Full-time - 90'
1 - 1
16:00 +00:00, June 11, 2012
Donbass Arena, Ukraine
Steven Gerrard: "We would have been delighted with a win. France have fantastic players, but we created as many chances as they did. We're satisfied with the performance. We had young players but good players. Oxlade-Chamberlain showed he is good enough at this level."
An opporunity for Ukraine and Sweden to take Group D by the scruff of the neck when they take to the field in about 50 minutes. I doubt either will be quaking in their boots having watched that game.
France had 81% in that last ten minutes and will be disappointed they didn't create more openings but England proved that Hodgson has them well drilled and there was a good work ethic about them. France should go through as group winners on this evidence though.
FULL TIME - Surely a result that will please England more - they worked hard but France looked the better side for large periods. Lescott's goal cancelled out by Nasri and though France were dominant for long periods, England kept their shape and had a similar amount of chances.
Good effort from Benzema that bounced in front of Hart. The keeper does well.
Three minutes, the tele coverage belatedly tells us. Only one left now. Cheers lads and lasses.
Into stoppage time but no indication how long has been added.
Walcott is finally entering the fray, replacing Welbeck who has worked his socks off, without much help.
Terry tries to meet Gerrard's corner before Ben Arfa volleys clear. England wasting time now with Hart.
Defoe feeds Milner wide right and his low cross is turned behind by Mexes, who had Welbeck for company.
France utterly dominant now as England sit on the edge of their box. All very congested. Can France open the door?
Well done Gerrard as Benzema lined up a shot to the far corner like the one he scored against Estonia. The Liverpool man flicks it behind for another corner.
France changes: Cabaye and Malouda off, Ben Arfa and Marvin Martin on.
Henderson is penalised for an an ungainly, but ball-winning tackle. Referee Nicola Rizzoli making no friends in white shirts. France win a corner.
Debuchy does well to win the ball from Young as he tried to shield it out. Ben Arfa coming on.
A rare break for England as Young gets beyond the last man and pulls a cross back. Rami deflects it into Lloris' path and he watches the ball safely into his arms.
Cabaye is getting closer - the corner drops to him from Ribery's flick and Lescott sticks out a boot to take it behind.
Terry nods the free kick away and Cabaye's effort is deflected behind for a corner.
Ribery is blocked off by Johnson's arm and hits the turf. Evra races over to complain. Free kick wide left.
Jordan Henderson is coming on now, cue groans in the office. Scott Parker comes off. Oh dear.
The Ox departs and Jermain Defoe comes on.
Milner is the latest to feel he should have had a free kick as he tried to collect a long ball. He chested it down and got a little nudge in the back for his trouble. Not clear cut that one.
Now Hart must be alert as Ribery tries to squeeze in a shot from a narrow angle. Lescott completes the clerance, then another foul on Welbeck isn't punished. England getting angry now.
Excellent cover from Johnson as Benzema looked to jog onto a lovely poke from Nasri. Tackles flying in all over the place before that. Then a break from Welbeck past Mexes, he finds The Ox but he tries an ambitious dribble and loses possession.
Great work by The Ox as he beats three players, pops it off to Welbeck and is hauled back before he can go for the return. Free kick, no card.
England have set in now, they are intent on holding on for a point. Players starting to tire a little too.
Young gets a yellow for a late lunge on Benzema. Rightly.
France camped on the edge of England's box now, looking ominous.
Superb block from Scott Parker as Diarra thumped a shot on goal. A Scotty P trademark.
Not exactly the brains trust over on the left as Cole waits for Milner to stray close to an offside position before playing an obvious pass. The flag goes up.
Patient build up from France as the game cranks down a gear, presumably because of the heat. Evra crosses and Cole nods behind for a corner.
Johnson cuts in after good work from Gerrard but his effort is high and wide. He's usually better than that from range.
Anopther foul from Cabaye, the seemingly unbookable man.
Good link up between Nasri and Benzema, and Hart stops the Real Madrid striker's powerful shot low down.
