Mbappé had an offside goal disallowed in the second minute and Aurélien Tchouaméni came close twice in the first half.
The Real Madrid midfielder fired a long-range shot over the bar in the 12th minute, and shortly after the half-hour mark, Tchouaméni came close to scoring one of the goals of the year when he produced a brilliant bicycle kick. Austrian debutant goalkeeper Patrick Pentz’s bar.
10 minutes later, Giroud sealed the win with a beautiful header from Antoine Griezmann’s cross. The goal makes Giroud France’s oldest ever goalscorer at 35 years and 357 days, and just two short of Thierry Henry’s French record of 51 to overtake the Milan striker.
Deschamps was enthusiastic about his team’s performance after the game.
“We did what we had to do,” he said. “Our intentions were good, everyone defended a lot, there are many positives. The mindset was good, it was a very good performance.”
And the former World Cup winner will have to take as many positives as possible.
With the World Cup just a couple of months away, the squad is missing a number of players including: Hugo Lloris, Rafaël Varane, Paul Pogba, Ngolo Kanté, Lucas and Theo Hernández and Karim Benzema. Things got worse when both Mike Maignan and Jules Koundé were ruled out of the game with injuries.
The injury crisis is just one of the problems facing Deschamps as he looks to keep the World Cup in Qatar.
Things have not been rosy on the field either. The Nations League champions made a torrid start to their group, managing only two draws and two losses before their victory on Thursday.
A point ahead of Austria in the relegation places heading into their final group game, France will be looking to build on their momentum from last night’s game against Denmark, who are just one point behind group leaders Croatia.
The world champion has had a poor year so far, but if he finishes his World Cup preparations on a positive note on the field, perhaps his problems off the field will disappear as well.