Friday, 20 October, 2017

England 'weren't good enough' in defeat to 10-man France - Kane

Gareth Southgate could ask John Stones to play in midfield for England England 'weren't good enough' in defeat to 10-man France - Kane
Damon Campbell | 15 June, 2017, 02:24

Winger Ousmane Dembele scored the victor as 10-man France overcame a red card for Raphael Varane early in the second half to beat England 3-2 in a pulsating friendly on Tuesday.

Harry Kane gave England an early lead by tapping home Ryan Bertrand's cross from close range, but goals from Samuel Umtiti and Djibril Sidibe had France in front by half time.

It threatened to be another frustrating night for France at the hands of technology, with Varane sent off two minutes into the second half for conceding a penalty.

But Ousmane Dembele popped up to score the victor for the 10 men of France.

At the Stade de France, a member of the invited brass band played "Don't Look Back In Anger" by Oasis which has become the unofficial theme of hope since the United Kingdom events.

England, who made six changes from Saturday's draw with Scotland, had only scored nine goals in their previous 11 matches against France, with three of those strikes coming from Tottenham players.

And some thought he just needed the same chances French striker Kylian Mbappe was getting - who failed to get his name on the scoresheet but not for lack of trying. "Their pace and their athleticism were a problem for us".

"I thought we looked more anxious while they went to 10 and they stepped up a level", Southgate said. We have been competitive in these three friendlies for long periods but we have had to play at our absolute limit to stay in all three matches. We have got to find a way to win that, we just weren't good enough.

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England actually started pretty well, crafting a lovely goal for Harry Kane on nine minutes.

But even after France were reduced in number, they were the more threatening team, with England simply struggling to cope, their use of a three-man defence exposed, and the scale of the task laid bare.

48' - GOAL! France 2-2 England (Kane pen) Clever from Kane - Lloris dives right, he smacks into the middle- unusually for him, but he knows Lloris knows him - and suddenly, England are strong favourites! Their errors were punished by France who were down to ten men for nearly the entire second half.

"We need to see the reality of where we are, you've got to test yourself against the best because otherwise it can mask where you might be as a team".

He confirmed referee Davide Massa's original decision to award the spot-kick, resulting in the sending off of Varane, much to the disgust of the France players and the home crowd. It was his astute first-time pass that set up France on their way to a third goal.

England are on course to qualify for next year's World Cup Finals in Russian Federation, despite needing a last-gasp Kane goal to get a 2-2 qualifier draw in Scotland last weekend.

The Real Madrid defender somewhat harshly saw red for the incident, but only after the referee had used his video assistant.

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