England vs France Euro 2012 Live Blog

England vs France

Euro 2012

Group D

5pm BST

Day four of Euro 2012 arrives after the disappointment of Ireland’s loss to Croatia in group C. At least England and France should put on a good show today. The favourites to make it out of the group, with Sweden and Ukraine likely to be knocked out, England and France are somewhat unpredictable.

England have the players to perform well, but often they fail to gel and with Roy Hodgson only having a short time to bring the team together and instill his philosophy, there may be mistakes. Rooney is out for this game and beyond him England lack a real goal threat, with Danny Welbeck and Andy Carroll largely unproven at this level.

France had a disastrous showing in the last World Cup, but you have to assume it won’t happen again here. They too have some big talents, but doubts will always be there with France. They can be brilliant when they want, but lack the stereotypical ‘bulldog’ spirit that the English media will no doubt be re-iterating today.

England don’t really have it either, mind.

England: Hart, Johnson, Terry, Lescott, Cole, Milner, Gerrard, Parker, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Young, Welbeck.
Subs: Green, Walcott, Henderson, Carroll, Baines, Jones, Jagielka, Downing, Defoe, Butland.

France: France: Lloris, Debuchy, Rami, Mexes, Evra, Nasri, Cabaye, Diarra, Malouda, Ribery, Benzema.
Subs: Mandanda, Giroud, Matuidi, Reveillere, Menez, M’Vila, Martin, Ben Arfa, Valbuena, Clichy, Koscielny, Carrasso.

1 min.

England pass around in defense, controlling possession. They build on the right, but Welbeck is flagged for offside as the ball is passed forward.

2 min.

After a poor pass from Rami, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsenal’s emerging talent, steals the ball and rushes toward the left side of the French penalty area. He passes toward the middle but the ball is cut out.

4 min.

France now passing about in defense. They build up the left and Nasri plays Benzema through into the penalty area with a great chipped pass. Too many white shirts surround the Frenchman and it goes out for a corner.

5 min.

Roy Hodgson stands owl-like on the sidelines.

6 min.

Cole lightly tackles Nasri on the right in the English half. France win a free kick but it’s easily defended.

8 min.

Poor passing from England up front gives France an opportunity to counter. Ribery picks up the ball in midfield but his first touch is poor. France do look like they could be dangerous on the break as England push forward.

9 min,

Oxlade-Chamberlain gives it away in the French half and France counter quickly. Ribery wins a corner after Glen Johnson blocks his cross.

The corner is cleared, but not after Joe Hart flaps at it and looks more than a little off his game as the ball slips through his fingers

10 min.

Nasri takes a shot from outside the penalty area, but sends it wide of the post to the left of goal.

13 min.

Ribery works his way down the right, slips past Parker, threading a pass to Cabaye but England win it back easily and quickly make their own counter attack.

14 min.

Ashley Young plays a wonderful through ball from the centre of the field to Milner, he takes it into the penalty area and rounds Lloris’ left side, only to run it too far and only hit the side netting.

15 min.

France move forward with some swift passing until it reaches Cabaye who shoots from just outside the penalty area, but it’s easily stoppped by Hart.

17 min.

Oxlade Chamberlain sends a through ball to Ashley Young who looks through on goal. The flag is up, offside against Young.

19 min.

Milner on the right, twists, turns, and hits a cross low into a French foot. That’s not going to get them anywhere.

21 min.

Welbeck down with an injury, play stopped for a minute while he’s treated.

He’s able to walk off.

22 min.

Welbeck makes it back on as Parker passes forward to no-one.

24 min.

France putting pressure on now, but not looking too dangerous. England look solid defensively, pushing France out to the wings where their ineffective crosses aren’t causing any problems.

25 min.

True to form, Debuchy thumps a cross in from the right which swings gently into the hands of Joe Hart.

26 min.

Nice bit of play from England, passing around the French half until Gerrard’s pass into the area is cut out. Offside anyway.

27 min.

Ribery from the centre sends a ball out to Debuchy on the right. Cole defends well, again, and the ball ends up with Hart.

28 min.

This is a lot less entertaining than France’s last big tournament. Not much going on since Milner bottled his chance.

29 min.

