The official website for European football

Benzema and Gourcuff keep France flying

Published: Tuesday 12 October 2010, 23.45CET
France 2-0 Luxembourg
Karim Benzema and Yoann Gourcuff scored in each half as Laurent Blanc's men claimed a third successive win to stay a point clear in Group D.
by Matthew Spiro
from Stade Municipal Saint-Symphorien
Published: Tuesday 12 October 2010, 23.45CET

Benzema and Gourcuff keep France flying

France 2-0 Luxembourg
Karim Benzema and Yoann Gourcuff scored in each half as Laurent Blanc's men claimed a third successive win to stay a point clear in Group D.

France recorded their third consecutive UEFA EURO 2012 win and a second in three days as goals from Karim Benzema and Yoann Gourcuff accounted for ten-man Luxembourg.

Having secured a confidence-boosting victory against Romania at the weekend, Laurent Blanc's team consolidated their position at the top of qualifying Group D with a comfortable triumph over the bottom team. The outcome rarely seemed in doubt from the moment Benzema struck midway through the first half and, after the visitors lost captain René Peters to a red card, Gourcuff made sure of the points on 76 minutes.

Playing in Metz, just 50 kilometres from Luxembourg, Luc Holtz's charges may momentarily have felt like the home side, yet they were quickly pushed on to the back foot by the former world champions. Gaël Clichy and Abou Diaby fired shots off target before Jonathan Joubert pushed a Philippe Mexès strike wide. From the resulting corner, the F91 Dudelange goalkeeper was beaten, Benzema brilliantly controlling Gourcuff's cross at the far post and volleying in left-footed.

Joubert, formerly of Metz, was otherwise impressing on his return to Lorraine. The 31-year-old twice clung on to long-range efforts from Diaby before the break and made a sharp intervention moments after the restart, saving at Guillaume Hoarau's feet as the striker burst through.

There appeared to be a danger of Les Bleus running away with proceedings when Peters was shown a second yellow card in the 54th minute, but Joubert kept his side in touch by pulling off a stunning point-blank stop to deny Gourcuff. Having drawn with Belarus in their previous game, Luxembourg threatened to equalise on 75 minutes, Guy Blaise directing an audacious overhead kick straight at Hugo Lloris.

Any hopes of a comeback were dashed seconds later, however, when Gourcuff struck his second goal in the space of three days. The Olympique Lyonnais playmaker collected Dimitri Payet's quickly-taken free-kick and beat Joubert with a low, swerving shot from 20 metres.

Last updated: 27/09/14 1.34CET

Related information

Player profiles

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2012/matches/round=15171/match=2002084/postmatch/report/index.html#benzema+gourcuff+keep+france+flying

UEFA.com features

Goals galore: The best of matchday three
  • Goals galore: The best of matchday three
  • Where does Lamela's Europa League goal rank?
  • Penalties: How to hit them, where to put them
  • Upwardly-mobile Roma impress Xabi Alonso
  • Benatia ready for quick return to Roma
  • Masterclass: Džeko's heading guide
  • European qualifying's all-time top scorers
  • Pick of the Week of Football
  • Linköping and Liverpool seek improvement
  • Ten things you may not know about Robbie Keane
1 of 10
 
  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.