Gerrard's errant pass alows Benzema to get down the right but the Liverpool captain tackles Ribery to atone for his error.
Terry meets the first corner but Rami blocks it and as Welbeck returns it to Gerrard, Evra gets a toe on the ball to concede another corner. From this one a foul is given against Terry for a nudge.
Now it France who are not happy with the referee. Gerrard and Milner snap at Ribery and he stays down. England play on and win a corner. Could and should have been a free kick to France.
Welbeck runs the channel and hassles Rami in possession. He's not had much to feed on in this second half though.
Lescott covers Cole well as Debuchy knocks the ball past him. Goal kick awarded - could have gone either way.
Johnson does well to get down the right, then clashes with Ribery but again no free kick is awarded, even though the England man seemed to get a touch on the ball before his rival.
England have come back into the game after France's early spell of dominance. I think they'd take a draw right now if offered though.
Better from Milner, battling past Evra and crossing well but only The Ox was in the box and he can't connect.
Gerrard was clearly barged by Debuchy from that previous incident, still amazed the referee didn't give a foul. He has been too lenient, and I never thought I'd say that.
Sloppy from Lescott as he hands the ball to Ribery, Benzema's shot is blocked but Evra overlaps and fires in a dangerous cross that Gerrard clears behind.
Now Gerrard drives at France's defence, gets the return from Welbeck and is clattered by Debuchy but again, no free kick is given. This referee is laughable.
I think after that woeful refereeing performance in the opening game UEFA have told officials to keep their cards in their pockets as much as possible.
Nasri trips The Ox with a cynical, late tackle. He had no chance of getting the ball but again no card. Amazing, really.
Milner does win a corner, albeit with a poor cross, but Gerrard goes for a carbon copy and Lloris claims under no near post pressure.
Milner gets out of jail after an awful back pass to Hart. Luckily the keeper bails him out of trouble as Nasri went for it. Before that Young was hauled to the floor by Diarra but no free kick was given.
A confident start from France - dominating the same way they did before the interval. No outlet ball for England.
Parker goes down after a little WWE rake to the face from Ribery, who was just trying to hold his stalker off.
We begin again...
As highlighted by the TV coverage, both Parker and Gerrard were very deep when Nasri received the ball, almost on the edge of their six-yard box, and they couldn't get out quickly enough to stop the shot.
After this encounter we get to see the other co-hosts in action as Ukraine take on Sweden in Kiev. To get you in the mood why not have a read of Chris Borg's preview of the match?
Joleon Lescott heads England in front
Both sides will be disappointed with the goals they conceded. France's central defence went AWOL as Lescott headed in, while England had time to close down Nasri before he squeezed his shot in at the near post.
HALF TIME - A good half of football and promise for both outfits. England started the brighter and grabbed a good goal but France hit back and looked very good in the final 15 minutes of the half. Nicely poised you might say.
Great link between Ribery and Benzema as the Real Madrid striker bursts into the box. Hart is alert to block the shot with his feet at the near post.
Cabaye's deflected shot offers France another corner.
England becoming panicky in possession now as Milner gifts the ball to Diarra. He finds Debuchy, who beats The Ox but Lescott clears his cross. Now England must hang on to this scoreline until the break.
Ribery rounds Gerrard and crosses but Lescott gets on the end of it to concede a corner. France looking more assured as the half goes on.
Cabaye trips Cole now as England looked to counter and he can count himself very lucky not to see yellow. Ref could have played on too.
Hart did get a hand to it but couldn't keep it out. Great placement from Nasri, who will have enjoyed sticking one past his team-mate. England have conceded under Roy Hodgson now. I should have keep quiet.
GOAL Nasri levels it up! England were dropping deeper and deeper and Nasri lashes a shot in at the near post. Hart saw it late but could have done better. Great hit.
Vital that England get to half time with this lead intact. France pushing hard for an equaliser before the break.
