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Sep 7, 2015 at 7.45pm UK


Matuidi (9', 25')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Mitrovic (40')

Live Commentary: France 2-1 Serbia - as it happened

Relive France's 2-1 win over Serbia in Bordeaux with Sports Mole's text commentary.

France continued their preparations towards Euro 2016 as they beat Serbia 2-1 in an international friendly in Bordeaux.

Two goals in 16 first-half minutes from Blaise Matuidi proved to be decisive as Les Bleus picked up their win in four days, after winning 1-0 in Portugal on Friday.

Newcastle United forward Aleksandar Mitrovic pulled a goal back before half-time, but Serbia were unable to pull off a comeback as France coasted to victory.

Relive all the action from the Stade Atlantique with Sports Mole's text coverage.

Hello and welcome to live coverage from the Stade Atlantique in Bordeaux as France continue their build-up towards Euro 2016 with an international friendly against Serbia.

France ended a run of two consecutive defeats on Friday when Mathieu Valbuena scored a late goal in Les Bleus' win over Portugal in Lisbon.

Tonight's opponents do not have their eye on Euro 2016 as a run of one point in five qualifiers means that Serbia can no longer reach next year's finals. So this game will form part of the preparations for a tilt at World Cup qualification in 2018.

So without further ado, let's look at this evening's team news from Bordeaux.

FRANCE XI: Lloris; Sagna, Varane, Tremoulinas, Mangala; Schneiderlin, Valbuena, Pogba, Matuidi; Griezmann; Giroud

SERBIA XI: Rajkovic; Tomovic, Ivanovic, Spajic, Obradovic; Fejsa, Gudeji, Matic; Markovic, Tadic, Mitrovic

FRANCE SUBS: Mandanda, Debuchy, Koscielny, Evra, Kondogbia, Sissoko, Cabaye, Benzema, Martial

SERBIA SUBS: Brkic, Stojkovic, Kosanovic, Petkovic, Kolarov, Petrovic, Milivojevic, Tosic, Zivkovic, Ljajic, Kostic, Skuletic

So, there we have it. Friday's match-winner, Mathieu Valbuena, keeps in his place in Les Bleus' midfield alongside Blaise Matuidi, Morgan Schneiderlin and Paul Pogba. Didier Deschamps looks to be on giving Benoit Tremoulinas a run in the side at left-back. Don't forget, the France manager has Patrice Evra and Lucas Digne among his other options in that position.

France's defender Benoit Tremoulinas sits on the bench before a friendly football match between France and Norway at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis near Paris on May 27, 2014© Getty Images

The hosts also have Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud in attack, but we can expect to see Karim Benzema at some stage. Manchester United's new signing Anthony Martial could also make his senior international debut this evening.

Serbia have fielded a strong side, with Chelsea duo Nemanja Matic and Branislav Ivanovic starting. Southampton's Dusan Tadic and Newcastle Aleksandar Mitrovic also feature in attack.

So the formalities of the national anthems are done with. We are only a few minutes from kickoff.

PREDICTION: As proceedings are about to get underway in Bordeaux, it's time for a prediction. I'm going for France to make it two wins in a week. Serbia's form has been mixed to say the least and I'll back Les Bleus to win 2-0.

KICKOFF: France get the game underway to loud cheers at the Stade Atlantique!

SAVE! The hosts enjoy plenty of possession and have the first real shot at goal as Griezmann stings the palms of Rajkovic.

Schneiderlin is penalised for a foul 30 yards from the French goal, but Tadic's free kick, at the second attempt, is cleared by the home side.

Pogba immediately shows how dangerous he can be! The new Juventus captain skipped past two challenges with the minimum of fuss, to the delight of the raucous majority in the stadium.

Giroud earns his side a corner as France get the ball from back-to-front with plenty of zip, but the set piece comes to nothing when Serbia clear. They look in no mood to gift France any advantage.

GOAL! France 1-0 Serbia (Blaise Matuidi)

France are ahead and it is great header from Matuidi that puts them in front. Les Bleus win back possession and Sagna delivers a tantalising ball into the box, which the PSG midfielder powers home, wrong-footing Rajkovic in the process. Great goal!

Looking at the replays, Sagna appeared to lose balance as he delivered that cross, but it was a great delivery, allowing Matuidi to rise above two defenders and find the net.

