Manchester United star Raphael Varane was at the heart of the defence for France as they secured their first win in the UEFA Nations League this season. The Manchester United centre back was given the captain’s armband in the absence of the injured Hugo Lloris and he marshalled the France rearguard on the way to a 2-0 win over Austria in Group A1.

Varane has played five times for Manchester United in the Premier League this season and his four starts in the competition have yielded four wins.

For Varane and France, it has been a Nations League season to forget after the failure to defend their title. The Nations League defending champions were already out of contention for the final phase in Group A1 with two games left. They had two points from their first four games in the group and they needed to beat Austria at home on Thursday to boost the quest to avoid demotion from League A to League B.

France manager Didier Deschamps went for a three-man defence of the aforementioned Varane, Benoit Badiashile (AS Monaco) and Jules Kounde (Barcelona) in his quest to beat Austria and record a first win in Group A1. The quest to beat the Austrians received a big setback when Kounde suffered a muscle injury around the midway stage of the first half and was replaced by in-form Arsenal defender William Saliba. The scoreline was goalless at the time of the injury to Kounde and it was like that until the end of the first half.

Paris Saint Germain (PSG) attacker KylianMbappe is the star player in the France squad and he went on an amazing solo run before applying the finish to give his team the lead on 56 minutes. Nine minutes later, AC Milan star Olivier Giroud sealed the win with the second goal.