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Wembley Stadium

Thursday November 18, 2010England 1 - 2 France

By Rhonda Richards | In England

England were dealt a blow as they suffered a 2-1 loss to France in the two sides’ friendly clash at Wembley, with Micah coming on for the second-half.

Having been sidelined from international duty for the last three years by Fabio Capello, Micah was delighted to be handed a call-up for the clash.

For the first-half, Phil Jagielka lined up on the right whilst Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson were handed their England debuts.

As it was, France were to have much of the proceedings their own way as England struggled to get a grip of the game, though an early Steven Gerrard free-kick forced a solid save out of Hugo Lloris.

At the other end, Florent Malouda fired in a daisy cutter that Ben Foster appeared to have under control, although the ball slipped through his finger tips before being grabbed at the last second by the stopper.

Yoann Gourcuff was next up to fire on goal, driving a powerful effort towards the back of the net and drawing a fine stop by Foster.

There was a feeling of inevitability as France continued to pressure and when Karim Benzema picked the ball up on the edge of England’s box and played a one-two with Malouda, there was only going to be one result – 1-0 to the visitors after a well-placed left foot shot.

The striker could have had another within minutes as he again found space in the Three Lions’ box, though his effort was sliced wide.

The players trudged off with a chorus of boos in their ears, and Capello appeared to take note as he brought Micah, City teammate Adam Johnson and Ashley Young on.

Micah made his presence felt immediately as he charged down the right and cut the ball back, forcing a corner, but the early bright spell was ended with a second France goal.

Bacary Sagna broke down France’s right and cut the ball into England’s six yard box, and Mathieu Valbuena timed his run to perfection to fire home.

There was hope for the hosts as Gerrard connected with a free-kick and saw his header flick off the crossbar as it went over, and the Liverpool skipper went close again with a snapshot that skimmed just wide.

However, Gerrard would soon be forced off with an apparent hamstring knock, and replacement Peter Crouch made his mark straight away with his first touch of the game.

Young’s corner found the Tottenham striker at the far post and, having lost his man, he was able to volley perfectly into the back of the net to make it 2-1.

When the final whistle was blown, a second wave of boos rung around Wembley, and Capello will have mixed thoughts about the players on display following a weak first-half performance but an improved outing in the second.

England: Foster, Jagielka, Ferdinand, Lescott, Gibbs, Walcott, Henderson, Gerrard, Barry, Milner, Carroll.
Subs: Loach (gk), Richards, Warnock, Smalling, Cahill, Young, A Johnson, C Cole, Bothroyd, Crouch.

France: Lloris, Sagna, Mexes, Rami, Abidal, Nasri, Gourcuff, M’Vila, Malouda, Valbuena, Benzema.
Subs: Carrasso, Mandanda, Sakho, Cabaye, Remy, Hoarau, Reveillere, Payet, Diarra, Kaboul, Gameiro, Clichy.