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France 1-0 Spain: Remy on song in Paris

The World Cup quarterfinalists got the better of the team eliminated in the first round in the first game for both sides after the Brazil showpiece.

Loic Remy ensured it was a tale of two Chelsea strikers as France overcame Spain 1-0 in Paris on Thursday.

Remy moved across London from QPR last Sunday and celebrated the move by coming off the bench to clinically secure a friendly victory for his national side.

The 27-year-old's path to Jose Mourinho's first team is likely to be blocked by Diego Costa, who has enjoyed a prolific start to life in the Premier League - quite at odds with his tough baptism on the international stage.

Costa made it five goalless appearances for Spain, largely isolated and starved of service as Vicente del Bosque's team made a tentative start to its new era.

Spain's dismal World Cup defense in Brazil was followed by three stalwarts of its golden era - Xavi, Xabi Alonso and David Villa - retiring from international football.

Del Bosque also sent out a side with one eye apparently on Monday's opening Euro 2016 qualifier against Macedonia and his men lacked cohesion throughout.

It was left to France to provide the game's eye-catching moments, with the impressive Karim Benzema wrongly having an effort chalked off for offside before Remy settled matters.

Dani Carvajal was one of three debutants in the Spain lineup and the right back was alert to scramble the ball away from Antoine Griezmann after Moussa Sissoko enjoyed an early burst down the visitors' left.

David de Gea was kept busy, first denying Benzema after he was played onside by Real Madrid teammate Sergio Ramos before comfortably saving from Paul Pogba.

Pogba looked on as Benzema failed to make clean contact with his wonderfully judged 25th-minute ball into the box, while a deflected drive from Cesc Fabregas that looped gently over Hugo Lloris' crossbar was the closest Spain came in the opening half.

France thought it has the lead in the 50th minute when Benzema crowned a crisp team move with an impudent flick, only to be adjudged offside. Replays suggested the striker was level with the ball as Sissoko provided a low cross.

The winning goal arrived in pleasing fashion with 17 minutes remaining. France's build-up play was incisive once more and Valbuena darted onto Sissoko's clever flick to unselfishly cut back for Remy to rifle past De Gea.

Silva glided beyond a challenge to shoot narrowly past the far post with seven minutes to play - a fleeting reminder of the mesmerizing style Spain must rediscover while it rebuilds.

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