KYLIAN MBAPPE showed exactly what all the fuss is about as France became the first team to qualify for the World Cup’s last 16.
And England should already be worrying about a potential quarter-final meeting with the £160million superstar who is threatening to take Qatar 2022 by storm.
At just 23-years-old, he has already scored 31 times for his country and it is surely only a matter of time before he overhauls the current French record of 51 goals currently held by Olivier Giroud and Thierry Henry.
And the way his team are performing out here in the desert, you certainly wouldn’t bet against them becoming the first team since Brazil in 1962 to successfully defend the World Cup.
For boss Didier Deschamps is so spoilt for choice up front that he can even afford to shrug off the absence of injured strikers Karim Benzema and Christopher Nkunku.
After battering Australia 4-1 in their opening group game, the only surprise last night was that it took them more than an hour to break down the dogged Danes.
In truth they should have made it much more comfortable for Deschamps after missing a hatful of opportunities.
And they certainly can’t afford to be so generous in front of goal when the competition gets serious in the knock-out rounds.
But that is something to worry about for another day for Deschamps, who can now afford to rest most of his stars for their final group game next Wednesday.
Because the only way for France to miss out on top spot is if they lose heavily to Tunisia and Australia have a big win against the Danes.
But that ain’t going to happen, particularly as Denmark three points against Australia to avoid an early exit from the tournament.
At least they won’t face the absolute barrage they had to contend with last night, starting when Giroud beat Joachim Andersen to Ousmane Dembele’s 15th minute cross but couldn’t quite direct his header on target.
Another Dembele cross picked out Adrien Rabiot for a second powerful header and this one required a fine reaction save from Kasper Schmeichel to keep Denmark on level terms.
But they were fortunate not to be reduced to ten men when Anders Christensen hauled down Mbappe as he raced on to Rabiot’s 20th minute through ball.
Referee Szymon Marciniak ruled that because the foul took place 40 yards from goal it only merited a yellow card.
Yet there was no way that Christensen was going to catch Mbappe in a straight race and it was hard to see how he wasn’t denying a goalscoring opportunity when he cynically dragged his man to the ground.
Quite how Denmark had twice managed to beat France in the Nations League this season was something of a mystery because they were barely able to cross the halfway line this time.
It was like a training ground game of defence versus attack as the world champions threw the kitchen sink at their overworked opponents.
Raphael Varane’s flick was booted away by Joakim Maehle and Jules Kounde’s goal-bound effort was cleared off the line by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
There should have been no escape for the Danes when the outstanding Dembele teed up Mbappe with a clear sight of goal in the 40th minute.
But with only Schmeichel to beat, Mbappe lifted his hurried shot wastefully over the bar when he probably had time to control the ball and pick his spot.
Yet Denmark’s luck could not hold out forever and after Mbappe was denied again by Schmeichel and Antoine Griezmann wasted another great opportunity, their resistance was finally broken in the 61st minute.
And inevitably it was Mbappe who finally unlocked the door, exchanging passes with Theo Hernandez before stabbing his shot inside the near post.
Giroud certainly didn’t look too happy when he was denied the opportunity to extend his record when he was replaced by Marcus Thuram straight after that breakthrough.
But if Deschamps thought it was going to be all plain sailing from there on in, he was to be sadly mistaken.
Having barely crossed the halfway line for much of the game, Denmark showed just why they are currently tenth in the FIFA rankings with a 68th minute equaliser that came like a bolt out of the blue for France.
Christian Eriksen’s corner was flicked on by Andersen for Christensen to score with a stooping header on the bounce from close range.
It could have got even hairier for France when Jesper Lindstrom had a glorious opportunity to fire Denmark into a shock 73rd minute lead but couldn’t quite get his shot past Hugo Lloris.
And how he was made to regret that wasted chance when Mbappe forced his way ahead of Rasmus Kristensen to volley home from Griezmann’s 86th minute cross.