International round-up: Loïc Rémy the toast of Paris after shooting down sluggish Spain
Friday 05 September 2014
Loïc Rémy celebrated his move to Chelsea and inflicted more pain on Spain by scoring the winner as France beat Vicente del Bosque’s side 1-0 in a friendly in Paris.
Rémy, who was signed by Jose Mourinho for £10.5m from Queen’s Park Rangers on Monday, broke the deadlock with 17 minutes to go at the Stade de France. A neat flick from Karim Benzema played in Mathieu Valbuena and his low cross was emphatically dispatched into the top corner by Rémy.
Spain preferred Manchester Ubited’s David de Gea in goal to Iker Casillas but struggled to create much going forward in a game of few chances.
For France, Benzema had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside early in the second half after Newcastle United’s Moussa Sissoko got free down the right and crossed for the striker to beat De Gea.
Spain waited until the 83rd minute before mustering a shot of any menace as David Silva’s shot drifted just wide, but otherwise failed to hit the target once.
Guus Hiddink’s much-heralded return as Netherlands coach fell flat as his side went two goals and one man down to Italy in the first 10 minutes, eventually losing 2-0.
Italy, also under a new coach in Antonio Conte, took an early lead in Bari, through new Borussia Dortmund striker Ciro Immobile’s third-minute strike. Things got even worse for the Dutch when defender Bruno Martins Indi brought down Simone Zaza in the penalty area seven minutes later. Indi was somewhat harshly sent off and Daniele De Rossi converted the penalty to make it 2-0.
One man who missed the World Cup because Sweden did not qualify, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, had the consolation of reaching 50 goals for his country, a new record for the national side, as he scored both goals in the 2-0 win over Estonia.
World Cup quarter-finalists Belgium beat Australia 2-0 in Liège through Dries Mertens’ deflected shot and a late Axel Witsel long-range effort.
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