Posts Tagged ‘France’
Uruguay beat France 1-0 in a Confederations Cup 2013 warm-up match in front of around 35,000 fans at the Estadio Centenario in the Uruguayan capital Montevideo last night. It was Uruguay‘s only chance to experiment in a friendly match ahead of their Confederations Cup campaign later this month, although they do still have a World Cup 2014 qualification game away in Venezuela before they travel to Brazil.
It was a fairly uneventful game against an experimental French side and the only goal came just after half time when substitute Luis Suarez, who had come on at half time for Diego Forlan, beat Marseille’s Steve Mandana with a neat shot. It was the first action for Suarez in several weeks as he has been serving a ban in England as a result of the second biting incident of his career whilst playing for Liverpool against Chelsea.
The teams were:
Uruguay: Muslera, Lugano (Scotti 46), Pereira, Cáceres, Pereira (Rodriguez 71), Coates, Gargano, Arévalo (Eguren 46), Lodeiro (Ramirez 46), Forlán (Suarez 46), Cavani (Hernandez 66)
France: Mandanda, Sagna, Trémoulinas, Koscielny, Mangala, Matuidi (Cabaye 76), Valbuena (Grenier 67), Gourcuff (Lacazette 58), Capoue (Guilavogui 67), Payet, Giroud (Gomis 58)
With most of the major European leagues now wrapped up, attention in most countries is turning towards the upcoming spate of cup finals across the continent. In England the FA Cup final is, of course, already done and dusted with Wigan Athletic having sensationally beaten Manchester City 1-0 at Wembley to win that venerable trophy for the first time in their history, and on Friday night in Madrid, Spain, Atletico stunned their neighbours Real Madrid in their own backyard at the Bernabeu to win the Copa del Rey. Atletico’s 2-1 extra time win was their first victory over Real in any competition for fourteen years.
The next ten days will see the cup winners decided in Scotland, Italy, Portugal, France and Germany, as well as the Champions League final and the English Championship Play-off final for a place in next season’s Premier League. This coming weekend is the big one, with five major finals over the extended Bank Holiday break (in the UK) for fans to enjoy and European club football’s showpiece event, the Champions League Final kicks it all off on Saturday night.
The Champions League Final – Saturday 25th May 2013, 19:45, Wembley Stadium, London
This year’s final is an all-German clash between Borussia Dortmund and strongly fancied Bayern Munich. Jupp Heynckes’ Bayern are the newly crowned Bundesliga champions, having dislodged Borussia from their perch, and have enjoyed perhaps the most spectacularly successful league season in their history. They won the Bundesliga at a canter by a massive twenty five points, scoring ninety eight goals in the process to end up with a staggering goal difference of plus eighty. They imperiously swept aside Barcelona in the semi finals 7-0 on aggregate to record the biggest semi final victory margin since 1960 and quite frankly they look unstoppable.
Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund have had an average season by their recent high standards and had to be content with a distant second spot having been champions two years running prior to this season. Their European form has been much better and they annihilated Real Madrid in the first leg of their semi final before holding on resolutely in the face at a late Real Madrid rally at the Bernabeu to book their spot at Wembley. Their success was dampened somewhat by the news that star man Mario Gotze will be jumping ship to Bayern this summer, putting a dent in their hopes of narrowing the gap next season, but they will be hopeful of a big performance on the night to create a small upset.
The two clubs have been regular opponents over the past twelve months with supremacy in head to head matches slowly shifting from Dortmund to the Bavarians. Dortmund had a crushing 5-2 win in the German Cup final last May but Bayern took their first chance for revenge in the Super Cup final in August, winning 2-1. The first league clash finished in a 1-1 stalemate in Munich in December but Bayern triumphed again, 1-0, in a cup quarter final in Munich in February and the return league fixture in Dortmund ended 1-1 earlier this month when the title was already sown up.
The division’s bottom two met in Ligue 1 today, with Sochaux and Auxerre both hoping to boost their survival chances with a much needed win in this crucial six-pointer. However, neither team could muster the firepower to end their lengthy winless streaks as the game fizzled out into a disappointing 0-0 draw. Despite the result and their poor form, neither team has been cut adrift as the bottom eleven clubs are separated by only seven points and Auxerre even managed to leapfrog Nice courtesy of the latter’s 3-0 capitulation in Dijon.
