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Paul Pogba delivers as France beat Russia 3-1

Paul Pogba scored one goal and set up another to inspire France to a 3-1 friendly win away against World Cup hosts Russia on Tuesday. Four days after losing to Colombia at home, Les Bleus bounced back with Pogba netting the second after the break having set up Kylian Mbappe for the first of his two goals just before the interval.

Russia reduced the arrears through Fyodor Smolov but were unable to upset a solid French team in St Petersburg, less than three months before the World Cup kicks off.

Mbappe sealed the win seven minutes from fulltime with his second goal of the night. Russia, who were humbled 3-0 by Brazil on Friday, did little to show they could go past the group phase at the World Cup after failing to make the knockouts in their last three appearances at major championships.

After lacking fight in their 3-2 defeat against Colombia, France coach Didier Deschamps made seven changes from the team who started at the Stade de France.

Russia had the first big chance of a dull first half in the 15th minute when Smolov’s shot from point-blank range was parried away by France keeper Hugo Loris.

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