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November 17, 2010
• Wembley Stadium, London
Referee: C. Larsen
• Attendance: 85495
P. Crouch 86'
K. Benzema 16'
M. Valbuena 55'
90' + 5'
FULL TIME! All over at Wembley and France beat England 2-1 courtesy of goals by Benzema and Valbuena. Crouch grabbed a late goal back for the Three Lions but it was too little too late for Fabio Capello's men who slump to a deserved defeat.
90' + 4'
Warnock from deep hoofs a ball into the the box but Lloris punches clear. The ball comes back again but Milner's attempt clears the crossbar by some distance. The Manchester City man shakes his head in disgust.
90' + 2'
Decent save by Lloris! England piling on the pressure in the final few minutes. Johnson digs out a cross from the byline and finds Bothroyd but he can't get enough power on the header and a relieved Lloris can claim.
Great cheers greet the announcement of five minutes of stoppage time...the Wembley crowd hasn't given up hope yet!
It seems like we will have FIVE added minutes at the end of the game, courtesy of all the substitutions, no doubt. Can England find a late equaliser?
Goal Peter Crouch
GOAL! What a substitution! Crouch grabs a goal back for England! A corner finds the Spurs man at the back post and he cushions a volley past Lloris with a great finish!
Gerrard hobbles off which allows Peter Crouch to enjoy the last five minutes for England.
Bad news for England, and Liverpool for that matter, Steven Gerrard has picked up a knock stretching in a challenge with Gourcuff and doesn't look like he can continue.
NASRI HITS THE POST! Another super effort from France with the Arsenal man racing into the box, going past Warnock before aiming for Foster's near post and only being denied by the woodwork.
What a chance for Gerrard! How did he miss? Johnson wriggles into the box and his cross slips past Lloris, the ball comes to an onrushing Gerrard who fires towards a gaping goal but somehow it's wide!!
Another change for France and Malouda is the man to take a break with Payet coming on.
Good chance for England! Another free-kick is played short to Johnson who shoots, the ball flies across goal but no-one can quite get a touch on it to divert it past Lloris.
Bothroyd gets his first touches of the ball, picking up possession on the right and swapping passes with Johnson before giving the ball away.
James Milner gets a brief sight of goal inside the box but he can't quite tame the ball and the chance fades. Meanwhile, Andy Carroll's debut is over, he's replaced to warm applause by Jay Bothroyd.
Another Gibbs cross fails to find a team-mate but comes to Henderson on the edge of the box. He is blocked but the ball falls for Gerrard who manages to cross for Carroll who gets a firm head on the ball but again it's straight at Lloris.
Another couple of changes for France with goalscorers Benzema and Valbuena wandering off and Remy and Alou Diarra coming on.
Adam Johnson stands over the kick...and sends it sailing into the stands. That's a poor effort from the substitute.
Bit better from England with Gibbs managing to get forwards and cross before the Three Lions win another free kick on the edge of the box...
Chance for Gerrard! Abidal brings down Ashley Young and England have a chance to get the ball in the box. The cross is swept to the far post when an unmarked Gerrard leaps but can't keep his header down and it flies narrowly over! Best chance of the night so far for the Three Lions.
France continue to dominate possession and England are struggling to get anywhere near the ball at the moment.
More pressure from the visitors with Nasri and Valbuena combining well but Gibbs manages to get to the ball first and hack it clear.
Two great goals by France and England have it all to do now. The French have looked a cut above so far and the home side can have few complaints about the scoreline.
Goal Mathieu Valbuena
GOAL! France double their lead with Valbuena and again it's another flowing move! Sagna sweeps down the right before clipping a ball into the box, Nasri misses it but Valbuena makes no mistake and sweeps the ball past Foster! England 0-2 France.
A brilliant run by Nasri who carries the ball fully 40 yards before being crowded out in the box and Jagielka is the man to finally get the ball away.
Good play by Sakho! The substitute does well to interrupt a marauding Steven Gerrard right on the edge of the box.
Gourcuff is recovered and indeed swiftly embarks on a strong run which wins a corner. Malouda swings the ball in but Rami's flick on flies out of play for a goal kick.
Yellow Card Jordan Henderson
A break in play as Gourcuff goes down injured after a foul by Henderson who goes in late. The new boy picks up a yellow card for his tackle, the first booking of the evening.
Better from England with Johnson finding Richards down the right and the full back sending in a cross which is hacked away. By the way the players who have gone off for the Three Lions are Rio Ferdinand, Gareth Barry and Theo Walcott.
Here we go again! Plenty of changes to tell you about at the break. On come Micah Richards, Ashley Young and Glen Johnson for England while France replace Phillipe Mexes with Mamadou Sakho.
45' + 1'
HALF-TIME! Just seconds of stoppage time at the end of the half as the teams head into the break with France leading 1-0 courtesy of Benzema's great strike. A few boos greet the Three Lions, can they turn this around? Join me after the break to find out.
A Mexican wave rolls around Wembley, meanwhile on the pitch Malouda beats two players before lofting a cross straight out of play.
Good persistence by Milner sees him get into the box and deliver a cross but he can't find Carroll.
