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Wednesday, 26 March 2008
International Friendly Match

France 1 England 0 [1-0]

Stade de France, Saint-Denis, Paris
Attendance: 78,500;
Kick-off: 9.00pm CEST, 8.00pm GMT:
Live on Sky Sports One (UK); commentator - Martin Tyler

France - Franck Ribéry (penalty 32 31:19). Match Summary
France Squad
England Squad
Results 2005-2010 France - Franck Ribéry (after scoring 32).
England - David Beckham (39).

France kicked-off. 93 minutes (46 & 47).

 

Match Summary

 

Officials from Germany

France

Type

England

Referee (yellow) - Florian Meyer
39 (21 November 1968), Braunschweig, FIFA-listed 2002.

Assistant Referees - Sönke Glindmann, 42 (17 June 1965) and Mark Borsch, 31 (16 March 1977).

Fourth official - Bruno Faye, 45 (21 September 1962), Bègles.

A minute's silence was observed in memory of Thierry Gilardi, 49.  A French television commentator who died of a heart-attack on 25 March.

10 Goal Attempts 7
3 Attempts on Target 2
0 Hit Bar/Post 0
1 Corner Kicks Won 5
4 Offside Calls Against 2
6 Fouls Conceded 11
46% Possession 54%

France Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (12th March 2008) 7th
ELO rating 4th
Colours: Made by Adidas - Blue shirts with a thin red sash on torso, blue shorts, blue socks;
Capt: Lillian Thuram, aged 36 years, 86 days Coach: Raymond Domenech, 56 (24 January 1952), apptd 12 July 2004.
47th match, W 28 - D 14 - L 5 - F 73 - A 23.
(Does not include the 0-0 match against Italy on 8 September 2007 with Pierre Mankowski as coach. Domenech was suspended for this match). 
France Lineup
23 Coupet, Grégory 35 31 December 1972 G Olympique Lyonnais 29 0
3 Abidal, Éric S. 28 11 July 1979 LB FC Barcelona, Spain 33 0
15 Thuram-Ulien, Lilian R. 36 1 January 1972 CD FC Barcelona, Spain 138 2
13 Clerc, François 24 18 April 1983 RB Olympique Lyonnais 10 0
5 Gallas, William E. 30 17 August 1977 CD Arsenal FC, England 61 2
6 Makélélé Sinda, Claude 35 18 February 1973 M Chelsea FC, England 66 0
7 Malouda, Florent J. 27 13 June 1980 M Chelsea FC, England 36 3
8 Toulalan, Jérémy 24 10 September 1983 M Olympique Lyonnais 11 0
22
Ribéry, Franck B. 24 1 April 1983 F FC Bayern München AG, Germany 25 3
Ribéry cautioned in the 32nd minute for Dissent, for removing his shirt during his goal celebration.
20 Trezeguet, David S., off 64th min 30 15 October 1977 M Juventus FC SpA, Italy 71 34
39 Anelka, Nicolas S., off 80th min 29 14 March 1979 F Chelsea FC, England 45 11
France Substitutes
10 Givou, Sidney R.N., on 64th min. for Trezeguet 28 27 July 1979 F Olympique Lyonnais 31 7
9 Cissé, Djibril M., on 80th min. for Anelka 26 12 August 1981 F Olympique de Marseille 36 9

unused substitutes:

1-Mickaël Landreau, 4-Philippe Mexes, 17-Sebastien Squillaci, 18-Alou Diarra, 21-Mathieu Flamini, 27-Patrice Evra.
   
4-4-2 Coupet -
Clerc, Thuram, Gallas, Abidal -
Ribéry, Makélélé, Toulalan, Malouda -
Anelka
(Cissé), Trezeguet (Givou).

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 29.3 Appearances/Goals 47.7 5.0

 

England Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (12th March 2008) 11th
ELO rating 8th
Colours: The 2008 away uniform - Red shirts with navy/white shoulder trim/white trimmed collar, white shorts with red pinstripe, red socks with navy trim/white Umbro diamonds.
Capt: Rio Ferdinand, 1st captaincy. Coach: Fabio Capello, 62, appointed 14 December 2007, took post 7 January 2008, 
2nd match, W 1 - D 0 - L 1 - F 2 - A 2.
England Lineup
1 James, David B. 37 1 August 1970 G Portsmouth FC 37 33 GA
2 Brown, Wesley M., off 63rd min 28 13 October 1979 RB Manchester United FC 16 0
3 Cole, Ashley 27 20 December 1980 LB Chelsea FC 63 0
4 Hargreaves, Owen L. 27 20 January 1981 M

