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No separating England and France

Published: Monday 11 June 2012, 20.45CET
France 1-1 England
Samir Nasri's fine strike cancelled out a Joleon Lescott header to leave these old rivals with a point apiece from the Group D opener in Donetsk.
by Chris Burke
from Donbass Arena

Match statistics

FranceEngland

Goals scored1
 
1
Possession (%)60
 
40
Total attempts19
 
3
Attempts on target15
 
1
Attempts off target4
 
2
Attempts blocked8
 
0
Attempts against woodwork0
 
0
Corners11
 
4
Offsides0
5
Yellow cards0
2
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed9
 
7
Fouls suffered7
 
9

Standings

Last updated: 12/02/2013 17:13 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Monday 11 June 2012, 20.45CET

No separating England and France

France 1-1 England
Samir Nasri's fine strike cancelled out a Joleon Lescott header to leave these old rivals with a point apiece from the Group D opener in Donetsk.

French fears of a resolute England display proved founded as Roy Hodgson's men resisted their opponents' second-half pressure to claim a 1-1 draw in Donetsk, Samir Nasri having earlier brought Les Bleus level.

Hit by injuries and missing the suspended Wayne Rooney, England upset many predictions by taking the lead as Joleon Lescott buried a close-range header on the half-hour. Hodgson had himself sprung a surprise by naming Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in his starting XI, but it was Nasri, briefly the Arsenal FC man's team-mate, who rounded off the evening's scoring close to half-time to leave these old rivals with a point apiece.

After all the talk of an essentially counterattacking approach, England made a bright start, stringing passes together and generally looking to build from the back – but appearances were soon revealed to be deceptive after Nasri began poking and probing. The Manchester City FC midfielder nearly found Karim Benzema with a lovely scooped pass over the defence and also fired narrowly wide from distance, before England's first real chance came from a quick break.

What a chance it was too as Scott Parker released Ashley Young, who in turn sent James Milner clear on goal, only for the midfielder to pull his shot wide having rounded Hugo Lloris. Joe Hart had to fling himself low to his left to deny Yohan Cabaye soon after, but England's pace on the counter was now earning caution from their opponents.

Their breakthrough came from an entirely different route to goal, however. With a strike reminiscent of Frank Lampard's opener against Les Bleus at UEFA EURO 2004, Lescott leapt to head in Steven Gerrard's free-kick from wide on the right. And France nearly followed up with an identikit effort, Diarra connecting powerfully with Nasri's delivery and forcing Hart into an excellent save – then angling his second header wide after Franck Ribéry had kept the danger alive.

England's relief was short-lived as Nasri curled a sublime shot inside club-mate Hart's near post from outside the area six minutes before half-time, Ribéry laying the ball back to him to crown an incisive move. The interval could not come soon enough for the men in white as France hunted a second, and the pressure continued afterwards as Hart narrowly beat Nasri to Milner's under-hit back pass.

In hot conditions, the game gradually become more attritional, although Benzema tested Hart with a thunderous drive from 25 metres and Parker blocked an even more blistering Florent Malouda attempt. England fans will have been fearing another comeback success from the French after Zinédine Zidane's late double in Portugal eight years ago, and Hart had to sprawl low to foil a Ribéry snapshot after he had evaded Lescott.

The openings were beginning to all fall France's way, and Danny Welbeck reacted superbly to deflect a volleyed Cabaye strike beyond the far corner. Aiming for the opposite angle with five minutes left, Benzema was then denied the winner by Gerrard's header. A repeat of the dramatic climax in Lisbon was averted, and, as he slid in to cut off a Milner cross late on, Philippe Mexès surely prevented Welbeck claiming revenge.

Last updated: 25/09/14 5.00CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2012/matches/round=15172/match=2003326/postmatch/report/index.html#honours+even+donetsk

Lineups

France

France

England

England

1
LlorisHugo Lloris (GK) (C)
1
HartJoe Hart (GK)
2
DebuchyMathieu Debuchy
2
G. JohnsonGlen Johnson
3
EvraPatrice Evra
3
A. ColeAshley Cole
4
RamiAdil Rami
4
GerrardSteven Gerrard (C)
5
MexèsPhilippe Mexès
6
TerryJohn Terry
6
CabayeYohan Cabaye
Substitution85
11
YoungAshley Young
Yellow Card71
7
RibéryFranck Ribéry
15
LescottJoleon Lescott
Goal30
10
BenzemaKarim Benzema
16
MilnerJames Milner
11
NasriSamir Nasri
Goal39
17
ParkerScott Parker
Substitution78
15
MaloudaFlorent Malouda
Substitution85
20
Oxlade-ChamberlainAlex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Yellow Card34
Substitution77
18
A. DiarraAlou Diarra
22
WelbeckDanny Welbeck
Substitution90

Substitutes

16
MandandaSteve Mandanda (GK)
13
GreenRobert Green (GK)
23
CarrassoCédric Carrasso (GK)
23
ButlandJack Butland (GK)
8
ValbuenaMathieu Valbuena
7
WalcottTheo Walcott
Substitution90
9
GiroudOlivier Giroud
8
HendersonJordan Henderson
Substitution78
12
MatuidiBlaise Matuidi
9
CarrollAndy Carroll
13
RéveillèreAnthony Réveillère
12
BainesLeighton Baines
14
MénezJérémy Ménez
14
JonesPhil Jones
17
M'VilaYann M'Vila
18
JagielkaPhil Jagielka
19
MartinMarvin Martin
Substitution85
19
DowningStewart Downing
20
Ben ArfaHatem Ben Arfa
Substitution85
21
DefoeJermain Defoe
Substitution77
21
KoscielnyLaurent Koscielny
22
ClichyGaël Clichy

Coach

Laurent Blanc (FRA) Roy Hodgson (ENG)

Referee

Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)

Assistant referees

Renato Faverani (ITA), Andrea Stefani (ITA)

Fourth official

Pavel Královec (CZE)

Additional assistant referees

Gianluca Rocchi (ITA), Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)

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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