France coach Didier Deschamps praised Manchester United striker Anthony Martial’s form after a 2-0 away win in Kazakhstan.
The world champions took the win thanks to an Ousmane Dembele strike in the first half and an own goal just before the break, taking their first victory of the qualifying campaign after being held 1-1 by Ukraine in its opening match.
Martial was one of the many players recruited from the starting XI, although he was forced to get injured early in the second half.
What did Deschamps say?
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Deschamps addressed both Martial and Dembele: “They’ve done some interesting things.
“Ousmane has confirmed that he is getting back on track. He is capable of repeated sprints and of making a difference. He was rewarded with his goal.
“Anthony was behind the first goal. It’s good for both of them.
“From the moment I select them, they are on the team to be used. I have other forwards on this team. But for the opponent’s profile, it was important to engage opponents and dribble.
“They both did it pretty well.”
What happened to Martial?
At the start of the second half, Martial broke into the area at the bottom left. As he tried to cut inside he was a bit heavy with his touch and as he stretched to win the ball his cleats got caught in the artificial surface.
Initially, he appeared to be in pain after reruns showed he had hit his knee and there was a fear he might have suffered serious damage.
However, he was able to play for several minutes and hit a powerful free kick with the injured leg. When substituted, he left the field with noticeable lameness.