'Sluggish beginnings': The reaction in France following England draw


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Following England's draw with France, we take a look at how the result was greeted in France...

The French team

Laurent Blanc: "We are a little disappointed because we prepared to win but after the first 20 minutes of the game we realised we could lose so a draw is not a bad result."

Karim Benzema: "We struggled in the first 20 minutes but then we came from behind and created many opportunities. If we had let loose we could have scored a second or third."

Alou Diarra: "They caused us problems with passing and a few combinations… but we are frustrated because we really had the ball."

The national press

Le Figaro: “France conceded a draw against England”

Le Figaro is stuck between the satisfaction of earning a draw in France's hardest group game and the feeling that they could and perhaps should have won if they’d been a bit more daring going forward.

Liberation followed the same lines as Le Figaro with the headline “France neutralized by England”.

Humanite: “The Blues come up against the English in the opening game”

The French team showed encouraging signs but in the face of a committed England team missing key players they did not do enough to deserve to win. England also created a couple of decent chances themselves and could have won, a thought not lost on the French.

L’Equipe:  “Not to be repeated”

The French players and manager unanimously said that the improved after 20 minutes. However, L’Equipe says 30 since they didn’t improve until England scored. The two main criticisms of the French are that it took them too long to get going and that even when they did they lacked that killer blow or bit of creativity to break through a committed and organised England defense. L’Equipe was however silent over Samir Nasri’s response to their criticism of his form coming into the competition.

Le Monde: “It is still frustration that dominates”

The French are annoyed because they believe that the English would have settled for a point before the match, with Scott Parker saying a post-match interview that a he would have been happy with a point. "The English were content to defend well," they reported, however Le Monde concedes that their team had a "lack of imagination in the game.”

Metro: “Benzema: We have real strength”

The French side believe that they showed enough in their opening game to give them hope for the rest of the competition. Karim Benzema believes that much like the English there is no pressure on France and this was shown in their quick response to falling behind to Joleon Lescott’s goal. Philipe Mexes once again comes under fire however it was in fact Alou Diarra at fault for the Lescott goal.

20 Minutes: “Sluggish beginnings of the Blues”

20 Minutes accuses the French of overconfidence and says that the English were "much more valiant than expected". Benzema and Franck Ribery are criticised for not imposing themselves on the game but 20 Minutes, in contrast to L’Equipe, do commend Mexes for a much stronger performance than anticipated.

Direct Matin: “A draw with England is considered generally disappointing”

Direct Matin says the French lacked the creative invention to make their possession count but does also echo the thoughts of Benzema by saying that hopes are now high for the rest of the competition.

The regional press

L’Est Éclair: “The French huffed and puffed in the face of the English” but to no avail.

L’Union: “There is nothing to gloat about”

L’Ardennais: “A lacklustre performance”