Cabaye trips Parker to offer England some respite. A fantastic save from Hart just then, even though the header was right at him. It was travelling.
Two great chances for France and a wonderful save from Hart! Diarra meets the free kick with a bullet header that Hart parries and as Rami nods it back across Diarra glances the ball a foot wide of the far post.
The Ox gives away a free kick and is carded for his tackle on Debuchy. Not much contact but not a great challenge.
A chorus of "Football's Coming Home," pipes up from the England fans in Donetsk, as Welbeck's step over is well picked up by Mexes as Young looked to turn.
Double frustration for France - it was a very soft free kick to give away and sloppy marking from Gerrard's cross. Remember, England haven't conceded a goal under Hodgson.
A very good header from Lescott, who had actually got a little ahead of the ball, he drew his head back to make the right contact and it flew past Lloris.
GOAL Lescott scores! Gerrard's free kick finds the Man City centre half unmarked and he notches his first ever goal for England!
Debuchy doesn't need a second invitation to get down the right. Cabaye feeds him this time and Cole gets a deflection on the cross forcing Hart to dive at his near post to prevent a corner.
Cabaye tries to loop a ball over Terry for Benzema but the striker wanted it to his feet and Hart is alert on the edge of his area.
Gerrard tries to poke a ball through to Milner as what looked like good possession for Welbeck is worked from left to right but the City winger was offside.
Now Debuchy does extremely well to get to the byline and cross but Terry can clear under no pressure.
England do well to slow down a France move that looks dangerous until Ribery looks for Benzema at the back post with a deep cross and Cole intervenes.
Welbeck back on - panic over.
Welbeck is up and heading off for treatment but he looks like he should be ok. Gary Lewin, England's physio, sticks him thumb up at the bench.
Welbeck goes down clutching his ankle but there was no twist, just pain as Rami landed on the top of his foot. Anyone else thinking metatarsal?
Milner turns well but can't lift his cross off the floor. He delayed too long perhaps. Still, more promising signs that England can hurt France if they get the ball wide.
Johnson lives dangerously with a headed back pass to Hart from Cabaye's long ball. The keeper gets there in the nick of time.
Supreme skill from The Ox as he gets past two players with delicate feet, then slips Young in but he had gone a touch too early and the flag went up.
Plenty in the opening stages to suggest both sides can profit going forward. Hopefully that will translate into goals.
And now Cabaye tests Hart with a long range strike. He's got a great punt on him from range, as Newcastle fans will well know from this season.
What a chance! England slice France open, Young finds space, he plays in Milner who takes it round Lloris but fires wide from the angle with the goal gaping. My oh my. What an opening.
First real chance for Young to get on the ball but Diarra got a tiny flick on the ball behind him as the Man Utd man fell over.
England living dangerously here as Ribery turns Parker and gets into the box. He offers it to Cabaye, who finds Diarra, then Malouda is outnumbered.
Nasri cust inside and fires a shot narrowly wide of the post as France begin to assert themselves.
Hart rather flaps at the most recent corner and is grateful to his penalty area neighbour Johnson who hoofs clear.
Johnson does very well to stand Ribery up as he got into the box. A good France move. Prior to that England worked the ball well but The Ox failed to pick out Cole in acres of space on the left.
Johnson rather wastes a good chance to take on Evra. Then Gerrard and Terry have to be alert to curtail a Ribery run.
The ball swung over to the right and Benzema returns it into the mix, Johnson's shanked clearance than falls kindly for Hart.
Cole is penalised for a trip on Nasri on the right flank. France can get their big men forward. Malouda comes across to take.
Strangely subdued atmosphere in Shakhtar's cavernous stadium. Lots of empty seats visible.
Danger for England as Nasri flicks a ball into Benzema. Terry makes half a clearance before Lescott concedes a corner.
England trying to press France high as they get their first decent chunk of possession.
Speaking of which, the Ox steals the ball from Rami and gets into the area but Mexes cuts out his attempted pass to Welbeck. Maybe he should have gone himself.
