Pedro lifts pressure on Spain with only goal in Paris against France

World Cup qualifiers round-up

Spain showed their pedigree last night by beating France 1-0 in Paris to move back to the top of their group, Barcelona’s Pedro tapping in a cross from Arsenal left-back Nacho Monreal in the 58th minute.

Didier Deschamps’ side missed several good chances before the goal, Karim Benzema, who was booed by the home crowd when taken off later, firing over the bar and Franck Ribéry miscontrolling when played in on Spain keeper Victor Valdes. Blaise Matuidi and Raphaël Varane also wasted opportunites after Pedro broke the deadlock and French frustration was compounded when Paul Pogba was sent off late on.

“This is a very important three points. It helps support the conviction we have in our ideas,” the Spain coach, Vicente del Bosque, said. “Everyone has doubts at times.”

An equaliser from David Alaba two minutes into added time denied the Republic of Ireland a vital win in Dublin and dealt a grievous blow to Irish hopes of a play-off place as Austria sneaked a 2-2 draw.

The visitors had taken the lead in the 11th minute through Martin Harnik to beat David Forde. Two goals from Jonathan Walters, one a penalty, put the Republic ahead by half-time however, they failed to kill the game off and paid the price through Alaba’s late strike.

Northern Ireland fell to two late goals as Israel won 2-0 in Belfast. Southampton’s Steven Davis twice went close for Michael O’Neill’s side but breakaway efforts from Lion Refaelov and Eden Ben Basat in the last 13 minutes kept the visitors in second place in Group F.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Hughes is hit by a bouncer from Sean Abbott
cricketStephen Brenkley on batsman's tragic flaw that led to critical injury
Sport
Dejected England players applaud the fans following their team's 3-0 defeat
football

News
people

Actress isn't a fan of Ed Miliband

News
The Bounceway, designed by Architecture for Humanity
newsLondon to add 'The Bounceway' to commuting options
Life and Style
Stefan Gates with some mince flies
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital