France 4-1 Albania: Griezmann penalty miss matters little as Coman leads the way in Paris

Antoine Griezmann missed a penalty against Albania, but it mattered little as Kingsley Coman inspired France to a 4-1 victory in Paris.

France's forward Kingsley Coman celebrates after scoring a goal with France's forward Olivier Giroud (L) during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying Group H football match between France and Albania at the Stade de France stadium in Paris.   -  AFP

Kingsley Coman scored twice as France's march towards Euro 2020 qualification continued with a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Albania.

Antoine Griezmann's penalty miss was all that marred a dominant display from the world champion, which was without Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba in Paris.

Coman's second international goal got France up and running in the eighth minute, with Olivier Giroud doubling the host's lead prior to the half-hour.

Griezmann failed to convert an international spot-kick for the first time soon after, but made amends with a sublime assist for Coman to double his tally midway through the second half.

Substitute Jonathan Ikone helped himself to a debut goal late on, as Didier Deschamp's side – which conceded through Sokol Cikalleshi's penalty late on – moved back to the top of Group H in style.

Albania's dismal night began before a kick-off, with the Andorran anthem aired on the Stade de France tannoy instead of that of the visitor.

France was quick to compound Albania's frustration – Coman prodding in after latching onto Raphael Varane's exceptional throughball.

Giroud should have made it two with a close-range header four minutes later, but he made no mistake with his next chance, sweeping home from Lucas Hernandez's cross.

Mergim Mavraj's foul on Hernandez handed France a chance to make it 3-0, but Griezmann's spot-kick crashed off the crossbar.

 

Ardian Ismajli made a last-ditch block from Thomas Lemar's effort after the restart, while Thomas Strakosha frustrated Griezmann.

But Griezmann found a way through Albania's defence again in the 68th minute – drilling an exquisite cross into Coman, who finished excellently on the turn.

 

There was time for more action, with Nabil Fekir playing in his fellow substitute Ikone for a debut goal, before Cikalleshi snatched a consolation following Hugo Lloris' foul.

What does it mean? Les Bleus look in good shape

France's slip-up against Turkey in June seems to have served as a warning sign to Les Bleus' stars, who hammered Andorra in their last outing and showed no signs of complacency against weaker opposition on Saturday.

Les Bleus are now on 12 points, level with Iceland and Turkey, and they should have no issues in pushing on to secure qualification from their remaining five fixtures.

Coman fills in for Mbappe

With Mbappe out injured, Coman took on the role of being France's main goal threat from out wide and excelled. The Bayern Munich forward displayed fantastic skill and composure for both of his goals, and was unlucky not to add at least one assist, given the chances he created for Giroud.

Albania's troubles on the road rumble on

While Albania was always going to be hard pressed to get a result in Paris, it offered little resistance, and Edoardo Reja's side is relying on maintaining its form at home – where it has won two qualifiers so far this campaign – to give it a chance of progressing.

What's next?

France should have no concerns over maintaining its winning run when it hosts Andorra on Tuesday, while Albania faces Iceland.

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