England with a free, Gerrard  sends it in and


Lescott meets the ball right on the edge of the six-yard box. So much for nothing going on. Brilliant ball in by Gerrard, and a fantastic header from Lescott who sent it low into the goal, no chance for Lloris to save it.

England 1-0 France

31 min.

‘A hoot for Hodgson’ – surely a tabloid headline tomorrow if it ends 1-0.

With a picture of an owl, of course.

33 min.

France look a little out-of-sorts now. Lloris thumps a kick out straight out of play.

34 min.

Oxlade-Chamberlain cuts down Debuchy and picks up a yellow card.

35 min.

France rally from the free kick. Diarra leaps up and heads directly at Hart who saves well. It falls to Ribery on the right who heads it back in to Diaby, but he can’t keep his header on target.

37 min.

France settling down now and controlling play, keeping the ball well. England clearing long and France pushing forward. Nasri getting a lot of the ball, he’s playing quite well here.

38 min.


What a finish! Evra plays it to Ribery at the left side of the penalty area, who plays it back to Nasri. He fires it into the near corner, beating Hart who can’t reach the shot. Brilliantly placed, and wonderfully worked in the build up. The anththesis of England’s big kick and header, essentially.

England 1-1 France

41 min.

France moving forward again, Ribery winning a corner. Nasri plays it into the box but it’s cleared by Parker to Evra, who plays it back out to Nasri on the left, back to Ribery. England win the ball back and lose it again.

42 min.

Again, England win it and lose it, France seem a far better team since that England goal, they’ve stepped up a gear and England are still coasting a little.

44 min.

France are working well down the left side, it may be time for a defender to replace Johnson at right back. Ball goes in to Cabaye who strikes at goal, but a deflection gives France a corner.

The corner leads up to a Benzema effort, but it’s from too tight an angle to beat Hart.

45 min.

England are playing sloppily, losing the ball easily in midfield. Half-time should be a relief for them, they need to regroup.


England have spent the last 10 minutes being totally outclassed by France. They just don’t have the same skill. England need to get back their focus, the French goal seemed to break their resolve. This is the test for Hodgson, if he can get the team back on track they have every chance to win, but at this point if France keep this pace up, they would be doing well to draw.

Upsides for England are that they should have scored through Milner, and France are susceptible to a through ball. Ashley Young could do with taking control of this game in the same way Nasri and Ribery have. Welbeck is a non-factor, and if set pieces are the way England are going to score, it should be Andy Carroll time quite soon.

Ad watch:

This Heineken ad with the bloke on the train is very irritating.

The sky ad that looks like a Lucozade ad is pretty poor on Sky’s part, bad marketing, generic ideas.

The ad where they all take off their jerseys tells me nothing about what to respect. Each other? The swapping of jerseys? Bartering? What Uefa, what?

Shocked that the Dutch haven’t blamed those Orange ads for their poor performance. It worked for Man United with the grey jerseys.

In other news, what exactly is the point of Liam Brady on RTE? Last night he responded to a question with “uhh, well, umm, ahh” before Dunphy rescued him.


45 min.

England look identical to the end of the first half, Parker gifting a ball to a French defender with a terrible forward pass.

46 min.

Ribery pokes Scott Parker in the eye. Everyone over-reacts. Except the ref. Good on him.

48 min.

England are playing an 8-1-1 formation for the second half.

49 min.

Finally England move forward. Oxlade-Chamberlain moves down the centre of the pitch. He plays it out to Milner who tries to cross and wins the corner.

Gerrard floats the ball in, Lloris makes an easy catch and France re-take control.

50 min.

Gerrard sends a long range free kick to Johnson on the right of the French penalty area. His touch is poor, but England at least look more positive now, pushing forward with a touch of confidence in their play and much tighter passing.

52 min.

Gerrard taking charge, making passes and runs. He’s tripped at the edge of the box but the ref waves play on. Right call again.

53 min.

“At 1-1 anything is possible” according to RTE commentators there. Hoping Hulk Hogan runs on and slams someone so.

54 min.

France break down the left, ball is fired into the penalty area and put out for a corner.

Nasri tries the same again after the clearance, but puts it past everyone and it swings out for a goal kick.

55 min.

More owls have been requested by a reader, so here. Owls.

