N’Golo Kante pulls the strings in another exemplary performance

On the 5th night of the Euro campaign still finding its bearings, some precious stardust and fireworks. It took a while to ignite and the deciding goal was ultimately a German fault culminating in Hummels own goal but the headline is that France are leading.

In front of the back four, there was N’Golo Kante. Surrounded by stars and ego, the Chelsea man shined once more. This performance was a continuation of his efforts in the Champions League final two and a half weeks ago. Keep it up between now and July 11 and the only man capable of stopping his charge to the Ballon d’Or may be Mbappe.

Paul Pogba produced an impressive performance.

Kylian Mbappe found the net and assisted Karim Benzema to do the same but the pair ruled out by offside, while the defence was guided by Raphael Varane.

It was an odd quirk of the draw to pair the past two World Cup winners together in the group stage, not least when the quality elsewhere is, to be kind, diluted.

No one covered more ground than Kante… 11.76km

Like everyone else in blue it felt like there was another gear available but as starts go in this tournament France’s opening was auspicious. The favourites, throughout history a tad flaky, appear to mean business.