.
The two sides exchanged chances over the remaining half-hour, but, in the end, it was France who grabbed an all-important second goal, as Paul Pogba’s deflected strike looped home courtesy of a touch from defender Aziz Behich.
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In the aftermath of the clash, many pointed to the underwhelming performance of Deschamps’ side as a cause for concern, though there were nevertheless a couple of impressive individual outings from members of Les Bleus’ star-studded squad.
Chief among those was N’Golo Kante, who was at his energetic best yesterday afternoon, breaking up attacks, looking composed in possession and making the middle of the park his own.
And one individual who couldn’t help but be impressed by the latest stellar showing of his fellow countryman was Arsene Wenger, who waxed lyrical about Kante when questioned on the Chelsea star on beIN Sports earlier today:
‘He is one of the most influential midfielders I’ve seen play football. He constantly makes simple decisions and never overcomplicates it.’