Yohan Cabaye has admitted that England made it very difficult for France yesterday, with their rugged and spirited defensive play.
Jolean Lescott races past Yohan Cabaye after scoring England’s goal
France were the better side, and at times dominated the game, but they couldn’t get the win, thanks in large part to a well organized and sturdy England defense.
And England even had to rely on their defense for the goal, with Joleon Lescott’s scoring in the 30th minute with a great header from a perfect Steven Gerrard free-kick.
Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye – who had a good game in the heart of the France midfield - had this to say after the game:
“We took some time to enter the game,” “It took us a while to get our game flowing.” “We will need to keep this good circulation of the ball for what is to come.”
“We love to have the ball, that is our trademark.” “We expected England to field two lines of four players, but we had a hard time to play in depth.”
And Patrice Evra thought the game resembled Chelsea’s famous performance at the Nou Camp, in the European Champions league last season:
“We are frustrated, because I think we played much better,” “At times, it was like there were 15 bodies in front of us. It was really difficult to find space.”
“People laugh, but they played the way that Chelsea played against Barcelona.” “Maybe the fans want England to play more football, but if they win the tournament like that, they will be happy.”
Those are fair words from the Manchester United left-back.
England got a good result yesterday, but France were by far the better side, and had most of the possession, especially after the first 20 minutes or so.
But it was a much better result than it was a performance from the England side, and we shouldn’t get too carried away, and the England players were hanging on in the last 20 minutes or so, as France became even more dominant.
In the other Group D game, Andrei Shevchenko showed what a hero he is, and he’s still a decent player even at 35, with two great headed goals, in a come-from-behind win by the Ukraine.
When they had gone behind to a goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic after 52 minutes, Ukraine surged forward, and within 10 minutes they were 2-1 up.
And they kept up their pace and determination to record a great first victory in the Euo 2012 Championships, which they are hosting with Poland.
We were hoping for a draw in that game, which would have benefited England, but it was hard to deny the Ukraine such an emotional win, with their best ever player and captain scoring two great goals.
England will have to start attacking and try to win the next two games of course, rather than concentrating on not losing, which is basically what they did yesterday – if we are honest.