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France win hints at new beginning

France win hints at new beginning

New coach Laurent Blanc believes France’s impressive Euro 2012 qualifier win in Bosnia-Hercegovina could mark the beginning of a new era in French football.
France appeared to draw a line under their miserable World Cup experience in Sarejevo on Tuesday, meting out a comprehensive 2-0 win, the points earned by goals from Karim Benzema and Florent Malouda.
The manner of the win was as important as the win itself, with France performing weith brio and endeavour, looking fast and dangerous in attack to get their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign back on track after Friday’s disappointing home defeat to Belarus.
“I feel a lot of joy,” said Blanc after his first victory at the third attempt since taking over the helm of Les Bleus from Raymond Domenech.
Reflecting on his side’s opening qualifier 1-0 loss to Belarus at the Stade de France the former Bordeaux coach added: “There, we didn’t manage to translate the good things seen in training, in terms of spirit.
“Just as we didn’t feel despair (after Friday’s reverse) we aren’t feeling fantastic now (after this win), but it can be the start.”
Benzema, who was left out of Domenech’s World Cup squad, described his 72nd minute goal as “the most important” he had ever scored for his country.
“Everyone played very well but I had the chance to score the goal which acted as a trigger for the game. We remained solid, this is good for the future.”
The Real Madrid striker, who was injured and missed the Belarus defeat, added: “It’s a pleasure to score in the big games and especially in a match where a lot was expected of us and of me.”
Benzema said he had felt “annoyed” and “revengeful” at being left out of the World Cup.
“But that’s life,” he shrugged.
“I’m 22, I’ve still got everything to prove and to do to build a great career with the France team. I knew I had to produce a big performance (against Bosnia).”
Benzema celebrated his return to the side after his injury by opening the scoring when he controlled Gael Clichy’s left-wing cross, span away from a defender and fired left-footed past Kenan Hasagic.
The visitors doubled their lead six minutes later with a delightfully executed goal; Malouda tapping into an empty net after a one-touch move involving Benzema, Abou Diaby and Mathieu Valbuena.
Bosnia coach Safet Susic said he was not surprised by France’s performance.
“France are a great team and I can’t see them not finishing in the top two (in the group),” said Bosnia coach Safet Susic.
“It’s a big disappointment. We respected France a bit too much. We were too timid.”
The trip to Sarajevo was supposed to be France’s most taxing Group D assignment but the smiles on the players’ faces at the final whistle suggested it could be the game that finally put the World Cup fiasco to bed.


Updated : 2021-05-06 07:10 GMT+08:00