May 27, 2014 at 8pm UK
France
4-0
NorwayNorway
Pogba (15'), Giroud (51', 69'), Remy (67')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Tettey (44')

Live Commentary: France 4-0 Norway

Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba in action for France against Ukraine on November 15, 2013.
© Getty Images
Relive Sports Mole's live text commentary of the international friendly between France and Norway where the hosts won 4-0.

France secured a thumping World Cup warm-up victory against Norway on Tuesday night to give coach Didier Deschamps a good start to his Brazil preparations.

Paul Pogba scored the only goal of the first half with a diving header from a Mathieu Valbuena cross, and at the break Norway were far from out of the clash.

However, in the second 45 a brace from Olivier Giroud and a strike from Loic Remy meant that France managed a 4-0 win that their performance thoroughly deserved.

Read how the action unfolded below.


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7.32pmHello football fans and welcome to our coverage of the start of France's World Cup preparations. They are in the relatively straightforward Group E alongside Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras, but tonight should prove to be a good test of Didier Deschamps's squad.

7.35pmBefore I go further into the build-up, let's take a look at the teams, yes? Yes.

7.36pmFRANCE XI: Ruffier; Debuchy, Koscielny, Sakho, Evra; Valbuena, Pogba, Cabaye, Matuidi, Griezmann; Giroud

7.38pmNORWAY XI: Nyland; Hogli, Linnes, Hangeland, Johansen; King, Nordtveit, Elyounoussi, Tettey; Jenssen, Daehli

7.40pmSo that's a strong looking France side, but it lacks certainly one of, if not both of, France's key players - Karim Benzema and Franck Ribery. It is easy to see where the pair would fit in, for Mathieu Valbuena and Olivier Giroud. With those two there's a real chance that France can cause damage in Brazil next month.

7.43pmEven without the Bayern Munich and Real Madrid players, France should have enough to take the win tonight. Looking at their team, that is one fine central midfield! Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi and Yohan Cabaye have a good blend of competitiveness and creativity and they could well control things in the middle of the park.

7.46pmThere is plenty of talent in the Norway team as well, as Per-Mathias Hogmo picks a pretty young XI in Paris. Mats Daehli of recently relegated Cardiff City starts in attack, while Norwich City's Alexander Tettey and Havard Nordtveit have a big test ahead of them trying to keep France's midfield trio quiet.

7.50pmWith just over 10 minutes to go, we should touch upon France's chances in Brazil. They should come through the group unscathed, but with a French World Cup squad you just never know. Remember in both the previous international tournaments in 2010 and 2012 there was dressing room unrest and an early exit. However, Deschamps should be the man to snap his players into line and I personally expect a lot from them.

7.53pmHogmo took over Norway mid-way through their disappointing qualification campaign. They have beaten Moldova and drawn with Czech Republic in recent friendlies, but aside from one or two players there does appear to be something of a lack of talent coming through. Not much will be expected of them tonight, but that will suit them and just a good performance would do.

7.57pmSo we're just a couple of minutes away from kickoff then. Who do I think will win? France, definitely, and I can see them winning by either 2-0 or 3-1, as well. Let's say 2-0 as they do not have Benzema up front tonight.

1 minKICKOFF: Here we go then. The visitors in red get us underway in front of what looks like a full house in France.

2 minSAVES! Early chance there for Antoine Griezmann, who got in front of his man to a near-post free kick and headed backwards, but it was tipped over by Nyland. The Norway keeper was called into action from the corner as Giroud powered a header goalwards, but it was well kept out. Frighteningly fast start for France here.

4 minElyounoussi is down receiving treatment for a knock. He's helped off the field and is waiting to get back on, so he will be fine.

6 minSome very risky defending there from Mamadou Sakho. Initially he does well to get round Elyounoussi who was bearing down on him, but he then lost it to Josh King, before the eventual cross was cleared. Deschamps will not be happy with his centre-back there.

9 minNorway just keeping the ball a bit at the moment. The ball is played to Daehli, who does really well to beat Debuchy and get to the flank. He comes inside but the space is well closed down by France and the hosts win it back.

11 minHalf-chance for Pogba there and he probably should have passed. A few minutes ago Matuidi drove down the left to cross with the ball going narrowly wide from outside the box, but now Pogba drives through the middle and with men left and right he in the end shoots tamely and it's blocked.

