Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Denmark & France February 2011
Denmark 1 England 2
at the Parken stadium in Copenhagen.
This friendly often seemed like a high level kick around with very few tackles until the final few minutes as the home side realised they were going to lose.
But both teams can say they passed the ball around well although Denmark had the standout player in Christian Eriksen.
For England Wilshere looked at home in midfield as did Scott Parker when he came on in the second half.
But neither defence looked fully secure.
It is hard to tell how significant this win will be with much more serious competitive tests to come but at least it’s an away victory.
Watching the game it was almost too hot under the closed roof and then too cold outside in the wind.
Nimes 0 Dijon 2 in the French Ligue 2.
I’d seen the small group of away fans close to the famous, well preserved, Roman amphitheatre in the centre of town.
Later they had no trouble finding space behind the goal to watch their team beat the hosts at the pleasant Stade des Costieres in bright and mild conditions.
Both teams are in mid-table but it was Dijon who passed better and after a moderate first period they went ahead when Caceres controlled and shot in.
Uruguayan Sebastian Ribas sealed the win in the closing minutes.
For the home side Steve Haguy did some good work down the right, a Gigliotti free kick glanced the post and Niflore also hit the post but they were greeted with boos at the final whistle.
Arles Avignon 0 Montpellier 0 in Ligue 1.
I was able to get a convenient train after the Nimes game back to Avignon followed by a taxi to the Parc des Sports.
Where the highlight was the performance of the Montpellier fans who produced an impressive display of flares, flags and fence rattling.
The ground has temporary style seats at either end and low level seating opposite the main stand. The attendance was given as 8500 and there were around 400 away fans.
But the game itself had little goalmouth action with one of the best chances being badly fluffed by Geoffrey Dernis.
So Arles gained a point but they stay well adrift at the bottom of the league.
Rennes 2 Nice 0.
Another top level encounter that saw Rennes move up to second, five points behind Lille.
Their stadium is an impressive, covered, 30,000 seater in which there was just a handful of fans from Nice.
The conditions on this Sunday afternoon felt like a February in England - cold and wet.
After an opening period of few chances Rennes stepped up the play to score through Victor Hugo Montano and then via a penalty from Boukari.
The home forwards, with some prompting by the skillful Yann M’Vila, had done enough to consolidate the win.
Nice, with few away goals all season, never really looked like getting back into it despite a David Bellion header.
more pictures at http://www.photobox.co.uk/album/680928457