Sport

Dembele scores victor as 10-man France beats England 3-2

Dembele scores victor as 10-man France beats England 3-2

Ousmane Dembele fired the victor as 10-man France beat England 3-2 in an entertaining friendly on Tuesday after Harry Kane had scored twice for the visitors and France's Raphael Varane was sent off early in the second half.

However, Les Bleus fought back and led at the half-time interval courtesy of goals from Samuel Umtiti and Djibril Sidibe.

Dembele led the charge and played the ball out wide, only for Gary Cahill's intervention to play it back into his path. Showing great composure he cut in and got away a shot that Heaton denied, only for France to score another rebound as Sidibe turned in.

This was the first time that England had played under the Video Assistant Referee, the system of decisions that officials are reviewing in the stands and it led to a red card for France's Raphael Varane, which meant the hosts played the second half depleted.

Kane not only added another two goals to the late equaliser he scored against Scotland in Saturday's World Cup qualifier, taking his tally to an impressive eight in 19 appearances, he carries himself with an assured air that makes him a natural fit as a player and captain at this level.

Despite being down to ten men, France continue to dominate the game and they finally got their victor through Ousmane Dembele in the 78minute of the game.

On the gulf between the sides, England manager Gareth Southgate said: 'The gap between the teams is what I thought (it might be). "Tom Heaton will start and Jack Butland will play the second half", Southgate told reporters after England trained in the leafy Parisian suburb of Croissy-sur-Seine on Monday.

But they were unable to hold on as the the impressive Kylian Mbappe laid the ball on for the equally-brilliant Ousmane Dembele to drill home the victor 12 minutes from time.

Alli's burst into the box ended under pressure from Varane, with referee Massa pointing to the spot and referring to the video assistants.

England went straight up the other end of the field and Hugo Lloris played it save as he tipped a low Bertrand strike behind for a corner. This points towards a French victory, but with rotation likely on both sides, it opens the door for the Three Lions to get a result.

In prime position to force a win, England were instead outplayed for the remainder of the game, unable to get close to Pogba and unable to cope with the pace and intelligence of Dembele, Thomas Lemar and Kylian Mbappe. Sometimes you have to keep adjusting, but good players are always going to test you, like France did today. "Clearly, even with video, you won't get every decision right".

"It was complicated by the sending off and the penalty", the French coach said. "There is still an element of one person's judgment within that".

The Southampton left-back's low cross picked out Kane to easily complete the formalities inside the France six-yard box.


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