Elsewhere, the only other winners were Toulouse, who secured an impressive 3-0 away win in Nancy, and Lille, who take all three points home from Brittany thanks to a 1-0 win in Lorient. Another goalless stalemate between relegation strugglers was played out in Corsica, where Brest made the long trek to face Ajaccio. In a weekend of epic away trips Valenciennes travel back from Marseille having shared a point and a goal apiece and Evian Thonon Gaillard salavaged a point from their trip to Cean courtesy of a late Sidney Govou goal.
The French World Cup challenge failed to materialise in South Africa, the team returning home disgraced and beaten into fourth place in Group A with in-fighting between the players, coach and federation wrecking their campaign from day one.
Having qualified in controversial style, thanks to Thierry Henry’s handball in their play off game against Ireland, Les Bleus failed to make the most of their place in the finals. The first game, a 0-0 draw with Uruguay was a decent enough result on paper, but it was a good as things got for the French. They failed to build on that point and lost 2-0 to Mexico six days later in a game that saw striker Nicolas Anelka substituted at half time after a row with coach Raymond Domenech. The Chelsea striker was sent home in disgrace for his comments and the team never recovered from the shock.
The rest of the squad, lead by captain Patrice Evra, refused to train in one of the sessions following that match and the divisions between the coach and his players became all too apparent. Domenech has never been popular with the French public and with hindsight he should have been replaced long before the finals. Especially seeing as it was already known that he would be leaving immediately after the finals to be replaced by Bordeaux’s Laurent Blanc. He had no working relationship with his players.
The third and final game was the team’s worst performance. They had to beat South Africa by several goals to be in with a chance of progressing but they found themselves two down at half time and in disarray, with Gourcuff having been sent off. With more clinical finishing, the South Africans could have scored several more. However, France did manage to stem the tide and grab a consolation goal in the second half, but by then most of the french fans were simply glad that the whole sorry episode was coming to an end. They finished bottom of Group A with only one point and most of the players had totally lost the respect of their fans through their appalling behaviour and attitude on and off the pitch.
At least there will be a fresh start with a new manager and a clean break from this regime. Domenech won’t be remembered fondly in France, and the abiding memory will be of him refusing to shake hands with South Africa manager Carlos Alberto Parreira after the final whistle of their final game. Petty to the last, Domenech bowed out of international football management. However, many of the same players will still be involved when the team start their Euro 2012 qualifiers and they will have to work hard to win back the fans.
The French squad submitted to FIFA was as follows:
NUMBER – POSITION – NAME – AGE- CLUB
1 – GK – Hugo LLORIS – 23 – Lyon
16 – GK – Steve MANDANDA – 25 – Marseille
23 – GK – Cedric CARRASSO – 28 – Bordeaux
2 – DF – Bakari SAGNA – 27 – Arsenal
3 – DF – Eric ABIDAL – 30 – Barcelona
4 – DF – Anthony REVEILLERE – 30 – Lyon
5 – DF – William GALLAS – 32 – Arsenal
6 – DF – Marc PLANUS – 28 – Bordeaux
13 – DF – Patrice EVRA – 29 – Manchester United
17 – DF – Sebastien SQUILLACI – 29 – Sevilla FC
22 – DF – Gael CLICHY – 24 – Arsenal
8 – MF – Yoann GOURCUFF – 23 – Bordeaux
14 – MF – Jeremy TOULALAN – 26 – Lyon
15 – MF – Florent MALOUDA – 29 – Chelsea
18 – MF – Alou DIARRA – 28 – Bordeaux
19 – MF – Abou DIABY – 24 – Arsenal
7 – FW – Franck RIBERY – 27 – Bayern Munich
9 – FW – Djibril CISSE – 28 – Panathinaikos
10 – FW – Sidney GOVOU – 30 – Lyon
11 – FW – Andre Pierre GIGNAC – 24 – Toulouse
12 – FW – Thierry HENRY – 32 – Barcelona
20 – FW – Mathieu VALBUENA – 25 – Marseille
21 – FW – Nicolas ANELKA – 31 – Chelsea
Les Bleus travelled to Rades, Tunisia for the second of their three World Cup warm up games, hoping to follow up their recent 2-1 win over Costa Rica with another victory. A crowd of around 55,000 turned up at the Stade du 7 novembre to see the hosts take the lead and hold off the French for almost an hour before being pegged back.
