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France edge closer with Albania win

Published: Friday 7 October 2011, 23.15CET
France 3-0 Albania
France moved to within a point of qualification after strikes from Florent Malouda, Loïc Rémy and Anthony Réveillère accounted for Albania.

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Published: Friday 7 October 2011, 23.15CET

France edge closer with Albania win

France 3-0 Albania
France moved to within a point of qualification after strikes from Florent Malouda, Loïc Rémy and Anthony Réveillère accounted for Albania.

France moved to within a point of qualification after strikes from Florent Malouda, Loïc Rémy and Anthony Réveillère clinched a straightforward success over Albania.

A home win looked on the cards from the moment Malouda struck on 11 minutes and, despite missing injured duo Karim Benzema and Franck Ribéry, Les Bleus eased to victory as Rémy and Réveillère added goals either side of half-time. The two-time European champions must now avoid defeat against Bosnia and Herzegovina – who are second in Group D, a point behind – in Paris on Tuesday to book their place at UEFA EURO 2012, while fifth-placed Albania finish off against Romania.

Laurent Blanc opted for a more attacking 4-4-2 formation with Bafétimbi Gomis partnering Rémy in attack, and both threatened in a lively opening. Gomis latched on to Samir Nasri's clever return pass and shot wide before Rémy set up Malouda for the opening goal, the Olympique de Marseille striker sprinting down the right and pulling back a low cross that was slotted home at the far post by the Chelsea FC winger.

Victims of a shock defeat by Luxembourg last time out, Josip Kuže's side looked determined to salvage pride, biting into tackles and defending with discipline. The hosts continued to create chances, however, and the second goal duly arrived on 38 minutes, Nasri jinking past two players before feeding Rémy on the right, and his powerful low shot was deflected in off goalkeeper Saimir Ujkani's leg.

Debutant Odise Roshi forced Hugo Lloris into his first save with a long-range strike before the break, but that was the closest the visitors came as Blanc's men controlled proceedings in the second period. A convincing triumph was sealed on 62 minutes when two substitutes combined, Marvin Martin threading a pass through for the overlapping Réveillère, whose low finish beat Ujkani at his near post.

Last updated: 26/10/12 13.32CET

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