57 min.

Pace has slowed down dramatically now, but France are still in control.

59 min.

As if to illustrate this point, a French fan has fallen asleep.

60 min.

Ribery is down injured, England play on and win a corner. Replay shows Gerrard tripping him

He’s up now, walking it off.

61 min.

England look dangerous from the corner, but can only win another corner, which is wasted, floating over everyone.

62 min.


Referee delays a goal kick to get rid of it.

63 min.

The crowd is almost totally silent except for the occasional whistle. Serious lack of atmosphere. Evra being whistled at loudly.

64 min.

Nasri plays Benzema into space outside the England penalty area. He winds up and takes a powerful shot. Well stopped by Hart.

65 min.

England push forward, poor passes but they retain the ball long enough for Johnson to move in from the right and shoot. He fires it skyward, totally mis-hit.

66 min.

Corner to France, Cole heads it out and Malouda moves to take it. He lofts it into the centre of the penalty area. Hart comes out of his goal to make an easy catch.

67 min.

Here’s the sleepy Frenchman, via Balls.ie

69 min.

France going forward again, Malouda takes a shot from the edge of the area and Parker blocks. France putting a lot pressure on England now, just not able to break through for a decent chance. The fans are calling for shots as soon as they get anywhere near the penalty area.

70 min.

Ashley Young gets a yellow card for a foul in the centre of the pitch.

72 min.

Oxlade-Chamberlain goes on a run to nowhere and wins a free kick. Subs warming up now for England, Defoe coming on first.

73 min.

Benzema battles through the England defense, passes to Nasri, who feeds Benzema through into the penalty area. Johnson makes a fine intercepti0n on the ball to clear and stop a goalscoring opportunity.

74 min.

England break back, then France do the same, Ribery shooting from the right and Hart making the stop.

75 min.

The pace is picking up here but as England make it to the French half Milner goes down and stays down.

France play on until Malouda gets the ball and walks with it, unsure of whether he should put it out or not until the referee stops play.

76 min.

Milner is being treated as Defoe replaces Oxlade-Chamberlain

Parker comes off to be replaced by Henderson.

Milner has made it to the sidelines and looks like he will return.

77 min.

Milner now back on the pitch.

78 min.

Ribery picks up the ball on the left, runs toward the corner followed by Johnson. Johnson lightly taps him with his arm and Ribery goes down for a quick whinge to win a free kick.

79 min.

Nasri floats in the free, which is cleared as far as Cabaye, who shoots from distance and sends it wide.

France win a corner from the opposite side and it ends up with Cabaye again, who tries another shot and wins another corner as it goes wide.

80 min.

Finally, this corner is caught by Hart.

82 min.

Tabloid Headline Update: “J’accuse Roy” – Selection and tactics cost England the win.


Defoe looks lively, but lacks support.

83 min.

Two subs for France, Cabaye off for Newcastle Teammate Ben Arfa and Malouda replaced by Martin.

84 min.

Benzema tries a curling shot from the left corner of the England penalty area. Gerrard heads it away to save what surely would have been a goal.

85 min.

Bus firmly parked by England at this stage. France deserve a goal on this performance, total dominance since late in the first half.

For a striker, Welbeck seems far better at winning the ball than holding it up.

88 min.

Defoe plays it wide to Milner on the right, who plays in a low cross. Welbeck and Mexes both chase it and Mexes slides in to clear it for a corner.

89 min.

The corner is easily defended, Ben Arfa thumping it upfield.

90 min.

Walcott on.

91 min.

France are pushing forward, looking for the winner. England defending well to keep them well away from the goal as whistles from the crowd start.

92 min.

Benzema tries one from way out and Hart stops it.

93 min.

That’s it, final whistle, a good result for England, who do not look a quality side.

England 1-1 France

France deserved the win, but if they can’t break teams down they’ll struggle in this tournament. England need Rooney back, clearly, if they intend to create any real chances.

That’s it from me, I’ll be blogging some more games as the tournament goes on so keep an eye on the blog.

2 Responses to “England vs France Euro 2012 Live Blog”
  1. Very nice, especially the ad review. I have to admit I missed the blog this time but I’m looking forward to the upcoming games. – Martin

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