France set new European Championship qualifying high with 14-0 rout of Gibraltar

By Sports Desk November 18, 2023

France thrashed 10-man Gibraltar 14-0 in Nice for a record international win to close in on a top seed for Euro 2024.

Les Bleus had already qualified as winners of Group B, and showed no signs of letting up against Gibraltar – who scored an early own goal before defender Ethan Santos was shown a red card for a late tackle on 17-year-old debutant Warren Zaire-Emery.

Following the red card for Santos, who had put the ball in his own net after just three minutes, France were relentless, with Kylian Mbappe scoring a hat-trick, Kingsley Coman netting twice and substitute Olivier Giroud hitting a late brace.

Paris St Germain midfielder Zaire-Emery had set a new record as France’s youngest post-war debutant, aged 17 and 255 days.

France were soon on the offensive and raced into a 2-0 lead, both own goals, inside the first five minutes.

Jonathan Clauss got clear down the right and cut the ball back across the six-yard box where Santos stabbed it into his own net.

Before Gibraltar could regroup, they fell further behind.

As goalkeeper Dayle Coleing saved Antoine Griezmann’s shot, the rebound looked to have gone in off Aymen Mouelhi with Marcus Thuram close behind him. The Inter Milan forward was later credited with the goal.

France, aiming to seal their place as one of the five top seeds in Germany next summer, continued to press, with Mbappe firing over.

Zaire-Emery then clipped home a cross from Coman at the near post to become France’s second youngest international scorer after Maurice Gastiger in 1914.

The teenager took a blow to his ankle from Santos when tucking the ball home. English referee John Brooks was advised by VAR to take a review of the over-the-top challenge on the pitchside monitor, which resulted in a red card for the Gibraltar defender.

France were taking no risks with Zaire-Emery, who was swiftly substituted in the 20th minute and replaced by Youssouf Fofana.

On the half-hour mark, a VAR review saw France given a penalty for handball by Lee Casciaro. Mbappe knocked the spot-kick in off the post to make it 4-0.

It was relentless stuff from the hosts, who scored three more within as many minutes through Clauss’ powerful strike, then Coman knocked a loose ball in before Fofana drove a low shot under bewildered Gibraltar keeper Coleing.

Gibraltar made it to half-time without further damage and then held out through the hour mark despite soaking up plenty of pressure from France, who sensed the chance of a record win.

Adrien Rabiot shot home a loose ball in the 63rd minute, with Coman then getting his second for number nine.

Gibraltar’s heaviest loss was confirmed when substitute Ousmane Dembele added a 10th goal for France, who soon secured a record win when Mbappe knocked in an 11th from close range with 15 minutes left.

Olivier Giroud stepped off the bench to drill a low shot into the far corner – but after a lengthy VAR review and check of the monitor by the referee, the goal was ruled out for offside.

France, though, soon had a 12th when Mbappe clipped in a wonderful chip over a backpedalling Coleing from 30 yards to complete his hat-trick.

Giroud drilled the ball in after a chest down from Griezmann, which this time did count. The AC Milan forward swiftly rifled home another in stoppage time as France eclipsed Germany’s record European Championship qualifying win over San Marino in September 2006.

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