Euro 2012: England vs France - As it happenend
Vineet Ramakrishnan/Zeenews Sports Bureau
Donetsk: 90 + 3 min Benzema tries for a goal after the French held on to possession for the whole of the last minute, Hart stops the weak shot and that is the end of it. It is 1-1 for France and England in the opening Group D fixture.
90 + 2 min Three minute of stoppage time, as French defense looks tired.
90 + 1 min SUBSTITUTION Walcott (in) - Welbeck (out) (England).
89 min Mexes slides to stop a Milner cross, concede a corner, Gerrrard takes it, is cleared away by French defense.
87min Foul by Ben Arfa on Gerrrard.
86 min Benzema's powerful strike is headed to safety by Gerrard.
85 min SUBSTITUTION Ben Arfa (in) - Cabaye (out) (France) and Martin (in) - Malouda (out) (France). Nasri takes the corner.
84 min Defoe into the attack now, but fails to get the ball in side the area.
83 min Opportunity for Debuchy at the right flank, sniffed out by Terry.
81 min Welback deflects an attempt on goal by Cabaye, crucial one at that.
80 min Free kick to France as Johnson fouls Ribery, Nasri takes the free kick, good ball in. French corner now.
77 min SUBSTITUTION Defoe (in) - Oxlade-Chamberlain (out) (England). and Henderson (in) - Parker (out) (England).
76 min Benzema tries one on goal and it is Lescott who blocks the shot.
75 min Ribéry has an attempt on goal.
Hart makes a save.
73 min Free kick for England, as Oxlade-Chamberlain is pushed over. by Ribéry.
71 min Yellow card for Ashley Young on a lunging tackle on Benzema.
69 min Malouda has an effort on goal.
Parker blocks a shot.
66 min Johnson misses the target.
Glen Johnson cuts inside from the right and tries a trademark effort on his left foot from range, but the ball flies over.
65 min Attempt on goal by Benzema, powerful drive after a one touch paly with Nasri, Hart stops it with ease.
France 1 : 1 England
63 min Terry concedes a free-kick for a foul on Rami. Lloris takes the free-kick.
60 min Corner awarded in favour of England even though Ribery was down on the ground.
58 min Ribery makes a clean challenge on Oxlade-Chamberlain.
54 min French march on, as Evra's pass into the area is sniffed out by Gerrard. It was great little play by Nasri, Benzema as Ribery palyed a dummy for Evra to put the ball in only for Gerrrard to concede a corner. Corner cleared away easily.
53 min Theatrical tumble by Gerrard right at the edge of the obx, ref says play on.
51 min Oxlade-Chamberlain pushes over by Nasri, Free kick, Gerrars delivers again into the area, Evra clears away.
49 min England on the attack and corner for England, Gerrard takes it, straight into the hands of Hugo Lloris.
48 min Ashley Young dispossess the ball.
46 min So we are underway for the second half.
With the first goal by Joleon Lescott for the Three Lions courtesy an inch perfect free kick by Gerrard, England took the lead in the 31st minute only to see that being cancelled out by a spectacular low drive to the far post past Hart by Samir Nasri in the 39th minute. At half time the scoreline is 1-1.
A well organised England defense sniffed out the menacing French attacks for most of first half as Ribery and Nasri took the play to the England. Oxlade-Chamberlain impressed with his outwork making Diarra work harder.
But, the first half belonged to France as Ribery, Nasri and Benzema gelled together to find big open spaces. The Les Bleus completed 299 passes to England's 171, and six shots on target compared to England's sole effort on goal.
45+ 1 min French throw in, Evra tries to move forward, Refree signals the end of play. First half over.
45 min Nasri takes it, Hart punches it away, Ribery takes it back as Benzema wins a corner with a driving effort stopped by Hart.
44 min Cabaye takes a long range, is deflected. Corner.
42 min Ribery threatens again with a menacing run inside the angle , Terry concedes corner, Nasri takes it, cleared easily by England.