France do well to deny Serbia a way back into the game. Mitrovic almost fashioned a chance on the edge of the area, but Pogba stabbed at the ball to intercept.

SAVE! Majkovic comes to the rescue for the visitors! Tremoulinas races down the flank and crosses for Giroud, whose shot on the turn is well stopped by the Serbian keeper. The French are very much in the ascendancy!

The subsequent corner is headed off-target by Giroud, but Serbia almost have an opportunity of their own when Mitrovic was unable to receive a heavy pass and the move breaks down.

SAVE! Another save, but this time from Lloris as Tadic curls in a cross, which Mitrovic steps over and Markovic fires goalwards only to be denied by the Spurs stopper.

France appear to be comfortable zipping the ball around the pitch at the moment. Sagna takes down a diagonal ball and tries to find Griezmann, but misses the Atleti man. The crowd are applauding their enterprise at least.

CLOSE! So nearly a second for France as Giroud takes down a pass from Griezmann and his strike is inches away from creeping inside the right-hand post.

UPDATE! Across Europe, there is plenty going on in Scotland's group as they are 1-0 down to Germany at Hampden Park while Poland are racing to an emphatic win against Gibaltar.

GOAL! France 2-0 Serbia (Blaise Matuidi)

France are running away with things at the Stade Atlantique and Matuidi has made it two with a screamer. All of 25 yards out and his fizzing effort leaves Majkovic standing. A stunning strike!

Serbia are retreating more and more towards their own area. One feels that France might score more tonight!

BOOKING! Valbuena is the first player into the book for France.

Sagna delivers yet another cross from the right, which Ivanovic heads away. Valbuena tries to deliver another ball into the box, but Obradovic clears the danger. France look like they could finish this off before half time.

Les Bleus are in total control. Pogba tries to launch another attack, but Sagna is stopped by Tadic before he can cross.

France are just passing it for fun. Valbuena and Pogba exchanges passes with ease before the Lyon star sends a ball in the direction of Giroud at the back post, but the cross drifts out of play.

GOAL! France 2-1 Serbia (Mitrovic)

From nowhere, Serbia spring an attack down the left flank as Tadic gets to the byline before finding Mitrovic in the area. The Newcastle's forward shot leaves Lloris rooted to the spot. The Eagles might just be mounting a fightback!

The atmosphere has quietened somewhat after that goal, but can the visitors capitalise on that Mitrovic goal?

Giroud could have restored France's two-goal advantage, but the Arsenal forward meets a cross with his shoulder and the ball rolls wide of the target. Let off for Serbia!

CHANCE! A better opportunity comes Giroud's way after being picked out by Tremoulinas, but the forward is off balance and fires wide.


So there we have it. A breathtaking half with France largely dominating the game, but Serbia's goal five minutes before the break will give them hope of getting pulling off a comeback.

UPDATE! What a game at Hampden Park! Scotland have come from behind twice to make it 2-2 at half time against Germany. You follow all the action from Glasgow here. Meanwhile, Northern Ireland are being held in their qualifier with Hungary.

STATS: As expected, France have enjoyed more of the possession (62%). Les Bleus have also had 11 shots at goal to Serbia's three. Although two of three attempts from the visitors have hit the target.

BENCH WATCH: Deschamps has a strong bench to choose from and, with it being a friendly, we could see plenty of changes throughout the second half. Will we see Benzema? France also have plenty of midfield options, with Kondogbia, Cabaye and Sissoko to choose from.

So, the players are almost ready to get underway in Bordeaux. Can Serbia come from behind to beat the Euro 2016 hosts or will France make their dominance count? Stay with us to find out!

FRANCE SUB: Les Bleus make changes in midfield and defence. On come Kondogbia and Debuchy, with Sagna and Matuidi, who was on a hat-trick, making way.

KICKOFF: We're back underway at the Stade Atlantique!

Despite the substitutions, France look to have continued where they left off in the first half.

Debuchy's first act is to win a corner for the French as his cross is cut out by Obradovic. Griezmann's speculative strike from the set piece fails to trouble Majkovic and the Eagles remain only one down.

