Published: Wed, June 14, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Reality check for Southgate as new stars inspire France


HARRY KANE took his global goal tally to eight but couldn't prevent England from slipping to a 3-2 friendly defeat against ten-man France at the Stade de France.

When the chance was there to stamp its authority on the game, after France had center back Raphael Varane sent off in the 47th minute, England simply lacked composure.

Ousmane Dembele offered 10-man France the success (78), locating the bottom edge from 15 yards as England finished the season on a sour note.

The words to the British national anthem will be displayed on the huge TV screens at the Stade de France, Paris, so French football fans can sing along in tribute to those who lost their lives in the Manchester and London atrocities.

Harry Kane provided England with the flawless start when he turned in Ryan Bertrand's cross after only nine minutes - but the pace and movement of the France attack was soon proving too much for manager Gareth Southgate's experimental three-man defence.

"We've been competitive in all three games for long periods of time, but I think we've had to play at our absolute limit to stay in all three of those matches".

Kane made it 2-2 for England from the penalty spot straight after the restart after Varane had felled Dele Alli, a foul for which he was shown a red card after the intervention of assistant referee Marco Guido. "Having seen it again, it seems a bit severe", Deschamps said.

Olivier Giroud had a brilliant strike ruled out for offside but France levelled on 22nd minutes when Heaton could only push a Giroud header out to Samuel Umitti, who scored his first goal for France.

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"We should have got a result", the England manager said.

This was the first time since November 2012 that England had conceded more than two goals in a game - with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring all four for Sweden in a 4-2 victory.

"On the other hand we have to get better as a team and at managing the game, especially when they went down to 10 men".

Southgate feels the Three Lions should have, as a minimum, held on for the draw in Paris, saying his players' lack of game management was the reason for the defeat. In the space of 90 minutes we saw the things we are very good at, with the ball we caused a lot of problems and looked a threat and created good openings and took our first goal very well. "That athletic ability is what makes them hard to play against".

"With Spain, it was their ability to keep the ball better than us, that we had to keeping chasing and chasing and chasing".

Paul Pogba played the ball in for Mbappe at the top of the box, but rather than trying to shoot, the teenager laid the ball off for Dembele, whose shot took a deflection off Cahill and into the net. "They received us very well when we came to Wembley after the attacks in Paris".

An English flag was displayed by a section of the Stade de France crowd as the teams entered the field.

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