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  • 15 November 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • Stade de France, Paris
  • Referee: César Muñiz Fernández

Live Commentary

  • 206 days until Euro 2012, and France line up a friendly against Germany next in February. Hopefully, progress will have been made then! That's it from me, Mohammed Ali. Take care, until next time.
  • Would you believe it? BOOS RINGING OUT in Paris! It has been a frustrating game for the hosts, but they are far from the finished article. Belgium have been pretty solid, and they did have the best opportunities.
  • 90' + 3'
    Full-time in Paris! France 0-0 Belgium!
  • 90' + 2'
    The Red Devils making a late break for this. Chadli has the ball, but is quickly dispossessed by Gonalons.
  • 90' + 1'
    Almost a shock defeat for the hosts. Hazard runs free, but too wide as he plunders a cross into the box. Abidal uses all of his experience to safely nod that ball to Lloris. Really could've been the game-winner that.
  • 90'
    Three minutes of added-time signalled at the end of the game.
  • 88'
    MALOUDA!! Oh, where were the attackers? Long ball in the area to pick out the Chelsea man. Fantastic control, but the ball into the six yard box finds no-one. Giroud & Martin seconds too late.
  • 87'
    Malouda tries to take on Alderweireld but is kept at arm's length by the Ajax man. Not long to go here in Paris, but it hasn't been a spectacle.
  • 85'
    This could be France's 17th international game unbeaten. A year ago this week, Laurent Blanc's men beat England 2-1 at Wembley. Though they are still unbeaten, it isn't exactly great progress.
  • 84'
    A particularly frustrating evening for Les Bleus, and Rami's ball to Cabaye is testament to that. Should've been a simple knock-on, and it's far too overhit as it trickles out.
  • 82'
    Chadli and Witsel - who has been particularly solid tonight- link well together, but again cannot get the ball to Mirallas. The final ball has been poor from both sides tonight.
  • 81'
    Hazard takes a Belgian corner, and it's a good delivery. Picks out Van Buyten but Mirallas has the last effort with a wayward volley. Belgium are perhaps going for the win here.
  • 78'
    Eden Hazard has been a little ineffective tonight. The 20 year old has been in the thick of things, where the visitors' chances are concerned, but he has failed to stamp his authority on the wing.
  • 77'
    That had threatened to drag the game out of the doldrums. Meanwhile, Yohan Cabaye's audacious long range effort fails to catch out Courtois.
  • 76'
    Yellow Card Vincent Kompany
  • 76'
    Vincent Kompany becomes the fourth Belgian in the book for a late challenge.
  • 75'
    MIRALLAS!! FANTASTIC SAVE BY LLORIS! Long throw-in, and after a head-on, the Olympiakos man finds himself in space by getting the better of Reveilliere. Firstly, his half-volley is stopped by Lloris, and the follow-up at an acute angle was again thwarted.
  • 72'
    SubstitutionFranck Ribéry Florent Malouda
  • 72'
    SubstitutionKarim Benzema Jérémy Menez
  • 72'
    SubstitutionLoïc Remy Olivier Giroud
  • 72'
    Karim Benzema is replaced by Jeremy Menez of PSG whilst Marseille's Remy is off for Montpellier's Olivier Giroud.
  • 70'
    SubstitutionJelle Vossen Kevin Mirallas
  • 70'
    Spate of subsititons now. Jelle Vossen has been replaced by Kevin Mirallas. Some France subs here too.
  • 70'
    BENZEMA! Oh, it really should've been 1-0 there. Flashes just wide of Courtois' goal.
  • 68'
    Cabaye! The corner is taken quickly, and the Newcastle man hits a long range effort which flashes just wide of Courtois' goal. France are knocking.
  • 65'
    The match is descending into mediocrity. Most of the midfield play has become structured throughout the middle of the park.
  • 63'
    Despite the scrappy nature of the game, France fans are very vocal inside the Stade de France tonight. Almost a capacity crowd too.
  • 62'
    SubstitutionMousa Dembele Nacer Chadli
  • 61'
    A few boos for Moussa Dembele, presumably for his tough tackling. He is replaced by Nacer Chadli who wins his sxith cap.
  • 59'
    Free-kick to Laurent Blanc's men. Elbow by Fellaini into the jaw of Gonalons. Painful, that.
  • 57'
    BENZEMA! First bit of clever play in this second half. The move contains input from Remy, Ribery and Cabaye, and a sumptous lay-off to the Real Madrid man sees him through. With plenty of defenders behind the ball, it's deflected.
  • 56'
    Yellow Card Thomas Vermaelen
  • 55'
    Loic Remy is upended by Thomas Vermaelen. The Arsenal man, who faced Remy in the Champions League two weeks ago is booked.
