France 1 England 1: Roy Hodgson pleased with a point

Roy Hodgson was happy with a point after his England side were held to a draw by France in their Euro 2012 opener

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
France
1
England
1

Roy Hodgson insisted he was satisfied with a point after England were held to a draw by France in their Euro 2012 Group D opener.

Samir Nasri levelled for Laurent Blanc’s side five minutes before half-time after Joleon Lescott had headed England into the lead from Steven Gerrard’s free-kick.

Both teams began to lag in the closing stages in hot and humid conditions in Donetsk, and Hodgson admitted he was glad to get this game out of the way ahead of England’s remaining group clashes against Ukraine and Sweden.

“I’m obviously pleased, for the players most of all,” said the England boss. “The conditions were difficult for both teams and I thought both teams showed incredible spirit to keep going.

“I thought we started both halves well, but we suffered a period of pressure before the end of the half as France finished well and unfortunately we conceded. I’m glad to get this game out of the way and I’m now looking forward to the rest of this competition.

“The French, as we know and as most people who watch them know, flood the midfield. They try to drag your defenders out of position. It was very important that our midfielders stuck to their task. The two central ones did very well, and the wide ones deserve to be mentioned as well.”

Hodgson caused a stir by naming Arsenal youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in his starting line-up for Monday’s clash – and the England manager was left pleased by the 18-year-old’s promising display.

“I think [Oxlade-Chamberlain] deserved his place,” he continued. “He’s got that ability when he gets in those positions to turn people around. I thought he did quite well, I thought he was quite dangerous.

“I told him: ‘Don’t get hung up on this performance and remember there’ll be lots more games to come in an England shirt.'”

France manager Blanc conceded that a draw was probably the right result.

“Overall, I think the draw was fair for both teams,” he said. “The fact that it was hot on the pitch didn’t favour the side that attacked most, and France attacked most.

“We’re disappointed not to have won it but glad not to have lost. And we didn’t deserve to lose.”

MORE:

MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

The Sport Review
Grigor Dimitrov beats David Goffin to win his biggest title, ‘But I still have a lot to give’
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 25 footballers’ cars: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid players feature
The Sport Review
Top 20 Nigerian footballers in Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal player wages 2017: Do you know how much Xhaka, Ozil and Coquelin earn each week?
The Sport Review
Steven Gerrard replies when asked if Chelsea can win Champions League
The Sport Review
Michael Owen sends warning to Chelsea ahead of Liverpool FC clash
The Sport Review
Sir Alex Ferguson privately raves about 20-year-old Man United star – report