France break with Benzema teeing up Malouda on the left. He has time to measure the cross but rushes it and Lescott is in the right place to head clear.
Carroll almost engineers a shooting chance after gliding pass Mexes but he is denied by Abidal who comes across to nick the ball away.
An acrobatic clearance from Abidal against Steven Gerrard brings cheers from the crowd. Other than that Wembley has been eerily quiet so far tonight and certainly the England team have given them little to cheer about.
Another Walcott run is ended by a sliding Mexes. Theo wants a free-kick for handball but nothing doing.
Another long ball by England, but this time it's aimed at Walcott, unfortunately for the Arsenal man he's beaten by Gourcuff and France can go forwards again.
More neat passing from France with Nasri sending a super ball for Malouda. The Chelsea man races into the box before cutting back a low cross but it's too close to Foster who claims smartly.
A weak header by Mexes gives Carroll sight of goal. He takes a touch before hitting a shot but it's too easy for Lloris.
A proper chance for England! It's taken almost half an hour but finally the home side create something worthwhile. Andy Carroll does well in the air to win the header and find Gerrard who hits it on the half volley but it's over the bar!
Another swift attack by France almost brings a second goal. Again they find Benzema on the left in acres of space but this time he makes a mess of the shot, slicing horribly wide.
England have a shot! It's taken a while but a long ball from Lescott is headed down by Carroll and onto Milner who hits a tame shot straight at Lloris.
A tiny glimpse of danger from England after Gourcuff gives the ball away in a dangerous area. Milner is onto it in a flash, gets inside the box, but has no support and is eventually penalised for a foul on Sagna.
England are resorting to hoofing long balls in the general direction of Carroll at the moment and unsurprisingly it's having little impact. Meanwhile, France tear down the other end and win a corner which Ferdinand manages to clear.
France ping the ball around, seemingly for fun, but then Carroll gets stuck in, wins the ball and finds Gerrard who tries to thread in Walcott but his pass is just overhit and France can clear the danger.
It's one way traffic at Wembley and it's not going the home side's way. Malouda now twists and turns on the edge of the box before seeing his shot blocked by Ferdinand.
A lovely goal to open the scoring by France and one that you have to say had been coming. The French have been dominant in these early stages and England look a little lost at the moment.
Goal Karim Benzema
GOAL! A super strike from Benzema gives France the lead! England give the ball away allowing the visitors to come forwards. Benzema then plays a one-two with Malouda before smashing a shot past Foster at his near post!
A neat flick-on by Carroll finds Milner who then picks out Walcott. The Gunner runs goalwards but is denied by a good tackle by Mexes on the edge of the France box.
Good save Foster! It's all France at the moment and Gourcuff now tries his luck with a fierce drive that Foster is forced to turn around his post for a corner after seeing it late.
Another chance for France! Malouda is the man to cause problems this time. He picks up possession on the edge of the box, comes inside, gets the better of Ferdinand but again his shot is wide of the target.
Good stuff from France who attack with real pace. A Benzema shot is blocked by Ferdinand but comes to Valbuena but he can only curl a shot into the stands.
Foster saves! At the second attempt! Nervy moment from the England 'keeper who fumbles a low shot by Malouda but manages to grab it second time around!
A loose ball gifts England possession and Carroll brings the Three Lions forward. He picks out Gerrard in the box who tries to flick a header onto Walcott but the Liverpool captain can't quite get enough on the ball.
First spell of possession by the visitors and they win a corner. Malouda swings it in but Barry clears and England can break with Walcott but his progress is swiftly ended by Arsenal team-mate Sagna.
Now Steven Gerrard goes flying and England have another set piece out wide on the right. Milner takes it quickly and whips a cross in, but he's taken it too quickly for his team-mates and it's easily cleared by the first defender.
Andy Carroll wins an early free-kick for the home side some 35 yards from goal. Up steps Steven Gerrard who fires a low shot, which zips through the wall but it's straight at Lloris who claims comfortably.
Here we go! Andy Carroll and Steven Gerrard kick off for England and we are underway at a rainy Wembley!
So it’s an unfamiliar England line-up with Ben Foster taking over from the injured Joe Hart in goal and Kieran Gibbs and Phil Jagielka handed rare starts alongside new caps Henderson and Carroll with Rio Ferdinand the skipper. Mind you the Three Lions will find plenty of familiar faces in the French starting XI with Premier League regulars Bacary Sagan, Samir Nasri and Florent Malouda all starting in an attacking looking line-up.
France: Lloris; Sagna, Mexes, Rami, Abidal; M´Vila, Gourcuff, Nasri, Valbuena, Malouda; Benzema
England: Foster; Jagielka, Ferdinand, Lescott, Gibbs; Henderson, Barry; Walcott, Gerrard, Milner; Carroll
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com as we bring you live coverage of tonight’s international friendly between England and France! Fabio Capello is handing a couple of debuts out tonight with Sunderland’s Jordan Henderson and Newcastle United’s Andy Carroll making their international bows. Can they impress again Laurent Blanc’s side? Find out here as all the action is coming right up!
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