Portugal remain top of Nations League Group A3 following a turgid 0-0 draw with France at the Stade de France.

It was billed as a heavyweight clash between the World and European champions respectively, but it failed to ignite despite the vast array of attacking talent on show.

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Both teams struggled to carve out clear-cut openings with Portugal going closest in the first period through half chances for Cristiano Ronaldo and Joao Felix.

France became the major force as the game wore on but neither Kylian Mbappe or Antoine Griezmann could unlock the visiting rearguard.

The result sees Fernando Santos’ Portugal remain top of the pool on goal difference with seven points from three outings. France are second with Croatia four points behind the top two in third.

Next up in Group A3, France visit Croatia on Wednesday, while Portugal host bottom-placed Sweden.

TALKING POINT

Defences take the plaudits as the superstars fail to shine. This had all the makings of a classic given the mouthwatering forward lines of both teams, but sadly it failed to deliver. France scored seven in their previous outing versus Ukraine, but struggled to break down a well-drilled Portuguese defence. Indeed, it had echoes of the last time these sides met when Portugal snatched victory after a tight affair in the Euro 2016 final on the same ground.

Ronaldo almost won it with a thumping shot in stoppage time, but he was often left feeding on scraps. At the other end, Mbappe and Griezmann threatened without showing a real cutting edge and at times the build-up play was too intricate from the hosts as they failed to gain revenge for that loss four years ago.

The draw means this Nations League group remains very close and could well be decided when the teams lock horns once more in Portugal on November 14.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Presnel Kimpembe (France). The PSG defender kept Ronaldo and Co quiet with an assured display. Made some important interventions and was composed bringing the ball out of defence.

PLAYER RATINGS

FRANCE: Lloris 8, Pavard 8, Hernandez 7, Varane 7, Kimpembe 8, Kante 7, Rabiot 7, Pogba 7, Griezmann 6, Mbappe 7, Giroud 6. Subs: Martial 6, Coman n/a.

PORTUGAL: Patricio 8, Semedo 8, Dias 7, Pepe 7, Guerreiro 7, Carvalho 7, Pereira 7, Bernardo Silva 7, Fernandes 7, Joao Felix 6, Ronaldo 6. Subs: Jota 6, Sanches n/a, Moutinho n/a, Cancelo n/a, Trincao n/a.

Matchcast: Full match stats and commentary


KEY MOMENTS

24’ – PORTUGAL CHANCE. Super block! Hernandez throws his body in the way to deny Ronaldo after the Juventus forward took down a flick through from Bernardo Silva and prepared to pull the trigger.

37’ – PORTUGAL CHANCE. Fernandes delivers a devilish right-wing free kick that three Portugal players, including Ronaldo, are lining up to convert. Joao Felix gets a touch first and can only flash well wide on the stretch.

47’ – FRANCE CHANCE. Mbappe fakes the shot and spins into space on the left of the area, but sees his clipped effort well saved by Patricio.

90+2’ – PORTUGAL CHANCE. Ronaldo almost wins it with a thumping drive, but Lloris manages to keep it out.

KEY STATS

Hugo Lloris (117) became the third most capped player in France's history behind Lilian Thuram (142) and Thierry Henry (123).

Despite the draw, Portugal have won only one of their last 12 games against France.

Fernando Santos surpassed Luiz Felipe Scolari's record for most matches as Portugal coach (75).

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