France beat Wales in a friendly ahead of Euro 2020

Goals from Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele were enough to see Didier Deschamps’s World Cup winners to victory over Interim Wales boss Rob Page’s side in a Euro 2020 warm-up. The away side were controversially reduced to 10-men midway through the first half when Neco Williams was sent off for a handball on the goal line.

Mbappe, pouncing on the rebound from Adrien Rabiot’s low effort, opened the scoring followed by Griezmann’s stunning second just after the break. Hitting France’s third on 79 minutes was substitute Ousmane Dembele, who struck the net after Benzema had hit the post. Wales played more than one hour with 10 players but still played well against the full force side.

Karim Benzema, making a return to international football after a six-year hiatus, missed the resulting spot-kick after a fine save from Danny Ward. “I had good sensations after a week of hard physical work and a long club season,” said Benzema. “I felt good throughout the game, it’s a good sign. We still have time to fine-tune but what mattered tonight is that we tried things and that we won.”

The 33-year-old played his last match with Les Bleus in October 2015 also at the Allianz Riviera in Nice, scoring twice in a friendly against Armenia to take his international tally to 27 goals. He then missed the European Championship a year later and France’s World Cup success of 2018. Benzema’s last game in a major tournament for France was against the Germans in a 2014 World Cup quarterfinal defeat.

France were drawn in the Group of Death in Group F alongside current holders Portugal, three-time Euro champion and four-time World Cup winner Germany and Hungary, with their campaign to start on June 15 against Germany.  Meanwhile, Wales were drawn in Group A with Switzerland, Turkey and Italy, and will take on Switzerland on June 12 in Baku, before facing Turkey four days later also in Azerbaijan.

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