Chelsea man the unlikely hero in star-studded France win over Portugal

There were some of the finest attacking players in the world on show on Saturday night in Lisbon, but it was Chelsea’s holding midfielder, N’Golo Kante who scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win for France over Portugal.

The French boasted the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Kingsley Coman, Anthony Martial, supported by Paul Pogba and Adrien Rabiot.

Meanwhile, Portugal looked equally threatening on paper, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix, Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes in their starting line-up.

It was Kante who grabbed the only goal, though, bundling in a rebound after Rui Patricio could only parry Rabiot’s shot in the 53rd minute, only the midfielder’s second international goal in 44 caps.

Patricio will have been disappointed with that effort, but he had pulled off a string of excellent saves beforehand with France largely dominating the match in the UEFA Nations League Group 3.

France go top of the group with the victory and must just avoid defeat against Sweden in their next match to ensure progression to the semi-finals.

Portugal, the defending champions in the event, are all but out after the loss in Lisbon.

With such significant Premier League interest in the game – Manchester City’s Ruben Dias was also playing for Portugal, while Diogo Jota came on and Olivier Giroud rose from the bench for France – fans and managers alike will have had their fingers crossed for no injury concerns arising from the contest.

It appears that they have got their wish with no notable injuries taking place during the match.

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