Samir Nasri was back to his best as
France consolidated top spot in Euro 2012 Group D qualifying
with a 3-0 home win over Albania on Friday.
France, who are guaranteed at least a play-off spot, have 20
points from nine games. They are one point ahead of Bosnia, the
team they face in a group decider at the Stade de France on
Nasri, who has struggled in international football of late,
finally delivered for Les Bleus as he set the pace in midfield
and created the second goal for Loic Remy after Florent Malouda
had put them in front in the 11th minute.
Anthony Reveillere added a third in the 67th minute
following a fine defence-splitting pass from fellow substitute
"He [Nasri] was very good," coach Laurent Blanc told
reporters. "We did well to control the midfield thanks to good
performances by him, Yohan Cabaye and Yann Mvila.
"When these players are good we are more secure."
France made a lively start and quickly put their stamp on
the match on a chilly Parisian night.
In the seventh minute, after a neat one-two with Nasri,
Bafetimbi Gomis was denied by keeper Samir Ujkani as France
built up the pressure.
Cabaye's right-foot effort from 30 metres then shaved the
post but Les Bleus were rewarded for their efforts when
Malouda's volley from a Remy cross took a slight deflection off
Armend Dallku and went into the net.
Nasri, who has been criticised by Blanc for his recent
performances with the national team, slalomed through five
players before setting up the speedy Remy who scored with a
perfect angled shot.
Manchester City's new signing Nasri also set up Gomis on the
hour only for the Olympique Lyon striker to fluff his volley.
Reveillere, who came on for Patrice Evra, notched the third
goal from close range after collecting a through ball from
Martin, Cabaye's second-half replacement.
Annoyed by Gomis's miss, the fickle Stade de France crowd
chanted Djibril Cisse's name and they got what they asked for in
the 80th minute when the Lazio player replaced the striker.
Cisse, who had not featured for France since last year's
World Cup, was quickly in action but could not add the fourth
goal France deserved in a one-sided game.
"I can't say we expected much more," said Albania coach
Josip Kuze. "We weren't that bad but we made too many individual
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