A Kylian Mbappe-led France warmed up for Monday's Euro 2024 Group B qualifier against the Republic of Ireland with a 4-0 destruction of the Netherlands on Friday night.


Stephen Kenny and his players, who watched the game together at their team hotel, hardly needed any more evidence of the size of the challenge they will face at the Aviva Stadium. They got it anyway, as Didier Deschamps' men hammered a Dutch side that lost five players to illness in the build-up.

Mbappe, named France skipper after goalkeeper Hugo Lloris ended his international career in January, set up Antoine Griezmann for the opener before scoring the third, after Dayot Upamecano had doubled the tally in a first-half blitz, before wrapping the scoring up late on in front of an ecstatic crowd.

With Lloris and also influential centre back Raphael Varane now out of the international picture, France were looking to impress in their first game since losing the World Cup final against Argentina last December and they did just that against a virus-hit Dutch side under their newly-appointed manager Ronald Koeman.

The result was a slap in the face for Koeman in charge of his first match since he took over from Louis van Gaal, after the Oranje reached the World Cup quarter-finals in Qatar, for his second stint after a first spell from 2018-2020.

Their misery was complete when Memphis Depay's stoppage-time penalty - awarded for an Upamecano handball - was saved by Mike Maignan, who sprung to his feet to stop the follow-up as well.

France lead Group B ahead of Greece, who beat Gibraltar 3-0 away. On the same night Ireland host France, the Netherlands are at home to Gibraltar.

Additional reporting: Reuters