Stones can handle England midfield role - Southgate

  • Stones can handle England midfield role - Southgate

Stones can handle England midfield role - Southgate

HARRY KANE took his global goal tally to eight but couldn't prevent England from slipping to a 3-2 friendly defeat against ten-man France at the Stade de France.

Have you read Trendiee Today? This was the first time that England had played under the Video Assistant Referee, the system of decisions that officials are reviewing in the stands and it led to a red card for France's Raphael Varane, which meant the hosts played the second half depleted.

The decision was a controversial one, coming after Federation Internationale de Football Association tweaked the rules previous year to reduce cases of players being sent off for denying clear goal-scoring opportunities, unless the offence is deliberate.

"It is always good to finish with a victory, especially after a defeat. We have some young players coming through who have really good potential and can be exciting but there is no shortcut", Southgate said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May was also in attendance alongside French President Emmanuel Macron for the match.

The game had kicked off five minutes late due to a series of prematch tributes for the victims of the Manchester and London terror attacks, including the Republican Guard's rendition of Oasis' "Don't Look Back in Anger", a spirited, unified airing for the national anthems and a minute's silence.

But just setting foot in France, where they suffered a humiliating exit from Euro 2016 to Iceland, reminded them of their poor record at major tournaments.

Kane's club colleague Hugo Lloris was guilty of a terrible error that gifted Sweden a late victor as France lost their World Cup qualifier 2-1 in Stockholm on Friday.

All the goals in that game came late from both sides with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain getting a goal in the 70 minute and Harry Kane getting the late equalizer in stoppage time.

The Stade de France encounter was the most concerning of those friendlies from a Three Lions perspective, with more high-profile friendlies lined up if and when World Cup qualification is wrapped up. Monaco full-back Djibril Sidibe had the simple task of converting the rebound.

The second half was just over 30 seconds old when Alli broke into the penalty area and went down after contact from Real Madrid defender Varane.

Monaco starlet Kylian Mbappe, who impressed throughout, hit the crossbar from just 10 yards out as the hosts looked for the victor.

Less than 90 seconds had been played when Thomas Lemar sent in a cross-shot from the left wing that briefly seemed to catch Heaton cold.

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"One of the reasons for playing Germany, Spain and France is that you have to get everything spot on to be able to get a result", Southgate added.