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.
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