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Anelka to the rescue for France

Published: Sunday 25 March 2007, 0.43CET
Lithuania 0-1 France Nicolas Anelka's 73rd-minute strike earned France a hard-fought win that keeps them joint top of Group B.
Anelka to the rescue for France
Nicolas Anelka (France) ©Getty Images

Match statistics

LithuaniaFrance

Goals scored0
1
Attempts on target0
7
Attempts off target6
 
4
Corners1
 
6
Fouls committed16
 
15
Yellow cards1
 
1
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 27/06/2012 11:56 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Sunday 25 March 2007, 0.43CET

Anelka to the rescue for France

Lithuania 0-1 France Nicolas Anelka's 73rd-minute strike earned France a hard-fought win that keeps them joint top of Group B.

France had Nicolas Anelka to thank for the fine individual goal that earned them a 1-0 win at Lithuania and keeps them joint-top of Group B behind Scotland.

Ninth goal for France
Anelka claimed the three points for Raymond Domenech's side after 73 minutes, cutting infield from the left flank and driving a low shot past the despairing dive of Žydrunas Karčemarkas from 25 metres. It was the 28-year-old's ninth goal in 35 appearances and ensured Les Bleus their fourth victory from five UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifiers. For the hard-working hosts, meanwhile, this second defeat in four matches leaves them fifth in Group B ahead of Wednesday's visit to Ukraine.

Diarra debut
Missing six first-team regulars in Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Franck Ribéry, Louis Saha, Mikaël Silvestre and David Trezeguet, coach Domenech handed a debut to Chelsea FC midfielder Lassana Diarra and also included Jérémy Toulalan of Olympique Lyonnais, capped once before. On a bumpy pitch, Les Bleus struggled to find their stride, their first shot on goal coming on 21 minutes when Florent Malouda sent a low effort straight at the goalkeeper. A more serious threat followed soon after as Sidney Govou flicked on Willy Sagnol's long throw and Anelka's low strike forced a fingertip save.

Sagnol block
Having withstood that spell of pressure, Lithuania began asking questions at the other end. Arunas Klimavičius headed wide from Mantas Savenas's free-kick and then Deividas Šemberas flashed a cross-cum-shot over. With France looking increasingly frustrated, they had Sagnol to thank for a superb block that stopped striker Robertas Poškus's shot on the stroke of half-time.

All-important goal
The game opened up after the break. Malouda put an inviting ball across goal only for Tomas Zvirgzdauskas to get there ahead of Anelka. Although Lithuania defender Marius Stankevicius blazed an effort just wide of the far post, France were gradually asserting themselves and Anelka was profligate when blasting a close-range attempt over. However, the forward grabbed the all-important goal 17 minutes from time and the win would have been more comfortable had substitute Djibril Cissé not driven over in the closing stages.

Last updated: 25/03/07 12.36CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2008/matches/round=2241/match=83977/postmatch/report/index.html#anelka+rescue+france

Lineups

Lithuania

Lithuania

France

France

1
KarčemarskasŽydrūnas Karčemarskas (GK)
23
CoupetGrégory Coupet (GK)
15
KlimavičiusArūnas Klimavičius
Yellow Card30
19
SagnolWilly Sagnol
5
SkerlaAndrius Skerla
15
ThuramLilian Thuram (C)
6
ŽvirgždauskasTomas Žvirgždauskas
5
GallasWilliam Gallas
13
PaulauskasGediminas Paulauskas
3
AbidalÉric Abidal
2
ŠemberasDeividas Šemberas
7
MaloudaFlorent Malouda
Substitution89
14
MorinasIgoris Morinas
Substitution82
6
MakeleleClaude Makelele
7
SavenasMantas Savenas
Substitution77
8
ToulalanJérémy Toulalan
4
StankevičiusMarius Stankevičius
4
L. DiarraLassana Diarra
Yellow Card79
11
PoškusRobertas Poškus
Substitution86
10
GovouSidney Govou
Substitution62
9
DanilevičiusTomas Danilevičius (C)
39
AnelkaNicolas Anelka
Goal73

Substitutes

3
DziaukstasRolandas Dziaukstas
1
LandreauMickaël Landreau (GK)
8
BeniušisRičardas Beniušis
Substitution82
9
CisséDjibril Cissé
Substitution62
10
KalonasMindaugas Kalonas
Substitution77
12
PiquionneFrédéric Piquionne
17
ZelmikasIrmantas Zelmikas
18
SquillaciSébastien Squillaci
12
GrybauskasPaulius Grybauskas (GK)
21
EscudéJulien Escudé
16
GedgaudasAndrius Gedgaudas
22
NasriSamir Nasri
18
RadzinevičiusTomas Radzinevičius
Substitution86
2
DiabyAbou Diaby
Substitution89

Coach

Algimantas Liubinskas (LTU) Raymond Domenech (FRA)

Referee

Howard Webb (ENG)

Assistant referees

Darren Cann (ENG), Peter Kirkup (ENG)

Fourth official

Martin Atkinson (ENG)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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