  • 54'
    Former team-mates Cabaye & Hazard acting combatively to retrieve the ball. The Belgian wins the battle, but the ball in the final third is poor again.
  • 52'
    Witsel receives the ball, but takes a second too long in feeding it to Jossen as Lloris clears. Ribery on the other side is set through by Benzema but run out by Alderweireld.
  • 50'
    Free-kick for the hosts. Under-hit by Hazard, as it's headed away. Simons who is already booked fouls Remy. Late challenge, no second booking.
  • 47'
    GONALONS! Something out of nothing there. No goal, but from distance,a 25 metre effort and it's just over.
  • 46'
    We are back for the second half! It's France 0-0 Belgium.
  • The full line-up of UEFA Euro 2012 will be completed tonight. Four play-off ties in progress at the moment, and catch all of them here on 206 days until the fun begins!
  • Send me your messages via Twitter to @mohammedali_93. And I'll put some of them up!
  • Still have any clue as to how France will line-up at Euro 2012? Or exactly, who will Laurent Blanc choose as captain for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.
  • The first half has been overshadowed by what looked like a serious injury to Yann M'Vila. Laurent Blanc might just be incurring the wrath of Stade Rennes if the midfielder is out for some time.
  • Half-time at the Stade de France. France 0-0 Belgium. An unspectacular first half with few great chances. For the visitors, Van Buyten spurned the best of opportunities, with the hosts unable to connect via Benzema and Remy. All to play for.
  • 45' + 2'
    Great cross by Dembele on the wing, but Hazard heads it out of play. And that is HALF-TIME!
  • 45' + 1'
    Almost a scare for the hosts. Adil Rami's pass back to goal is so poor, it almost allows the Belgians to pounce. Sakho clears the threat, but neither he or Lloris was expecting it.
  • 45' + 1'
    Into first half injury time. Two minutes signalled.
  • 45'
    That Ribery-Benzema connection is evident again. Great move by the Bayern man who lobs the ball for Benzema, but Courtois read it well.
  • 44'
    Poor by Hazard. He's under pressure, but after doing well to get past Mamadou Sakho and Eric Abidal, his cross goes far over the bar. Trying too hard?
  • 43'
    Moussa Dembele is penalised for a high foot. Witsel and Fellaini are crowded out by Ribery, but the long ball forward isn't directed well as Courtois gets a hold of it.
  • 42'
    SubstitutionYann M'Vila Maxime Gonalons
  • 42'
    Maxime Gonalons replaces Yann M'Vila. It's the Lyon man's second international appearance. Meanwhile, Martin takes the free-kick in a dangerous position.
  • 40'
    Play is resumed, and France almost sniff out an opportunity. Martin picks out Benzema who turns his defender well but cannot get the shot away.
  • 38'
    Lyon's Maxime Gonalons is warming up on the touchlines. Not a good sight on the pitch with M'Vila stretchered off in a neck brace. Wish him a speedy recovery.
  • 37'
    Play is briefly interrupted here for a serious injury to Yann M'Vila. Stretchers on the pitch, and a look of concern from the players.
  • 35'
    Hazard looks to keep the ball in play, but is outwitted by Anthony Reveillere.
  • 34'
    About ten minutes left of the first half. What do you make of the encounter so far? Tweet me at @mohammedali_93.
  • 33'
    RIBERY!!! Free-kick is taken quickly, and it's a long punt to the wing. Superb control by Ribery who gets past Alderweireld and Vermaelen with one touch of control and lashes a fierce shot goalwards. Good save by Courtois. Ribery's coming alive!
  • 32'
    Benzema's clattered by Kompany, and the referee gives the hosts the free-kick. The Man City captain doesn't look pleased.
  • 31'
    BENZEMA! Close there, with a bit of curl on that. Free-kick from distance, and the number 10 goes straight for goal. It's just gone over Courtois' goal.
  • 30'
    Counter-attacking now, and the game might open up. Les Bleus charge forward in numbers, but are sitll kept at bay by the Belgians. Ribery cuts in from the left, and with Benzema ahead, opts for the shot instead. Wrong option, and it's deflected.
  • 27'
    Again, ball retention, or lack of, has been the main reason why the game isn't exactly a spectacle at the minute. Ribery is the beneficiary, as he runs at Van Buyten with Courtois bringing out a low save.
  • 24'
    Worry over, Benzema is back on the pitch. Meanwhile, he is caught offside after beating Van Buyten to latch onto a long Lloris kick.
  • 23'
    Bit of concern here for Karim Benzema. A late tackle from an opponent, and he's down on the ground. Physio on.
