Player Ratings: France 0-2 Spain

La Furia Roja continued their remarkable form with a comfortable win in Paris on Wednesday evening. Here’s how analysed the individual performances of the men on show...

Lloris – 6.5 –
Handling was generally sound and he was left helpless for both of the Spanish goals. At times his distribution was a little questionable, throwing away cheap possession straight to an opponent in the second period, but a quiet evening overall.

Sagna – 7 –
Probably the pick of the Frenchmen on show this evening. In the first half he was their main attacking outlet down the right hand side, delivering a couple of dangerous centres for Anelka. Defensively he was sound.

Ciani – 6 – A tough introduction to the international game, but one that he didn’t necessarily fail. There were some jitters on display from the Girondins de Bordeaux man, who nearly allowed Villa an early opener, but he had a respectable debut for the most part.

Escude – 5.5 –
Made his share of decisive blocks and headers in the box. Looked somewhat susceptible to the ball in behind him but was unlucky to see Sergio Ramos’ shot deflect off him and past Lloris late in the first period.

Evra – 5.5 –
A disappointing performance from the left-back, who is under pressure from Aly Cissokho and Benoit Tremoulinas for the berth. Both the Spanish goals came from moves down his side and he allowed Navas through in stoppage time because of a late slip. Definitely an evening to forget.

Diarra – 6.5 –
The Real Madrid man did his share of donkey work in the centre of the park and was certainly the most effective of France’s central players. Played a couple of adventurous passes but largely kept things simple, which is what he does best.

Toulalan – 6 – Lyon’s dogged midfielder stuck to his task all night, but was unable to pinch possession from a Spanish midfield who looked technically flawless at times. One superb tackle on David Silva prevented a dangerous counterattack from forming.

Ribery – 6 – Showed flashes of excellence in a somewhat alien role out on the right flank. He was particularly effective in the early stages but faded as they game went on, which given that he’s just back from a long injury isn’t a great surprise.

Gourcuff – 5.5 – Like Ribery, he only showed what he is capable of in patches. Seemed determined to take the game by the scruff of the neck, but nothing worked out for him. His long range efforts were overly ambitious, while too many passes went astray.

Henry – 5 –
A sour night for the Barcelona man, who was booed off by the home support in the wake of his handball against Ireland. France’s record scorer never really got a sniff and struggled to get involved in the game in a meaningful manner. Withdrawn in the second half.

Anelka – 5.5 – Feeding off bones, the Chelsea forward was marked out of the game by the two Spanish centre-backs. He could probably point to a lack of service, with a header over the top from a Sagna cross his best moment of a low-key game.


Malouda – 7 – Got a good spoonful of action and can be pleased with a lively contribution. Hit the post with a header.

Govou – 6 –
Didn’t offer a great deal in his spell on the field.

Cisse – n/a – The crowd favourite was given a cameo and played well in his brief stint, looking dangerous and confident.


Casillas – 7 – Didn’t have a meaningful save to make all evening, though he was beaten by Malouda’s header that struck the post. His handling was impeccable and his distribution excellent. He was certainly not overworked though.

Ramos – 7.5 – Scored Spain’s second goal by getting into a typically advanced position down the right hand side and then showing a willingness to cut in. He shut out Henry entirely throughout. It was not all positive, though. The right-back was booked for a series of fouls, and he was left flat footed as Malouda drifted easily away from him to thump a header off the post.

Puyol – 7– Beaten by a deft tough from Gourcuff in the first half, Puyol was never under a great deal of pressure in the 45 minutes he enjoyed on the field. A typically solid performance.

Pique – 7.5 –
A mature showing from the Barcelona centre-back. Won a massive amount in the air and kept his discipline well to tether Anelka impressively. Posed a threat from set-pieces, though he was well marshalled in this aspect.

Arbeloa – 6.5 – Given a tough time in the first half as Sagna kept on bombing forward. This area seemed to be pinpointed by France as a source of weakness, though the Real Madrid man was an improved figure after the break.

Xabi Alonso – 7.5 – After a surprisingly sloppy opening 15 minutes, Alonso produced a performance of typically excellent technical football. Rarely gifted possession away and kept things ticking over nicely, acting as the playmaker from deep.

Busquets – 7.5 – Did a power of work in the anchoring role. His job was primarily to win the ball, but when he had it he rarely lost it, choosing to sensibly keep things simple. When placed under pressure he continued to retain possession, and when asked to work back to cut out a dangerous square pass in stoppage time he was not found wanting.

Silva – 6 – Probably the most disappointing Spaniard on display as he was rarely involved in any meaningful attacks. Worked hard without possession, but when he had the ball he never posed les Bleus a threat.

Fabregas – 6.5 – Not a bad display from Cesc by any means, but he was not at his best either. A delightful early flick nearly set Villa away to score, but much of la Furia Roja’s best play came from their other midfielders.

Iniesta – 6.5 –
The effervescent midfielder was afforded a start by Vicente del Bosque and did not let his coach down, producing a tireless performance. Like his team-mates, cheap possession simply didn’t arrive from his boots, though he lacked forward thrust.

Villa – 7 – Played only the first half but caused the French rearguard numerous headaches because of his speed and willingness to play off the last defender’s shoulder. Score a coolly taken strike after a pass to Fabregas was slightly off target. He showed great anticipation to latch onto that particular ball.


Torres – 7 –
Like Villa, the pace and trickery of Torres cause France problems. Never tested Lloris though.

Albiol – 7 –
A solid performance in the heart of Spain’s defence from the Real Madrid man, who was given 45 minutes.

Xavi – 7 – More active than Fabregas, whom he replaced at the interval. A cheeky back-flick would have been brilliant if it had picked out David Silva, who didn’t anticipate such audacity.

Navas – 7.5 –
The most impressive of the substitutes, causing Evra a world of pain during the half hour he played on the Spanish right.

Senna – 6.5 –
Reliable if unspectacular display from the Villarreal man.

Guiza – n/a –
Given only ten minutes.