13 minProdding and probing here by France and Griezmann in particular is looking to find space in support. Both wide men, Griezmann and Valbuena are acting more as forward to help out Giroud, with Debuchy and Evra looking to roam down the flanks. I can't help but wonder whether Lucas Digne would be right right man down the left instead of Evra.

15 minGOAL! France 1-0 Norway (Paul Pogba)

15 minIt was coming but that's a really well placed header from Pogba. A move is worked on the left with Valbuena standing up a cross for the unmarked Juventus man to guide into the far bottom corner. It has to go down as woeful marking, but there was still work to do from Pogba. It will be tough for Norway from here.

18 minCLOSE! Driving run by Pogba and he's close to his second. As he gets into range his eyes light up but this time his shot goes wide of the near post. It must be brilliant for France fans to know that they have this young man for the next 10 or more years.

22 minOnly that Pogba chance in the way of efforts on goal since the opener. It has settled down slightly as Hangeland pings a great ball out left to Elyounoussi, with Johansen's cross deflected behind.

24 minGood defending there by Debuchy, who had a couple of yards on Daehli before he played a one-two with Koscielny to get it clear. Norway have come into it a bit more in the last five minutes but they have not really troubled France yet.

25 minThey might have a chance now, however, as Matuidi is lazy into a tackle with King and brings the Blackburn Rovers man down around 30 yards from goal. Morten Gamst Pedersen is on the bench, unfortunately for them.

26 minCLOSE! Really good effort there from Havard Nordtveit, who fires under the wall and just wide of Ruffier's post. The France keeper saw it late and I don't think he would have got there, either.

28 minThe visitors look to come forward on the break, with the move well anchored by Elyounoussi, who has been good so far. However, once more Debuchy has the speed to beat Hogli and shepherd it out of play.

30 minThis is good from Norway, who are spraying it around neatly. Hogli again finds space on the left and his cross is deflected behind for a corner. They're just upping the pressure a bit at the moment.

32 minNorway have actually shaded the possession, with 52%. That will please Hogmo, but in terms of chances France have had by far the better throughout. Hogli wins a fortunate throw after the ball was overhit to him but stayed on via the corner flag.

34 minGiroud goes down in the area and having got back up he wants a penalty. There were no other appeals from his teammates and the referee did not give it a second glance, I think it was just good strength from Johansen.

38 minReally good chance there for France, as Griezmann is played through in the box, but there's no-one there except Giroud to get on to his cutback and Norway win it back. There should have been more players getting into the box.

40 minFrance have been a bit guilty at times of overplaying things. Valbuena attempts a couple of one-twos on the edge of the box, but the second goes out of play for a goal kick. Will there be another goal before the break?

42 minSAVE! Ruffier properly called into action for the first time. He thinks a cross is coming from Hogli on the left and it was somewhere between the two, but the keeper managed to push it clear of danger. They win another corner, but nothing comes from it.

44 minBOOKING: Tettey is the first man booked, and he's taken one for the team there. Valbuena just gets past him after a one-two with Pogba and the Norwich man clips him from behind. A free kick here from about 30 yards.

45+1 minHALF-TIME: France 1-0 Norway

8.49pmFrance started the half really strongly and could already have been a goal up by the time Pogba headed them into a 15th-minute lead. However, Norway were the better team for the last 10-15 minutes of the half and got in behind a couple of times. That said, the hosts do just about deserve their lead.

8.53pmThe result is far from safe at the moment, and there's definitely a sense that this game has more goals in it. They could probably do with Benzema up front as Giroud has not caused too much of a threat, but France should certainly score again in this one.

8.57pmFrance's stopper Ruffier was quite shaky for about 25 or 30 minutes, missing a corner and reacting late to a free kick that went wide, but he was called into proper action on a couple of occasions late on and dealt with things well. Nevertheless, Steve Mandanda will be a miss for France in the World Cup.

9.01pmThe players are waiting ready to come back out for the second half so we'll be back underway soon. There will probably be some substitutions too.

9.04pmSUBSTITUTIONS: There are indeed some new faces. Moussa Sissoko is on for Pogba, and the change I was calling for, Lucas Digne replaces Evra.