France coach Raymond Domenech picked another strong team, with Manchester United’s Patrice Evra as captain, and dominated possession in the first few minutes – following a short delay to remove a cat from the field of play. Florent Malouda fluffed an early shot just before the Tunisians took a surprise early lead through Jemaa, who was found unmarked at the far post to open the scoring.
Tunisia went on to have the better of the next 15 minutes and came close to creating a couple more good chances before France started to get back into the game although they were largely restricted to shooting from long range. Their best chance of the first half came from a cross by Sagna down the right, which Govou headed just past the post and the French went into the interval trailing 1-0.
Domenech replaced Ribery with Henry at half time, and also brought on Planus for Abidal but without immediate effect. Gourcuff conjured up another chance on 58 minutes when his left foot shot from range flew just wide but he made the telling contribution four minutes later when his free-kick from the left found Gallas in the box and the Arsenal defender levelled the scores. Malouda had another good effort saved with 15 minutes remaining but the French attack were unable to further break down a resolute Tunisian defence.
France now face China in a final warm up match in Saint-Pierre on the 4th of June before opening their World Cup campaign against Uruguay in Cape Town on the 11th of June.
Tunisia 1-1 France (30/05/2010)
45 Planus for Abidal
45 Henry for Ribery
63 Gignac for Anelka
64 Diaby for Gourcuff
64 Squillaci for Gallas
64 Clichy for Evra
75 Cisse for Govou
2008 winners Paris-Saint-Germain crashed out of the French league cup to ten-man Guingamp in front of fewer than 6000 spectators at the Stade du Roudourou. The Ligue 2 side were reduced to ten-men when Moustapha Diallo was dismissed in the 76th minute with tie still goalless but within three minutes the Bretons went ahead thanks to an own goal from PSG defender Mamadou Sakho. They hung on for a 1-0 victory to join fellow Ligue 2 outfit Sedan in the quarter finals. Sedan had beaten Clermont Foot 1-0 on Tuesday night with a goal from Alexis Allart.
Olympique Lyonnais had no trouble beating Metz, the team who knocked them out last season, 3-0 at Gerland. Jeremy Toulalan opened the scoring in the first half and Lisandro Lopez wrapped things up with a late brace after the visitors had had goalkeeper Christophe Marichez sent off. Toulouse overcame Nancy by the same score with an own goal from Damian Macaluso setting them on the way. Paulo Machado and Kevin Dupuis completed the scoring.
Lorient produced a fine performance away at the Stade Felix Bollaert to beat Lens by two goals to one. Captain Sylvain Marchal and Kevin Gameiro gave the visitors a 2-0 half time lead and they withstood the second half fightback, conceding only a late Eduardo Dos Santos penalty to progress to the quarter finals. Lille needed extra time to beat Rennes, Adil Rami and Mickael Pagis cancelling each other’s goals out either side of half time. The Nordists proved the more durable team in the extra 30 minutes and won through with goals from Tulio de Melo and substitute Eden Hazard.
The tie of the round was between Saint Etienne and Marseille at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard and the 16,000 fans in attendance certainly weren’t disappointed by a thrilling contest that swung one way and then the other although the home contingent would ultimately leave disappointed. Midfielder Bakary Sako opened the scoring for Les Verts in the 18th minute and the match really came to life ten minutes later when Brandao equalised for Marseille only to see Gonzalo Bergessio restore the lead almost before they had finished celebrating. The muscular Brazilian striker struck again for OM on the hour mark to level the tie and set up an exciting final 30 minutes as both sides pressed to win the match and avoid extra time. It was Mamadou Niang who realised that objective for the visitors, the Senegalese striker grabbing a last gasp winner for Marseille in the fourth minute of injury time.
The game between Le Mans and Bordeaux was postponed until a later date.
Sedan 1-0 Clermont Foot
Guingamp 1-0 Paris-SG
Lyon 3-0 Metz
Toulouse 3-0 Nancy
Lens 1-2 Lorient
Lille 3-1 Rennes (aet)
Saint-Etienne - Marseille
Le Mans p-p Bordeaux