21:53: FULL TIME: France 4-0 Norway.
21:51: France win a corner in the last minute of added time… but they elect to take it short and pass it around the midfield. Norway have been outclassed today in all honesty.
21:48: Close: Loic Remy is denied once more by Nylan, as his curling shot is tipped over the bar. The ex-Newcastle man has had a good impact after coming off the bench.
21:44: Close: Loic Remy is denied by a fantastic save by Nylan, who has probably been Norway’s best player. That is saying a lot about their other players, considering they are 4-0 down…
21:40: Substitution: Yohan Cabaye is replaced by Remy Cabella. Cabaye was impressive today – dictating play from midfield effectively.
21:38: Once again Norway win a corner, but cannot put in a good delivery. The cross goes straight into the hands of Ruffier in goal, and that is pretty much the most the St-Etienne goalkeeper has had to do all game.
21:35: Substitution: Rio Mavuba is on in place of Blaise Matuidi, who has once again been excellent today.
21:32: Close: Remy almost has a second goal in 5 minutes! France win the ball back in the Norway half, and Remy makes another clever run past the Norway defence, but his finish is just wide this time.
21:30: GOAL: France 4-0 Norway (Giroud). France are running away with this. Valbuena, who has been excellent, crosses for Giroud, who heads home at the near post with a looping header into the far corner.
21:28: GOAL: France 3-0 Norway (Remy). Another very good goal! Remy, who has just come on, is released through on goal by a brilliant through ball, and takes his chance with aplomb, curling past Nyland with ease. Henry-esque.
21:25: Substitution: Loic Remy comes on in place of Griezmann.
21:23: France just look like they have many more gears they can go into if they need it. Norway have not troubled them at all, and France have not really gone out of first gear to be honest. It has been a relaxed performance so far.
21:20: Norway have been pretty poor going forward, and this time when they try to attack down the right, the cross goes straight out for a goal kick. Ruffier could not have asked for an easier match so far.
21:17: Close: Valbuena almost scores a spectacular goal. He tries an acrobatic shot similar to the one Di Canio scored for West Ham all those years back, but it flies just over the bar.
21:14: Close: France almost 3-0 up. Valbuena puts in another fantastic cross, but it is just too long for Giroud, and Koscielny cannot quite get enough on it to turn it towards goal. France just ramping it up now.
21:12: GOAL: France 2-0 Norway (Giroud). Brilliant goal. Valbuena sends the ball over to Giroud, who’s first touch is poor, but the ball bounces up nicely for him, and he crashes a volley high into the top corner from the edge of the box. Very nice goal, and France are in control now.
21:09: Norway win a corner early on in the second half, but once again the delivery is poor, and Giroud is able to head away at the near post. Norway must do better if they want to get back into this.
21:06: Substitutions: Lucas Digne and Sissoko have come on in place of Evra and Pogba respectively, as Deschamps gives his substitutes 45 minutes to impress.
21:03: KICK OFF: We are back underway in France vs Norway!
20:59: The second half is going to get underway soon, and I would expect Deschamps to begin ringing the changes early in the second half. Let’s hope Les Bleus can grab another few goals.
20:53: France have been dominant in this match so far, without running away with proceedings. Deschamps will be satisfied with the performance, but if he can just get out a little more effort from his players, then Norway are really here for the taking.
20:47: HALF TIME: France 1-0 Norway.
20:44: France win a free kick in a dangerous position… but Cabaye’s efforts is deflected away to safety by the Norway wall.
20:42: For all their possession, Norway have failed to create any real clear cut chances. Koscielny in particular has been impressive at the back, but really most of the defensive work is being done by the midfield trio in front of him.
20:37: Close: Finally, the front three combine. Giroud lays the ball brilliantly into the path of Griezmann, who bursts into the box, but his pull back is just behind the Arsenal man. It would have been a fantastic goal.
20:34: Olivier Giroud has looked very subdued after his initial early chance. He is not getting much service from the wings tough, to be fair to him, but he will have to do much better than this to convince Deschamps that he should be first choice.
20:31: Norway have made a good game of this, to be fair to them. They have not been fazed by this French team, who should sweep past them on paper, and do look dangerous when they attack, especially on the wings.
20:28: Debuchy makes a strong run down the right hand side, taking on two Norway players, but his final cross is poor and nowhere near Giroud, and the move breaks down. The front three have been quiet since the opening exchanges.
20:25: France have regained a strong foothold in the game after that recent Norway pressure, and are now starting to dictate possession again. Matuidi in particular has impressing with the way he is breaking up Norway’s attacks.
20:21: Close: Norway almost respond to that France opener thanks to a dangerous free kick, which Ruffier tries to come and claim but misses, but luckily France survive as the ball flies harmlessly wide.
20:17: GOAL: France 1-0 Norway (Pogba). France have the lead thanks to Paul Pogba! Valbuena delivers an inch perfect cross, and Pogba is on hand to head right into the bottom corner past Nyland!
20:14: Norway look to break on France after an Evra cross is cleared, but Debuchy runs back and sends Daehli flying with a nudge. The referee correctly gives a foul, and Debuchy will probably go into the book next time.
20:12: Close: Griezmann almost scores again! This time he gets his head on a Cabaye shot, and directs it past the helpless goalkeeper, but it flies just wide of the post. The Real Sociedad man has had a very good start.
20:10: Norway are really beginning to impress here, and have just had a long spell of possession. Daehli in particular looks dangerous, and has passed Debuchy on several occasions, but the French defence survive.
20:06: Norway are starting to get into the game a little bit more now, and have a chance after Sakho gifts them the ball in the penalty box, but Evra saves his captain’s blushes with a strong challenge to win the ball back.
20:04: Close: France almost off to the perfect start, but Nyland makes two fantastic saves! First Griezmann and then Giroud have powerful headers saved by the flying Norway goalkeeper. Promising start for Les Bleus.
20:01: KICK OFF: We are underway in France vs Norway!
19:59: There is a very impressive crowd out to watch Les Bleus tonight, as always. Kick off is imminent, so let’s see what the match has in store for us…
19:57: Team Reaction: France have opted for the 4-3-3 formation, which has been Deschamps’ formation of choice for a while now. Benzema and Varane are rested following their exploits in the Champions League final, giving Olivier Giroud the chance to impress leading the line. The midfield trio of Cabaye, Matuidi and Pogba are expected to be the same three that will start for France at the World Cup.
19:54: Norway team vs France: Nyland – Hogli, Linnes, Hangeland, Johansen – King, Nordtveit, Elyounoussi, Tettey – Jenssen, Daehli.
19:52: France team vs Norway: Ruffier – Debuchy, Evra, Sakho (c), Koscielny – Cabaye, Matuidi, Pogba – Giroud, Valbuena, Griezmann.
19:50: Welcome one and all to a Live Commentary of France’s first of three friendly games before the World Cup begins. Today, Les Bleus line up against Nowray with a team that is a refreshing blend of young talent and experienced players. It should be a good watch, so let’s get straight into some team news…
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