Premier League clubs vote to continue using VAR next season

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The tireless Mbappé leads France to a 3-0 victory over Luxembourg; Spain, Belgium and Denmark also win

METZ, France: Kylian Mbappe scored a late goal in his first game since joining Real Madrid to help France gain momentum for the European Championship with a dominant 3-0 win over Luxembourg on Wednesday.

Mbappe, whose move to Madrid was finally confirmed on Monday, was a constant threat to Luxembourg’s hard-working defenders, but the France captain had to wait until the 85th minute to crown his performance with a goal.

Bradley Barcola made his debut for France as a substitute and promptly won the ball, ran for the penalty, drew other defenders and then laid the ball off for Mbappé to slot home at the left post.

In Copenhagen, Christian Eriksen scored a late goal to give Denmark a 2-1 win over Sweden.

Mikel Oyarzabal scored a hat-trick after the break to help Spain to a 5-0 win against Andorra.

Belgium beat Montenegro 2-0. Kevin De Bruyne scored in his 100th game for the Red Devils. But a series of substitutions at half-time almost cost the team the win. It was only in injury time that Leandro Trossard sealed the victory with a penalty.

Slovakia, Belgium’s opponents in Group E at the European Championship, celebrated a 4-0 victory against underdogs San Marino.

FRANCE IMPRESS

Although the star-studded French team found it difficult at times to break through the Luxembourg defence, coach Didier Deschamps will have been impressed by his team’s relentless pressure and play without the ball.

Only the finishing touches were missing at times, but in the final tournament warm-up game on Sunday in Bordeaux against Canada, Deschamps has the chance to put the finishing touches to the team.

Antoine Griezmann was back after missing the March internationals with an ankle injury, while Randal Kolo Muani made a rare start as Ousmane Dembele was unavailable through illness.

France tried to press hard but had to wait almost the entire first half for the first goal. Mbappe drew two defenders to the byline and crossed to Kolo Muani, who headed the ball past Anthony Moris in the 43rd minute.

Marseille defender Jonathan Clauss finally scored the 2-0 with a shot that hit the underside of the crossbar.

Les Bleus play in Group D with the Netherlands, Poland and Austria.

ERIKSENS SMILE

Christian Eriksen sealed Denmark’s 2-1 win over neighbours Sweden with a long-range shot in the same stadium where he collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020.

Eriksen, 32, who had been tormenting the Swedish defence throughout, beat a defender in the 86th minute and then fired a powerful shot into the far post, his 41st goal in 129 games for Denmark.

Morten Hjulmand probably secured the win by coming back with a timely tackle to deny Emil Holm when it looked like the Swedish substitute was going to score.

Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg got Denmark off to a great start with a goal in the second minute, but Alexander Isak equalised seven minutes later.

Sweden missed out on qualifying for Euro 2024, while Denmark is in Group C with England, Serbia and Slovenia.

The Danes’ last warm-up game will take place on Saturday against Norway.

Erling Haaland scored a hat-trick to give Norway a 3-0 win over Kosovo. Neither country has qualified for Euro 2024.

SPAIN CRUISE

After Real Betis striker Ayoze Perez opened the scoring, it was only a question of how many goals Spain would score against Andorra.

Ayoze broke the deadlock following a corner in the 24th minute, setting up the ball with his first touch and firing it home from a difficult angle with his next.

Oyarzabal scored his hat-trick 20 minutes after the break and Barcelona’s Ferran Torres completed the victory in the 81st minute.

Spain had to compete without Real Madrid’s Champions League winners Dani Carvajal, Nacho and Joselu.

Spain plays in Group B with Croatia, Italy and Albania. On Saturday the team will play its last warm-up match against Northern Ireland.

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