Chelsea duo N’Golo Kante and Olivier Giroud started the FIFA World Cup final for France as the nation won the trophy for the second time with a 4-2 victory over Croatia in Moscow.
Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic netted an own goal while Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe were on target as France regained their world crown, 20 years on from their maiden success on home soil.
Didier Deschamps’ side went ahead after 18 minutes when Griezmann’s in-swinging free-kick brushed Mandzukic’s head before finding the far corner of the Croatian net.
Croatia levelled matters with a powerful strike from Ivan Perisic before a controversial VAR penalty decision handed Griezmann the opportunity to net from the spot and send France into a 2-1 half time lead.
The second half saw both Pogba and Mbappe rattle long range strikes beyond Croatian goalkeeper Danijel Subasic to make it 4-1 to the French before a Hugo Lloris howler allowed Mandzukic to score and make up for his earlier own goal.
Croatia had hopes of a rescue mission with 21 minutes to go but it ultimately didn’t materialise as Les Bleus went on to lift the trophy. Blues midfielder Kante was substituted early in the second half while Giroud also left the field before the full-time whistle.
In other news, Belgium and Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has been awarded the tournament’s Golden Glove accolade. The 26-year-old kept three clean sheets throughout the tournament including a shutout in Saturday’s 2-0 Third Place Play-Off win over England in St Petersburg.