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France finish preparations with emphatic win

Published: Tuesday 5 June 2012, 23.27CET
France 4-0 Estonia
Karim Benzema stole the show in Le Mans, scoring twice as Laurent Blanc's men rounded off their preparations with a confidence-boosting win.
France finish preparations with emphatic win
Karim Benzema enjoys the moment after scoring against Estonia ©AFP

International Matches

Published: Tuesday 5 June 2012, 23.27CET

France finish preparations with emphatic win

France 4-0 Estonia
Karim Benzema stole the show in Le Mans, scoring twice as Laurent Blanc's men rounded off their preparations with a confidence-boosting win.

France ended their UEFA EURO 2012 preparations with a third win in as many games.

Karim Benzema struck twice and stole the show in Le Mans, displaying a wily and clinical presence up front. Franck Ribéry and substitute Jérémy Ménez got the others as Les Bleus – unbeaten in their last 21 games – left for Ukraine with confidence high ahead of their Group D opener against England in Donetsk on Monday.

The game may have ended with an emphatic scoreline in France's favour, but it was the visitors who threatened first. Henrik Ojamaa took advantage when Philippe Mexès miscued in his own box, but the Motherwell FC forward's low strike flashed just the wrong side of Hugo Lloris's right post.

Shorn of Yann M'vila, Blaise Matuidi and Steve Mandanda, who are nursing various niggles, Laurent Blanc's men took time to find their feet in the first encounter between the two countries. However, as soon as a chance came along, they took it, Ribéry exchanging an exquisite one-two with Benzema before beating Sergei Pareiko midway through the first half.

It was Ribéry's tenth international goal, coming on his 60th senior appearance, and his third in the last three games. Yohan Cabaye then came tantalisingly close to making it two before Benzema got in on the act to extend the lead eight minutes before the break. It was a special effort too, the Real Madrid CF striker curling an angled shot across Pareiko and in off the post.

Just two minutes into the second period and Benzema had his second, tapping in a Ribéry cross from the right after Taavi Rahn let the FC Bayern München man in. Sander Puri passed up a good chance for Estonia, but the traffic was generally going one way and it was no surprise when Olivier Giroud's back-heel fed Ménez to register his first goal for France.

 
Last updated: 06/06/12 18.07CET

http://www.uefa.com/friendlies/season=2012/matches/round=2000293/match=2010201/postmatch/report/index.html#france+estonia

 
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