  • 22'
    Yellow Card Jelle Vossen
  • 22'
    Yellow cards to both Timmy Simons and Jelle Vossen. The free-kick is wasted however.
  • 21'
    Yellow Card Timmy Simons
  • 21'
    Solid movement by the hosts. Cabaye and Remy interlink, and again much of the play is situated on the wings rather than through the middle. And Yohan Cabaye is caught late by Jelle Vossen. Free-kick in a dangerous place for the hosts.
  • 18'
    Benzema! He's offside. A set-piece on the other end, and the Red Devils were almost caught out. Remy's done well to cushion the ball and move it goal-wards, but the Real Madrid striker is offside as the ball trickles harmlessly past Courtois.
  • 16'
    VAN BUYTEN!! ALMOST A GOAL! A corner creeps in to meet the former Marseille defender's head and it just scraps the side of the net. Powerful header, just need that little bit of direction.
  • 14'
    Hazard is again proving to be a nuisance on the right side of midfield. This time, he's dispossessed by Franck Ribery.
  • 11'
    It's been an uneventful first ten minutes or so. France have had more of the ball, but the retention has been poor. Belgium happy to sit back and be patient for their openings.
  • 9'
    Ribery has the ball, but is dispossessed easily. He looks towards the referee, who waves play on. Hazard and Fellaini play a simple one-two but the cross from the former is deflected.
  • 6'
    It's mainly France at the minute. Given a scrappy start, the hosts move through on the wing via Abidal. A cross in is headed away by Vermaelen.
  • 6'
    It's mainly France at the minute. Given a scrappy start, the hosts move through on the wing via Abidal. A cross in is headed away by Vermaelen.
  • 6'
    It's mainly France at the minute. Given a scrappy start, the hosts move through on the wing via Abidal. A cross in is headed away by Vermaelen.
  • 6'
    It's mainly France at the minute. Given a scrappy start, the hosts move through on the wing via Abidal. A cross in is headed away by Vermaelen.
  • 4'
    The visitors have the ball briefly on the wings. Moussa Dembele tries a one-two and opts for the wrong man.
  • 3'
    Early foul by Everton's Marouane Fellaini. Goes in hard on Loic Remy, and is penalised.
  • 2'
    Decent rhythm deployed by the hosts. Pinging the ball around calmly between the defence and midfield. Belgium sitting back and letting their opponents play it around.
  • 1'
    And we are underway in Paris!!
  • Tonight's referee is from Spain. Cesar Muniz Fernandez was actually born in Brussels, and also took the whistle for the first of last year's four El Clasicos. Didn't know that, did you?
  • What do you make of that folks? Eric Abidal returns to the side, replacing Jeremy Mathieu. Marvin Martin and Loic Remy are both handed starts after a good substitute performance on Friday, with PSG star Mamadou Sakho also given a run-out. Belgium hand Thibaut Couris an international debut, as Thomas Vermaelen and Jelle Vossen are both named in the starting XI.
  • Belgium: Courtois; Alderweireld, Van Buyten, Kompany, Vermaelen; Fellaini, Simons; Witsel, Hazard, Dembele; Vossen
  • Here are the line-ups France: Lloris; Reveillere, Sakho, Rami, Abidal; Cabaye, M’Vila, Martin; Remy, Benzema, Ribery.
  • Tonight's man to watch will no doubt be 20 year old Eden Hazard. Belgian-born, French made in Lille - the highly-coveted youngster who won the French double last year with les Dogues plays against some familiar faces such as former-team mate Adil Rami and Yohan Cabaye, as well as fellow Lille man Debuchy.
  • Now you all should know the drill by now, surely? Get in touch with me via Twitter to @mohammedali_93. I'd like to know your comments, predictions, musings and opinions throughout the game.
  • For Belgium, it's a case of going through the motions after the national side missed out on the Euro 2012 finals. Despite losing only once in 13 internationals - to Germany last month - the Red Devils were pipped to a play-off spot by Turkey. A 2-1 win over Romania on Friday has gone a little way in redeeming some pride for Georges Leekens' men. A win tonight, would go a long way for the talented side.
  • Bit of an update for you folks out there. France beat the USA at this very stadium four days ago, with Marseille's Loic Remy grabbing the only goal of the game in the 72nd minute. Under Laurent Blanc, the Bleus are undefeated in 16 internationals since a shock Euro 2012 qualifying defeat to Belarus 14 months ago. They could end 2011 unbeaten if they avoid defeat tonight against the Belgians.
  • Bonne soirée tout le monde! Welcome to Paris. Mohammed Ali here, bringing you's LIVE text commentary of the international friendly between France and neighbours the Stade de France in what is the last friendly of the year! Kickoff is at 20:00GMT and I'll be bringing you team news shortly.