There was encouragement to be had for Stephen Kenny’s men in spite of that, as Chiedozie Ogbene’s explosive pace was causing problems for the French backline.
Just as the visitors had stemmed the flow of chances, France showed their incredible quality to open the scoring in sensational fashion.
Aurelien Tchouameni was the recipient of an Mbappe lay-off from the edge of the box, and the Real Madrid man took full advantage of the space he was afforded to unleash a gorgeous 25-yard curler into the corner beyond a sprawling Bazunu.
The Boys in Green were looking to build on a relatively solid first-half display, but old weaknesses haunted them again as they conceded within five minutes of the restart for the third time in four matches.
Didier Deschamps’ men were nearly caught cold after doubling their lead, with Ogbene’s back-post header forcing Mike Maignan into a world-class save. From the resulting corner, the Luton Town winger went close again, but Maignan wasn’t required as his left-footed curler sailed over the bar.
That was as good as Ireland could give though, and the French threatened a third strike through Tchouameni, but Bazunu was equal to his long-ranger this time. Ousmane Dembele would rattle the post before Josh Cullen blocked Antoine Griezmann’s goalbound effort.
Luckily for Ireland, France relented, but huge problems remain for Kenny’s men who’ve lost three of their first four qualifiers and have the unenviable task of a meeting with the Netherlands in their next outing as they look to resurrect their campaign.