Tuesday, 12 June 2012

France held

England took a deserved draw in my book last night in a terrific looking stadium in Donetsk. I can't see why this French side are being quite so revered. Samir Nasry and Franck Ribery are both decent players but they are not Zidane and Henry in their prime. 


I thought England were misfiring slightly in midfield and looked marginally more threatening from set-pieces as a result. Scott Parker looked tired from the start but gave his all nonetheless. The England lead came from a high and swirling Gerrard cross from a free-kick and if Milner had managed a tad more composure when rounding the keeper that might have been too much for the French. As it was, the French shot at every opportunity and it was Nasry who beat his unsighted club-mate Hart from distance to equalise. Wayne Rooney was missed and it's a shame he will have to sit out the next one too.


In the other game, Andriy Shevchenko rolled back the years with two superb headers to win the game for the hosts after Ibrahimovic had flicked in for a Sweden lead. Ukraine just about deserved the victory and these sides will both give England a game but neither looked much better in my opinion. 


We have now seen every side and the Russians and the Crotians have been first to catch the eye with big wins from ambitious performances. Things should be much clearer come the weekend when everyone will know what they have to do in their final qualifying game. Tonight Russia play co-hosts Poland in which should be the pick after Czech Republic entertain the Greeks.

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