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Four years on from reaching the UEFA Women's EURO 2009 final, England made their first major group stage exit in eight years after a dominant performance from Group C winners France.
Les Bleues had already clinched top spot before today after beating Russia and Spain, and were free to put on a footballing exhibition to delight the sell-out stadium record 7,332 crowd. Eugénie Le Sommer got things going and Louisa Necib – brilliant on her 100th cap – and Wendie Renard ensured France secured the 11th straight win of their campaign, going through from the group without dropping a point or picking up a booking. They stay here to play Denmark on Monday.
France made six changes from the win against Spain that took them through but had the better of the early exchanges and Le Sommer hit the post in the eighth minute. And not long afterwards, Élodie Thomis won the ball and embarked on a long run, and although Stephanie Houghton tackled, Le Sommer shot in.
England manager Hope Powell had abandoned her long-held 4-2-3-1 formation with Toni Duggan making a first competitive start alongside Ellen White in a front two. However, the action was at the other end where Sandrine Soubeyrand slammed a shot just over while Thomis made Karen Bardsley save.
Sophie Bradley, returning from injury, then made a saving tackle on the livewire Thomis and Bardsley tipped a Gaëtane Thiney effort over. England, missing the injured Rachel Yankey, did have some useful possession late in the first half but rarely looked like levelling.
England introduced Jill Scott at the break but France, bringing on Camille Abily and Élise Bussaglia, immediately attacked and a Le Sommer shot was blocked. White did get herself into a shooting position but Renard tackled. France broke and Thomis shot over.
On the hour, Kelly Smith made an appearance, but within a couple of minutes it was 2-0, Le Sommer cutting in from the left and timing her run perfectly to set up Necib. Soon after Renard rose to head in a Necib corner and England's hopes were gone.
Player of the match: Louisa Necib
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