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Fabulous France end England's misery
 Women's Football News 18 Jul 2013
 
England 0 France 3 (Le Sommer 9, Necib 62, Renard 64)
England's nightmare campaign in the Euro 2013 Finals came to a sad end as they were well beaten by a slick and stylish France side who, in truth, were a class apart. 
 
Despite France manager Bruno Bini having made six changes to his starting line up, England could not cope with the silky skills of the superb Louisa Necib and Eugenie Le Sommer who tormented the England defence all match. Had it not been for a string of saves by Karen Bardsley and wayward finishing from Elodie Thomis, the margin of victory could have been far greater.
 
England made three changes which also resulted in a change of formation; Karen Carney coming in for the injured Rachel Yankey, Toni Duggan playing as a second striker in place of Jill Scott and Sophie Bradley making a surprise return instead of Laura Bassett in the centre of defence.
 
England did have an escape as early as the seventh minute, Eugenie Le Sommer racing onto Louisa Necib's pass and driving a shot against the post.
 
However two minutes later, France went one better as Elodie Thomis went past Steph Houghton and Fara Williams, making her way to the edge of the area and although Houghton did get back to win the ball, it ran to Le Sommer who took one touch before guiding her shot past the dive of Karen Bardsley.
 
Bardsley had to be swift to smother as Thomis bore down on a long pass and then, after Karen Carney had been dispossessed on the edge of the area, Sandrine Soubeyrand fired a shot inches over the bar.
 
Thomis was having a field day on the right and another speedy run ended with her cutting inside Houghton before her left foot shot was saved at the near post by Bardsley although an unmarked Le Sommer was better placed to score.
 
It took a last ditch tackle by Bradley to deny Thomis after she was released by Le Sommer and, as England could not clear the corner, Bardsley again came to her side's rescue by palming Necib's deft lob over the bar.
 
Houghton again needed to make a desperate challenge after Le Sommer had been found by Soubeyrand's chipped pass and Thomis poked a shot just wide but England somehow clung on to the one-goal deficit going into the break.
 
France picked up the pace from the start of the second half and Le Sommer again threatened with a run towards the edge of the area but Stoney did well to block her shot.
 
It took until the 56 minute mark before England finally produced their first attempt on goal, Alex Scott's pass picking out Ellen White who turned away from Wendie Renard but the central defender did well to block her effort. France counter attacked moments later with Necib sliding a delicious pass into the path of Thomis who sped away from the England defence but shot wastefully over with over Bardsley to beat.
 
Duggan drove a shot over from long range but, even after the introduction of Kelly Smith, France finally scored their second goal. Le Sommer carried the ball towards the England defence and drew two opponents before slipping a neat pass to Necib, who gave Bardsley no chance which a 20-yard shot which arrowed into the corner of the net.
 
Before England could recover, they found themselves three behind. France won a corner down the right and, after exchanging passes with Le Sommer, Necib floated the ball into the area for Renard to rise highest and plant a header into the corner of the net.
 
It could have been four as another corner was cleared as far as Elise Bussaglia whose deep ball to the far post picked out Camille Abily who headed across the face of goal.
 
Thomis missed another good chance after being put in by Necib and Le Sommer fired wide from the edge of the area as France were in cruise control at this point.
 
England tried to salvage a consolation late on with Alex Scott shooting wide and Jess Clarke having a shot blocked, while White forced a save from Celine Deville with one minutes remaining - their first shot on target in the match.
 
Thomis went on one more dangerous run with a shot that was blocked by Stoney but the game was up for England and the final whistle soon went to put them out of their misery. 
 
England: Karen Bardsley, Alex Scott, Steph Houghton, Fara Williams, Sophie Bradley, Casey Stoney, Eniola Aluko (sub Kelly Smith 60mins), Anita Asante (sub Jill Scott 45mins), Ellen White, Toni Duggan, Karen Carney (sub Jess Clarke 73mins).

France: Celine Deville, Corine Franco, Sabrina Delannoy, Jessica Houara, Wendie Renard, Sandrine Soubeyrand (sub Elise Bussaglia 45mins), Elodie Thomis, Louisa Necib, Eugenie Le Sommer, Amandine Henry (sub Camille Catala 60mins), Gaetane Thiney (sub Camille Abily 45mins).

 
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