46 minKICKOFF: France get us back underway for the second half, and Sissoko gets stuck in to win the ball within 30 seconds.

48 minGood spell of passing football to start the half for Norway. Hogli on the left finds King, who runs into trouble a bit before the visitors manage to win a corner. They have had a few of these.

50 minCHANCE! France keep the ball in a dangerous area on the edge of the box. Sissoko combines with his old teammate Cabaye, with the PSG man poking goalwards but it's a simple stop for Nyland.

51 minGOAL! France 2-0 Norway (Olivier Giroud)

51 minWhat a brilliant goal that is from Giroud! I said he's been quiet, but that matters little if you're capable of that. He's found on the edge of the box and his first touch is poor with the ball going into the air, but on the half-volley he dips it over Nyland and into the roof of the net from the edge of the area. That's a fine hit.

53 minCHANCE! It should be 3-0. Valbuena swings in a brilliant free kick, which is just missed by Koscielny before Giroud, at full stretch at the far post, turns it over the bar.

55 minThat's a mix-up at the back between Koscielny and Sakho, with the long ball dissecting the two. However, Ruffier is out to the ball and gathers, taking a kick from the Liverpool centre-back for his troubles. I think he'll be okay.

57 minNORWAY SUB: Change for the visitors, as Jenssen makes way for Daniel Braaten.

60 minIt's a little scrappy in the middle of the park at the moment, as the two sides wrestle for possession. Norway are just about on top of things at the moment, but only just.

62 minSissoko is popping up all over the pitch at the moment. His latest involvement is on the right wing in a France break, but as he looks for Griezmann in the box the winger takes a bad touch and it goes out of play for a goal kick.

65 minFRANCE SUB: Loic Remy comes on for Griezmann, to a big cheer from the home crowd. There was also a Norway sub a few moments ago, with Havard Nielsen on for King.

67 minFrance are beginning to assert their authority now, as they are seeing a lot of the ball than their opponents and I wouldn't be surprised at another goal.

67 minGOAL! France 3-0 Norway (Loic Remy)

67 minLess than two minutes after coming on Remy has put the game beyond Norway. It's a superb pass from the halfway line from Debuchy and after Remy beat the offside trap he finished low from just outside the box. Simple, but excellent.

69 minGOAL! France 4-0 Norway (Olivier Giroud)

69 minValbuena, who makes way straight after the goal, was the architect again. This time he's played in down the right and puts a cross right on the head of Giroud, who plants a fine header into the back of the net from close range. This is a rout.

72 minCHANCE! It probably should be 5-0, as Remy is slipped through by Sissoko, but he puts his left-footed shot from an angle wide of the far post.

74 minThey are really enjoying themselves out there at the moment, the French. It was Clement Grenier who came on for Valbuena, with Anders Konradsen on for Tettey for the visitors. Another change for France soon follows with Matuidi, who has played well, off for Rio Mavuba.

77 minNORWAY SUB: Another change for the away side and it's Daehli who is off for Jone Samuelsen. The Cardiff youngster was good in the first half but has faded badly in the second.

80 minTowards the end of the first half Norway looked as though they would make a game of this, but France's dominance has really shown through in the second. Another change for France then as Cabaye, who has pulled the strings, comes off for Remy Cabella.

83 minNorway remain badly short of ideas. There's just no cutting edge up there and really they have not had a clear-cut chance to score. Of course, France are a far stronger side, but Hogmo has much work to do with his side.

86 minSAVE! Good stop by the Norway keeper there as Sissoko finds Remy, but the QPR man just cannot quite beat Nyland.

89 minFrance still want another goal and they remain full of energy. The way they have played all over the pitch will please Deschamps, who certainly has option in his squad. Meanwhile, Remy tests Nyland with a clipped effort, but the keeper palms it over.

90+1 minAs three minutes are added on, Norway make a final change. Ringstad comes on for Martin Linnes.

90+3 minFULL-TIME: France 4-0 Norway

9.54pmSo that's job done for Deschamps and France. Their first of three World Cup warm-up games ends with a win and a big one to boot.

9.56pmThanks for joining me tonight and please do come back to us over the coming weeks for World Cup prep and then the tournament itself! Goodbye for now.

France's Paul Pogba in action against Finland on October 15, 2013
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