Russian Federation 1-3 France: 5 talking points

Arnold Nichols
March 30, 2018

The likes of Scott McTominay and Marouane Fellaini have been preferred by the Red Devils boss.

Paul Pogba scored a 30-yard free-kick and Kylian Mbappe netted twice as France beat World Cup hosts Russian Federation in a friendly in St Petersburg.

The Manchester United midfielder was an influential figure throughout the game, setting up Mbappe for the opener on 40 minutes with a fine through ball.

It's been a mixed time in Pogba's second spell at Old Trafford, having quit Man United for Juventus as a teenager on a free transfer before being bought back in a then-world record transfer of £89m.

With CSKA and Spartak defenders Viktor Vasin and Georgi Dzhikiya out with injuries as well as Zenit's forward Alexander Kokorin, Russia will likely once again depend on Fyodor Smolov up front.

Russian Federation halved the deficit against the run of play through Fedor Smolov (68), but Mbappe grabbed his second with seven minutes remaining, striking through the legs of Russian Federation goalkeeper Andrey Lunev.

"He was also playing a "comeback" match because it's been a while since he played a full game, it'll do him a lot of good".

The Manchester United midfielder was left out of the starting line-up for last week's clash with Colombia.

Then, soon after the break, Pogba curled home a attractive free-kick from all of 30 yards.

Half-time substitute Igor Smolnikov picked out Smolov with a superb diagonal pass and the latter kept his composure to finish at the far post. "Luckily, we will not play against Brazil or France in our World Cup group".

France kick off their World Cup campaign against Australia on June 16.

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