Coman robs Messi in the midfield, out on the right. Messi was so influential from the start of the match or should we say, from the start of the tournament. After scoring the penalty to give Argentina the lead, he created superbly but as the business end of the second half approached, he was a bit overshadowed.
Bayern Munich star Kingsley Coman, apart from his marauding runs down the flank, is known for his tackles in the centre of the pitch. And that’s exactly what he did, robbing Messi of the ball towards the centre-right of the pitch. It may have seemed like a casual interception, but it is what brought the match to life, making it the most exciting World Cup final.
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 18, 2022
Mbappe in the middle of the pitch
As we saw in the semifinal against Morocco, Mbappe plays the first 60 minutes on the flanks and then drifts to the centre of the pitch, more like a false no. 9. Being 2-0 down with nothing to lose, he did the same. After he pulled one goal back with a penalty, he found himself in the right spot at the right time.
After robbing Messi of the ball, Coman shuttled the ball to the waiting Mbappe. This sudden change of possession seemed to catch Argentina off-guard. And France were pumped up.
One-two with Thuram
Deschamps had brought in Marcus Thuram in place of the experienced Olivier Giroud in the 41st minute after going 0-2 down. The 6ft-2in Borussia Monchengladbach striker was likely brought on to use his strength against a very physical Argentine defence. But what Thuram also has is the softest of touches. And Mbappe is a master of one-twos. He uses it in the best possible ways, utilising his speed to beat defences.
Luckily for Mbappe, Thuram was in the middle. He played a slightly lobbed pass to Thuram who responded with a brilliant lob that beat the defence and more importantly, sent Mbappe through.
Subscriber Only Stories
Trust Mbappe to come up with ultimate brilliance on the biggest of stages. After Thuram lobbed the ball to him just inside the left edge of the box, Mbappe could’ve run through on goal and placed it past Martinez. Instead, he chose to go for the spectacular. Meeting it first time, he swept it into the bottom right corner past Emiliano Martinez, who had absolutely no chance. It was easily one of the best goals scored at a FIFA World Cup final. By scoring the goal, Mbappe became the first player to score two in a final since Brazil’s Ronaldo in 2002. Of course, more brilliance and records were to come later in the match.