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

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: 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: Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

Queen's 2018
The Sport Review
Queen’s 2018: Marin Cilic beats Novak Djokovic to bring double joy for Croatia
The Sport Review
10 goalkeepers Liverpool FC could sign in summer transfer window
The Sport Review
Arsenal transfers: 10 targets Gunners could sign for defence in summer
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning house in Madrid
The Sport Review
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
10 players Chelsea could sign in the 2018 summer transfer window
The Sport Review
Roy Keane instructs Man United how to get best out of Paul Pogba
The Sport Review
Halle 2018: Borna Coric ends Roger Federer grass run to win biggest title and career-high ranking
The Sport Review
Olivier Giroud reacts to controversial Unai Emery Arsenal decision