France ratings: Benjamin Pavard screamer hands France hard-fought victory in tricky Ireland qualifier

Benjamin Pavard's magnificent strike and a dogged midfield showing were enough for France to beat Ireland in their second European qualifier

Pavard's wonder strike gave France a 1-0 win over a dogged Ireland side to complete a successful week of Euro 2024 qualifying.

Ireland battled their way to a scoreless first half, and mostly kept France away from the goal, with les Blues only putting one shot on target.

But the visitors found a breakthrough shortly after half time, with Pavard sending a shot in off the bar from 20 yards after an Ireland giveaway. Les Blues failed to create much otherwise. Kylian Mbappe had a penalty shout turned down, while Eduardo Camavinga repeatedly won tackles in midfield to fight off the Irish attack.

Two saves from Mike Maignan at the other end sealed the deal, denying what would have been a famous equalisier.

And although it was far from convincing this time, France left Dublin with a duo of wins to open up Euro 2024 qualifying.

GOAL rates France's players from the Aviva Stadium...

  1. Goalkeeper & Defence
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    Goalkeeper & Defence

    Mike Maignan (8/10):

    Made one miraculous diving save late on to deny an Ireland equaliser. Did it again a minute later. Two massive moments from the new No.1.

    Benjamin Pavard (8/10):

    Scored a banger to give his team the lead. Was the best of the back four defensively.

    Ibou Konate (7/10):

    A composed performance from a young centre-back.

    Dayot Upamecano (7/10):

    Handled Evan Ferguson well, tidy in possession.

    Theo Hernandez (6/10):

    Dangerous going forward, gave up a silly foul or two.

  2. Midfield
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    Eduardo Camavinga (8/10):

    Ate up ground, won his tackles, stopped counter-attacks. Was efficient, if unspectacular, in his passing.

    Adrien Rabiot (6/10):

    Very tidy, very sensible on the ball, almost scored. A puzzling midfielder.

    Antoine Griezmann (6/10):

    Didn't dictate the game as much as France would have liked.

  3. Attack
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    Kylian Mbappe (6/10):

    Booed every time he touched the ball by a raucous home crowd. Probably should've had a penalty in the second half. Ireland did well to keep him quiet.

    Olivier Giroud (5/10):

    Oldest outfield player to ever start a match for France. Rarely on the ball, fouled a few times, ineffective.

    Randal Kolo Muani (6/10):

    Caused problems with his pace, put in the yards defensively. Wasn't as decisive in the final third as his team needed on the day.

  4. Subs & Manager
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    Subs & Manager

    Moussa Diaby (6/10):

    Lively, quick, but failed to break open a tight, physical contest.

    Jules Kounde (5/10):

    Almost scored a terrific own goal

    Aurelien Tchouameni (6/10):

    Won a crucial 50-50.

    Lilian Thuram (N/A):

    No time to make an impact

    Didier Deschamps (7/10):

    Benched Aurelien Tchaoumeni and Kingsley Coman in favour of Eduardo Camavinga and Olivier Giroud. France were a bit more sturdy against a dogged Ireland team, but didn't create all that much. His team relied on a moment of magic to win it. Hardly a masterclass, but Deschamps will take the win.