Parker tries to release The Ox down the left but the ball is overhit, then Welbeck strays offside down the right. I shall be sticking to a rather coloquial 'The Ox' for speed purposes, I hope you understand.
KICK OFF - preceded by a ridiculous crowd countdown. Humph.
Still pockets of empty seats in the stadium but swathes of blue and white. Here come the anthems, one contest the French win hands down in my opinion.
The teams share a few back slaps in the tunnel as they file out of the dressing room. Plenty of Premier League stars in the French team of course.
Maybe a bad omen for England, goalkeeping coach Ray Clemence has just been carried from the field after badly damaging his Achilles in the warm up.
As ever when the sun comes out, England bang on about the weather. The temperature will be about 30 degrees in Donetsk, which obviously means half of England's team will be stretchered off with acute dehydration and sunburn after half an hour. It's one of those old fables that winds me up, alongside the old 'our Premier League stars are knackered' line. Rant over, soapbox removed.
While England aren't expected to pull up trees, despite their own disappointment in South Africa, France have considerably more pressure on them to make up for the nightmare under Raymond Domenech, when the nation felt painfully embarrassed by the football team. Much more is expected of them here.
Let's not beat about the bush - this is a limited England side. With Wayne Rooney absent, evidence of this arrives with the realisation that Hodgson is pinning his hopes on a promising young striker from Man Utd, and an Arsenal winger untested at this level. Again, some turn this into a positive, pointing out they are unburdened by past failures.
France are unbeaten in 21 matches and scored some delightful goals in their 4-0 win over Estonia in the build up to the tournament. A lot hinges on Ribery of course, how much of the ball he can get in dangerous areas, and the potency of Benzema, who was in supreme form for Real Madrid this season.
The omens aren't good for England - they have never won their opening game at the European Championships. One of those was a 2-1 defeat to France at Euro 2004 - a game they led until the 90th minute, when Zidane scored twice in stoppage time. One consolation for England, at least Zizou isn't playing today.
As for France, they are clear favourites here, Laurent Blanc having transformed them from the warring shambles they became in South Africa. They have talent all over the field, in midfield and up front especially. But they are beatable, and depending on how England approach the game, we could be in for a thumper.
England are in an odd situation - given the late appointment of Hodgson, all the injuries and all the fuss over Rio, expectations are at an all time low. But in a perverse way, that has worked its way into expectation, people seemingly thinking now the pressure is off they'll become world beaters. You will note, I hope, my sceptical tone.
So, much made of The Ox's inclusion, and it would indicate a slightly more ambitious approach from Roy Hodgson, though I'd like to see him line up on the right so he could run at Patrice Evra. As it is, he'll be tussling with Mathieu Debuchy. Ashley Young will buzz behind Danny Welbeck, who has a big task on his hands.
France line-up as everyone thought they would, with Mexes and Rami in the centre of defence, Benzema up top with Ribery and Malouda supporting and Nasri, Diarra and Cabaye in the middle.
The rumours were right, and The Ox starts in a 4-4-1-1 formation, wide left with Milner on the opposite flank. Danny Welbeck gets the nod up front, Lescott partners Terry, and the rest of the line up is as expected.
Good afternoon everyone, Chris Murphy here, counting down to England and France's first involvement at Euro 2012. Team news is in and it makes wonderful reading for the family of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
In his column for ESPN in the build-up to the game, former England coach Glenn Hoddle spoke of his belief that a pragmatic approach is Roy Hodgson's only tactical option at Euro 2012.
Last time England played France, Laurent Blanc's side emerged 1-0 winners at Wembley. Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson made their debuts for the Three Lions that night.
Just as they did in 2004, England and France meet in their opening group game at the European Championship. Zinedine Zidane's late brace gave Les Bleus a 2-1 victory eight years ago - join Chris Murphy from 1700 BST to see how events unfold this time in Donetsk.
Hatem Ben Arfa
Hatem Ben Arfa