World Cup - France end Dutch unbeaten streak

International Friendly, Stade de France – France 2 (Benzema 32, Matuidi 41) Netherlands 0

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World Cup - France end Dutch unbeaten streak
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France Netherlands Evra Promes 2014

The Netherlands suffered their first defeat for over a year after goals from Karim Benzema and Blaise Matuidi helped France to a 2-0 win in Paris.

Louis van Gaal’s side came into the match unbeaten in 17 matches stretching back to summer 2012 but France looked the sharper from the outset.

Benzema had a couple of chances to score before rifling past Jasper Cillessen just past the half hour and Matuidi gave France a deserved lead at the break with an exquisitely taken volley.

Such was the ineptitude of the Dutch that they managed only four shots on Hugo Lloris’ goal, the best chance falling to Robin van Persie in the first half.

But France were good value for their win and it would not have been unflattering had they won by more.

KEY MOMENTS

18’ – VLAAR CLEARS OF THE LINE: Benzema looks certain to score from Griezmann’s cross but his header hits Vlaar on the line with the keeper beaten.

19’ – BENZEMA GOAL RULED OUT: He has it in the net but is flagged just offside.

29’ – LLORIS SAVE: It’s a chance for Van Persie but he hits it straight at Lloris and Vlaar hits the rebound over.

32’ – GOAL FRANCE: It has been coming for Benzema and he lashes his shot past Cillessen from Matuidi’s assist.

41’ – GOAL FRANCE: Les Bleus double the lead with an exquisite volleyed finish by Matuidi from Valbuena’s cross.

51’ – CHANCE FOR FRANCE: Pogba plays in Griezmann but his first touch lets him down when through on goal.

58’ - CHANCE FOR FRANCE: Varane heads over the bar from a good position.

83’ – CHANCE FOR HOLLAND: Van Persie looks likely to score but Mangala clears as he’s about to pull the trigger.

KEY STATS

Defeat for the Netherlands marks their first since losing 4-2 to Belgium back in August 2012.

It was their first loss in 18 matches in all competitions.

Antoine Griezmann makes his France debut.

TALKING POINT: Where were Holland’s attacking threats? Only four shots and one on goal is a worrying stat for Louis van Gaal. Without the menace of Arjen Robben, the Dutch looked toothless.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND PLAYER RATINGS

MAN OF THE MATCH

Blaise Matuidi (France): hard to argue with this one. Set up Benzema for the first and scored a delightful second.

PLAYER RATINGS

France : Lloris 6, Debuchy 7, Evra 6, Mangala 7, Varane 6, Pogba 6, Matuidi 8, Cabaye 6, Valbuena 7, Benzema 7, Griezmann 6. Subs: Sagna 6, Digne 6, Sissoko 6, RIbery 6, Giroud 6, Remy 6.

Netherlands : Cillessen 6; Van der Wiel 5, Vlaar 6, Martins Indi 7, Blind 5; Clasie 6, Sneijder 6, Strootman 6; Promes 7, Van Persie 5, Boetius 6. Subs: Rekik 6, Schaars 6, Klaassen 6, Depay 6.

THE MATCH IN A TWEET

Past the Dutchman on the left hand side

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