Giroud tries to play in Griezmann with a through-ball, but Rajkovic beats the Atleti forward to it. The Eagles seem content to play with three defensive midfield and soak up French pressure.

CHANCES! Griezmann should have made it 3-1. The former Real Sociedad star rolled his shot under Majkovic's grasp, but saw his effort rebound off the post. He looked to smash home the rebound from a tight angle only to be hounded out by the Serbian defence.

To the tune of La Marseillaise around the ground, Giroud wasted another opportunity to get on the scoresheet. The Arsenal man loses the ball in the area at the crucial moment. It's not his night so far!

SERBIA SUBS: Adem Ljajic and Filip Kostic come on for Serbia. Lazar Markovic is among those to make way, although the Liverpool winger may have been carrying a slight knock. Gudeji is also withdrawn.

Griezmann is again involved in French forward play as he combines with Valbuena before the Lyon man is brought down by Spajic.

BOOKING: Fejsa is the first Serbian player in the book after he leaves Kondogbia in a heap. The crowd certainly feel it was a justified yellow card.

FRANCE SUB: Benzema is finally on in place of the luckless Giroud. He was never going to score tonight, even if they kept playig until midnight!

CLOSE! Groans around the Stade Atlantique as Tosic, once briefly of Manchester United fame, uses his trickery to fashion a shooting chance before smashing his effort just wide of Lloris's near post.

At the other end, Valbuena evades the attention of chasing Serbia defenders and manages to deliver a cross off-balance, which Majkovic collects.

The first action for Benzema as he is found with a cross, but is immediately flagged for offside.

If Benzema's presence on the pitch wasn't enough. Martial is warming up on the touchline. Is he ready to justify his £36m price-tag?

Benzema is in the thick of it again, but at the other end. The Real Madrid striker stabs a corner away from danger. France could have launched a counter attack only for the usually-astute Pogba to lose possession.

UPDATE! While Scotland and Germany and been involved in a thriller (currently 3-2 to Germany), Poland are cruising to victory. They lead Gibraltar 8-0. Double figures is a possibility, surely?

Serbia earn their second corner in five minutes as Kostic tries to fashion a crossing opportunity, but Debuchy snuffs out the danger.

FRANCE SUB: Manchester United fans will be watching with interest as Martial is on for his international debut at 19, in place of Valbuena.

SERBIA SUB: The visitors take off their goalscorer Mitrovic, with Skuletic coming on for the final minutes.

One thing is for certain. Martial is getting plenty of encouragement from the Bordeaux crowd as he gets on the ball early on. The teenager beats two players before laying the ball off. However, France's attack breaks down.

SERBIA SUB: Petrovic comes on in place of Fejsa as the visitors try to shake things up.

Serbia are given a free kick on the edge of the area. This could be their chance to equalise, but Ljajic's delivery eventually falls into the grateful arms of Lloris.

Martial is left trailing as Tosic goes on a marauding run down the right flank before cutting into the area. However, Lloris is alert and slides out to save the day.

The pace of the game looks to have calmed. Debuchy tries a long ball in the direction of Martial, but the execution lets down the Arsenal defender and Serbia have the chance to attack the French once more.

SERBIA SUB: Kosanovic comes on for the final moments in place of Spajic.

FRANCE SUB: Griezmann receives a great ovation from French supporters after a performance full of industry and creativity. Sissoko comes on for Les Bleus.

Four minutes of added left at the Stade Atlantique...

France appear to have settled for what they have, although the Stade Atlantique is crying out for more attacking.

They almost get their wish as Debuchy breaks into space on the right flank, but fails to deliver a threatening cross. That could be the last chance.


Well, Blaise Matuidi's first-half brace proved to be enough for Les Bleus as they pick up their second win in a week. Serbia threatened occasionally, but never applied concerted pressure to France, who were able to coast in periods.

Elsewhere across the continent tonight, there was mixed fortunes for the Home Nations, with Scotland beaten 3-2 at home by Germany. Northern Ireland played the final minutes with 10 men at Windsor Park, but came from a goal down to draw with Hungary.

So France continue their Euro 2016 preparations in winning style against Serbia. There will be plenty of reaction to Les Bleus' win and the rest of tonight's games across Europe on Sports Mole. However, that's all from me this evening. Good night!

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Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring for France against Norway on May 27, 2014.
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