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France squeeze past Albania to stay top

Published: Friday 2 September 2011, 23.53CET
Albania 1-2 France
France secured a narrow victory in Albania courtesy of goals from Karim Benzema and Yann M'Vila to extend their lead at the top of Group D.
France squeeze past Albania to stay top
Karim Benzema celebrates giving France the lead against Albania ©Getty Images

Match statistics

AlbaniaFrance

Goals scored1
 
2
Possession (%)0
100
Total attempts4
 
5
Attempts on target3
 
3
Attempts off target1
 
2
Attempts blocked0
 
0
Attempts against woodwork1
 
2
Corners4
 
4
Offsides1
 
3
Yellow cards3
 
0
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed6
 
6
Fouls suffered6
 
6

Standings

Last updated: 13/02/2013 10:53 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Friday 2 September 2011, 23.53CET

France squeeze past Albania to stay top

Albania 1-2 France
France secured a narrow victory in Albania courtesy of goals from Karim Benzema and Yann M'Vila to extend their lead at the top of Group D.

France opened up a three-point lead at the top of UEFA EURO 2012 Group D courtesy of a 2-1 victory against Albania in Tirana.

Les Bleus were ahead on 11 minutes when Karim Benzema found space behind the Albanian defence to slot past Saimir Ujkani. Yann M'Vila doubled the advantage seven minutes later but the visitors did not have it all their own way as Erjon Bogdani's strike at the beginning of the second half set up a tense finale. Albania threatened an equaliser but Laurent Blanc's side defended resolutely and held on for the win. And with Bosnia and Herzegovina winning 2-0 in Belarus, France's lead in the pool was increased by two points.

France took the lead with their first foray into Albanian territory as Benzema capitalised on some lacklustre defending to put his side ahead. The hosts came close to an immediate response when Hamdi Salihi got the better of Younès Kaboul and Patrice Evra but his effort came back off the crossbar. The visitors remained undeterred and doubled their lead on 18 minutes when M'Vila strolled on to Benzema's pass to score his first international goal.

Hugo Lloris had to be at his best to deny Ansi Agolli's delightful volley on 32 minutes before Franck Ribéry saw his free-kick tipped onto a post by Ujkani. Josip Kuže's side boast an excellent home record and showed exactly why with a fighting second-half display. Within 60 seconds of the restart Bogdani was found by Ervin Bulku, held off challenges from Kaboul and Éric Abidal and calmly finished past Lloris to get his side back into the match.

Albania were in the ascendancy and the France No1 had to be alert to deny Bulku an equaliser just minutes later. Kaboul and Samir Nasri went close towards the end, however, as France held on to claim their fifth victory in Group D. Laurent Blanc takes his side to Bucharest to face Romania on Tuesday while Albania travel to Luxembourg.

Last updated: 03/12/12 23.42CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2012/matches/round=15171/match=2002100/postmatch/report/index.html#france+squeeze+past+albania

Lineups

Albania

Albania

France

France

23
UjkaniSamir Ujkani (GK)
1
LlorisHugo Lloris (GK)
3
VangjeliKristi Vangjeli
3
EvraPatrice Evra
4
DallkuArmend Dallku
Yellow Card49
5
KaboulYounès Kaboul
5
CanaLorik Cana (C)
Yellow Card65
7
RibéryFranck Ribéry
6
ÇurriDebatik Çurri
Substitution24
10
BenzemaKarim Benzema
Goal11
7
AgolliAnsi Agolli
11
NasriSamir Nasri
8
BulkuErvin Bulku
Substitution70
13
RéveillèreAnthony Réveillère
13
SkelaErvin Skela
Substitution46
15
MaloudaFlorent Malouda
Substitution82
16
TeliAdmir Teli
Yellow Card36
17
M'VilaYann M'Vila
Goal18
18
SalihiHamdi Salihi
18
A. DiarraAlou Diarra (C)
22
BogdaniErjon Bogdani
Goal46
22
AbidalÉric Abidal

Substitutes

12
HidiIsli Hidi (GK)
16
MandandaSteve Mandanda (GK)
10
DuroKlodian Duro
2
SagnaBacary Sagna
14
LalaAltin Lala
Substitution24
4
KoscielnyLaurent Koscielny
15
JanuziAhmed Januzi
6
CabayeYohan Cabaye
17
G. LikaGilman Lika
12
MartinMarvin Martin
Substitution82
19
BakajElis Bakaj
Substitution70
20
GameiroKevin Gameiro
21
HykaJahmir Hyka
Substitution46
21
RémyLoïc Rémy

Coach

Josip Kuže (CRO) Laurent Blanc (FRA)

Referee

Aleksei Nikolaev (RUS)

Assistant referees

Anton Averianov (RUS), Tikhon Kalugin (RUS)

Fourth official

Stanislav Sukhina (RUS)

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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