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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 22 hours ago
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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 22 hours ago
Read
By ESPN Staff
Feb 10, 2011

Win over Brazil pleases Blanc

France coach Laurent Blanc was satisfied with his side's 1-0 friendly victory over Brazil - but is not getting distracted from the main goal of Euro 2012 qualification.

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema scored the only goal after 54 minutes and could have added to his tally as the hosts dominated in a 1-0 win over 10-man Brazil at Stade de France.

Hernanes saw red five minutes before the break for a poor challenge on Benzema and Les Bleus took full advantage of their extra man - much to their coach's delight.

"When you win, you're satisfied,'' Blanc told L'Equipe. "Having played 11 against 10 it was easier for us. I liked what I saw. There was an intention to play. We wanted to compete with the Brazilians, especially in possession of the ball. I take many positives.''

The match was a replay of the 1998 World Cup final played at the same venue - a 3-0 win for France.

The result also marked a second impressive scalp in a row for Blanc's side following their 2-1 friendly success over England in November.

But Blanc is not getting carried away, saying: "For our aims - qualification for Euro 2012 - those two victories do not mean anything. But these two games should allow us to build confidence for the players and the collective.''

France lost their opening Euro 2012 qualifier 1-0 at home to Belarus in September but recovered to win their next three and head into their next game in Luxembourg next month top of Group D.

Blanc was particularly impressed with match-winner Benzema, who has struggled for form at Madrid.

"He scored a goal that made us win,'' said Blanc. "And he could have scored more. Every time he touches the ball, it is dangerous, very dangerous. Karim had a great match.

Benzema was happy to grab the headlines for on-pitch matters after much speculation over his Madrid future.

"We all had fun tonight,'' he said on the France Federation website. "It's a great win against a great team. It has nothing to do with [Real Madrid coach Jose] Mourinho. I am here playing for France. It is fun to play against Brazil. I aimed to play against this team since I was little.

"Playing against them was a dream. To mark it with victory in the end... I am very happy. When they had 10 men, we had more freedom and had most of the ball. I hope that I will continue to have success.''

Chelsea midfielder Florent Malouda was thrilled with the win. He said: "I am very happy. This kind of game, albeit a friendly, against a world-class team like Brazil is a big plus in confidence.

"We tried, to compete with their level of technical quality, keeping the ball. With the state of the pitch, it was not easy, but we tried to play on the ground and use the width.''

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