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France 5 Paraguay 0: Giroud hits hat-trick in friendly rout

Goal.com logo Goal.com 02-06-2017

Olivier Giroud scored his first international hat-trick as France defeated Paraguay 5-0 in Friday's friendly clash at Roazhon Park in Rennes.

The Arsenal striker was at his clinical best, netting with each of his three shots on target before Moussa Sissoko and Antoine Griezmann secured a deserved win for the home side in an impressive all-round performance.

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Head coach Didier Deschamps named a strong starting line-up that included Hugo Lloris, who broke Fabien Barthez's record for France appearances as a goalkeeper as he won his 88th cap.

Giroud opened the scoring after six minutes following good work from Paul Pogba and Ousmane Dembele and he doubled his tally before quarter of an hour had been played, as France set about dismantling a side ranked 30 places below them by FIFA.

Griezmann, who this week appeared to commit his future to Atletico Madrid, missed a good chance before Giroud converted from close range midway through the second half to make it 3-0 and kill off any threat of a Paraguay comeback.

With the visitors looking deflated, France struck twice in quick succession to put some gloss on the scoreline, Sissoko turning in Alexandre Lacazette's low cross before Griezmann smashed in a goal of his own with 13 minutes left.

The victory was a welcome response to March's 2-0 home friendly defeat by Spain and will give the beaten Euro 2016 finalists plenty of encouragement ahead of next week's World Cup qualifier against Sweden.

Giroud headed a Dembele cross over after five minutes, but the Arsenal man had less than 60 seconds to wait before making the most of his next opportunity.

Pogba slid a fine pass through to Dembele down the right and the Borussia Dortmund man's cross was volleyed in at the far post by Giroud, who arrived completely unmarked.

Seven minutes later, Giroud doubled France's lead, diving to head in from barely two yards out after Dimitri Payet had tricked his way past Gustavo Gomez and squared the ball across the box.

Dembele and Samuel Umtiti each missed a good chance to add to the scoreline as France continued to dominate the first half, with the movement of Griezmann causing particular problems for the Paraguay defence.

The visitors improved after the break, but Victor Ayala's wayward free-kick from 25 yards out was their only notable effort of the first hour, and they could have been 3-0 down had Griezmann hit the target when trying to loft the ball over goalkeeper Antony Silva following a pass from substitute Thomas Lemar.

France had looked a threat down the left-hand side throughout and it was through that channel that they made the win safe on 69 minutes. Substitute Lucas Digne raced into clear space and curled a low cross towards the six-yard box, where Giroud arrived to steer the ball first time beyond Silva and complete his hat-trick.

Sissoko made it 4-0 seven minutes later, steering low beneath Silva after being picked out in space 12 yards from goal by Lacazette, and Griezmann made the most of more slapdash defending to blast the ball high into the net soon afterwards and cap a dominant display.

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