In Football’s latest news World champions and favorites, France began their Euro 2020 preparations with a 3-0 victory over Wales, who played for nearly an hour with ten men in Nice.
In a frantic 10-minute period Wales was reduced to ten men in the first half as Neco Williams was unfairly sent off for a handball following a Karim Benzema effort. Still, Danny Ward saved the penalty with a brilliant save (27′). From the box’s edge (48th).
Benzema, who was implicated in a blackmail lawsuit involving his French teammate Mathieu Valbuena and has not played for France over six years, struck the penalty deep to Ward’s right, but Ward superbly diverted him.
Benzema was anxious for a goal to celebrate his return to the squad after nearly six years away from the team. However, he hit the post late, with substitute Ousmane Dembele slotting home on the rebound (79) to seal the victory.
France took the lead with a rebounding attempt after another Ward save (35), and Antoine Griezmann added a second with a stunning curling goal from the edge of the box (48).
Wales was eager to meet France in this warm-up game since the world champions received the same attention as their first Euro 2020 opponent, Switzerland.
Despite a good start by Wales, France had more chances in the first half. It established a numerical advantage in contentious circumstances. Even with ten men, there were enough positives defensively for a Wales team that has only surrendered ten goals in 14 games—limiting the world champions for long stretches despite a clear lead.
France: Lloris (7), Pavard (7), Varane (6), Kimpembe (7), Hernandez (7), Tolisso (7), Pogba (8), Rabiot (7), Griezmann (8), Mbappe (7), Benzema (7)
Subs: Kounde (6), Digne (6), Coman (6), Sissoko (6), Dembele (7), Ben Yedder (NA)
Wales: Ward (8), Roberts (7), Mepham (7), Rodon (6), Gunter (7), N Williams (5), Allen (6), Morrell (6), Bale (6), James (7), Wilson (6)
Subs: Moore (7), Levitt (6), Ramsey (6), Davies (6), Brooks (5), Colwill (NA)
Man of the match: Danny Ward
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