39 min Nasri scores, GOOOOOAAL , all the class in the world, powerful drive but a precision one at the far post by the Manchester City player. Low shot into the bottom left corner from just outside the area after a good passing game between Ribery, Malouda, Evra and Nasri.
36 min Cabaye penalised for a foul on Parker.
35 min SPECTACULAR save by Hart, Diarra's powerful header off Nasri's free kick is stopped by the gaolkeeper, instinctive by Hart.
34 min Yellow card for Oxlade-Chamberlain for a rash tackle on Debuchy.
30 min Evra concedes a free-kick for a foul on Milner. Gerrard takes the free kick, GOOOOOAAL by Lescott. England 1 up. Inch perfect free kick by Gerrard to the far corner from the right flank, Lescott rises high and connects with the head. First ever goal for the defender for Three Lions.
27 min Nice touch by Welback, but his surge is stopped by Mexes.
26 min Flag up, Milner offside.
24 min Debuchy puts the bal lin the area, Terry clears for a throw in.
23 min French attack, as Nasri dribbles across, Cole beats Ribery in the air.
21 min Rami steps on the ankle of Welback, the forward is down.
20 min Foul by Diarra. England get a free kick.
18 min Young flagged for offside, as Oxlade-Chamberlain impresses again with his footwork to dance past Alou Diarra.
16 min Good low effort by Cabaye, Hart manages to get his hands to it.
14 min Milner misses the target, Great opportunity for England as he shoots wide.
11 min Nasri shoots, wide of the post.
10 min WSpace for Ribery as he cuts in, wins a corner, Nasri takes it, Hart fumbles but Johnson clears. Nervous times for England.
7 min Cole fouls Nasri, free kick to France, Malouda takes it, loopy one to far corner, defense does a sloppy work but Hart gets to the ball and clears.
6 min Evra penalised for a foul on Young (England).
5 min Corner for France, Nasri takes the corner, headed to safety by Gerrard.
3 min Oxlade-Chamberlain steals the ball from Mexès and takes it to the area, attack sniffed out by the French defense.
2 min Welback offside.
1 min: It is underway, England take the ball and have the possession.
England national anthem first up followed by France's. God Save the Queen' and 'La Marseillaise'.
Danny Welbeck is chosen ahead of Carroll and Jermain Defoe. Wil lthe youngster keep the faith of Roy Hodgson.
During their last Euro meeting Zinadine Zidane scored two injury time goals to give France the victory by 2-1.
So we are just 30 minutes away from the game, Roy Hodgson would have his fingers crossed as Laurent Blanc wil lhope that the 'Les Bleus' can put upa good show.
England: Hart, Johnson, Cole, Terry, Lescott, Gerrard, Young, Milner, Parker, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Welbeck
SUBS: Green, Butland, Baines, Jones, Jagielka, Walcott, Henderson, Downing, Carroll, Defoe.
France: Lloris, Debuchy, Evra, Rami, Mexès, Cabaye, Ribéry, Nasri, Malouda, Diarra, Benzema
SUBS: Mandanda, Carrasso, Réveillère, Koscielny, Clichy, Valbuena, Matuidi, Ménez, M'Vila, Martin, Ben Arfa, Giroud.
Welcome to the live coverage of the Group D fixture between England and France.
Les Bleus had beaten the Three Lions in their opening fixture of Euro 2004 in Portugal.
Here is a brief Preview:
France coach Laurent Blanc is unlikely to risk midfielder Yann M`Vila against England as deputies Alou Diarra and Blaise Matuidi have recovered well from respective knee and hamstring problems.
M`Vila has struggled with a thigh injury but otherwise Blanc has had few fresh concerns to deal with since Loic Remy dropped out of the squad with a thigh problem of his own at the end of May.
Karim Benzema will start ahead of Olivier Giroud in attack following his dazzling display in Les Bleus` final pre-tournament friendly against Estonia. Philippe Mexes is likely to retain his place despite pressure from backup Laurent Koscielny.