Manchester United FC

41 0
5 Ferdinand, Rio G. 29 7 November 1978 CD Manchester United FC 66 1
6 Terry, John G., off 46th min 27 7 December 1980 CD Chelsea FC 43 3
7 Beckham, David R.J., off 63rd min 32 2 May 1975 M LA Galaxy, USA 100 17
Beckham booked in the 39th minute for Unsporting Behaviour, for pulling on Ribéry's shirt.
8 Barry, Gareth 26 23 February 1981 M Aston Villa FC 18 0
9 Rooney, Wayne M., off 46th min 22 24 October 1985 CF

Manchester United FC

42 14
10 Gerrard, Steven G., off 46th min 27 30 May 1980 M Liverpool FC 65 12
11 Cole, Joseph J., off 46th min 26 8 November 1981 M Chelsea FC 49 7
England Substitutes
14 Lescott, Joleon P., on 46th min. for Terry 25 16 August 1982 D Everton FC 5 0
17 Downing, Stewart, on 46th min. for J.Cole 23 22 July 1984 M Middlesbrough FC 17 0
18 Owen, Michael J., on 46th min. for Rooney 27 14 December 1979 F Newcastle United FC 89 40
19 Crouch, Peter J., on 46th min. for Gerrard 27 30 January 1981 F

Liverpool FC

26 14
16 Bentley, David M., on 63rd min. for Beckham 23 27 August 1984 M Blackburn Rovers FC 4 0
13 Johnson, Glen M., on 63rd min. for Brown 23 23 August 1984 D Portsmouth FC 6 0

unused substitutes:

12-Paul Robinson, 15-Wayne Bridge, 20-Theo Walcott, 21-Rob Green.
   

4-2-3-1

James -
Brown
(Johnson), Terry (Lescott), Ferdinand, A Cole -
Barry, Hargreaves -
Beckham
(Bentley), Gerrard (Crouch), J Cole (Downing) -
Rooney
(Owen).

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 28.0 Appearances/Goals 49.1 5.0

 

    Match Report by Mike Payne

This friendly international in the Stade de France showed manager Fabio Capello just why taking on the England job can be so difficult.  Not one shot on target, hardly any worthwhile attacks and as lethargic a display as could be imagined from what, on paper at least, looked a strong England team.  The match will be remembered as the occasion of David Beckham's 100th cap for his country, but will not be remembered for anything else.  The game was played in a subdued atmosphere with France looking comfortable without being impressive.  There were some good individual displays, for both sides, but very little to get excited about.

Capello played Wayne Rooney as a lone striker but he expected support for his star striker from all quarters.  Sadly, the plan failed as neither full-back could support the attack and Steven Gerrard had a poor game.  Owen Hargreaves did some excellent work in protecting the back four and Gareth Barry caught the eye with some good fetching and carrying.  For France Nicolas Anelka was a lively attacker, the best on the pitch, and his quick feet gave his club colleague John Terry a difficult game.  Florent Melouda also gave Wes Brown a torrid time down the left, so England were vulnerable at times.  Brown had a nightmare of an evening, giving the ball away frequently and mis-kicking on a number of occasions.  Both Anelka and Meloda went close before the deciding goal came in the 32nd minute.  Francois Clerc sent Anelka away with a lovely through ball.  Anelka's pace sprang the attempted offside trap and he was clear.  Out came David James who arrived late to take Anelka down for an obvious penalty.  James can consider himself lucky not to receive even a yellow card.  Franck Ribery despatched the penalty with ease and the game was won.

At half-time Capello made some surprising changes, taking off four of his star players, Rooney, Joe Cole, Gerrard and Terry to show he had no qualms about taking that calibre of player off when they had not performed well.  The replacements did make England look a little better with Stewart Downing particularly lively on the wing.  All throughout the game Capello tinkered with his formation and played several different styles.  Unfortunately the players did not respond on the night and he was always fighting a losing battle.

Beckham went off on the hour to a standing ovation from the crowd, but even his performance was below par.  It is rare to report an England game with so few goal attempts from the Whites.  Rooney, before he went off, glanced a header straight at the goalkeeper and Ashley Cole did put in one dangerous cross.  But other than that chances were at a premium, at both ends, making it a tedious game to watch.  Michael Owen and Peter Crouch had come on at half-time but they never had a look in.

So, all in all, a match to forget, thankfully it was only a friendly and Capello will have learned a few things about his players for sure, and he will now work on his plans for the sterner challenges of the future.  He has a lot to do.

Source Notes

BBC Sport
TheFA.com
Fox Sports
SkySports.com
ESPN Soccernet
Robert Owens for his unrelentless work in tracking down the fourth official.
Marcel Hoefsmit (Dutch Historian and good friend)
Mike Payne - football historian and contributor

____________________

CG