Giroud Leads France Past Bulgaria Ahead Of Euros 2020

By Ibrahim Taiwo, The Nigerian Voice Sports
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France substitute Olivier Giroud made the most of his time on the pitch with a double as the world champions beat Bulgaria 3-0 in their final Euro 2020 warm-up game after fellow forward Karim Benzema came off with a possible knee injury on Tuesday.

Les Bleus dominated the match and combined well up front with Antoine Griezmann netting a bicycle kick and Giroud, who has had very few chances to play at Chelsea this season, scoring his 45th and 46th international goals after replacing Benzema.

Benzema, playing his second game for France after a hiatus of more than five years, came off in the 41st minute and coach Didier Deschamps said he wanted to take "no risk" with the Real Madrid striker.

France open their Euro campaign against Germany in Munich next Tuesday before taking on Hungary and European champions Portugal in Group F.

The game was attended by 5 000 fans almost eight months after Les Bleus last played in front of a crowd versus Portugal.

Kylian Mbappe threatened from the start, finding Benzema in the box only for his low shot to go just wide before goalkeeper Daniel Naumov was at full stretch to stop a shot on the turn.

France suffocated their opponents but, for all their collective talent, it was a moment of brilliance from Griezmann that put them ahead in the 29th minute as his slightly deflected overhead kick beat Naumov.

Benzema then landed awkwardly after a header and asked to come off as he held his knee just before the break.

"It's a knock on the knee, which also affects the muscle. He felt he was getting stiff so he asked to be subbed," Deschamps told TF1.

"The medical staff are taking care of him."
Griezmann had another chance but Naumov was on top form and the Bulgariam was at it again to deny Giroud from close range on the stroke of halftime.

Deschamps made several changes during a quieter second half, with key midfielder Ngolo Kante being replaced by Thomas Lemar in the 65th minute.

Griezmann was also spared as he was replaced by Ousmane Dembele one minute later.

Giroud again made the most of his chance as he cut home Benjamin Pavard's cross at the near post in the 85th and tapped in Wissam Ben Yedder's cross in added time to narrow the gap with France's all-time top scorer Thierry Henry to five goals. (Reuters)