Chelsea’s Loic Remy Guides France To Friendly Victory Over Spain

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THE new Chelsea signing Loïc Rémy hit the only goal as France squeezed past Spain 1-0 in a friendly at the Stade de France on Thursday.

Rémy, a second-half substitute, found the back of the net in spectacular style in the 72nd minute, pouncing on a pass from Mathieu Valbuena to give Didier Deschamps’ team a deserved win.

Vicente del Bosque’s side, who suffered a shock first-round exit at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, lacked creativity in midfield and never looked threatening up front.Spain start their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign against Macedonia on Monday.

Elsewhere, Italy handed their new coach, Antonio Conte, a good start when they scored twice in the first 10 minutes to beat Holland 2-0 in a friendly in Bari. Ciro Immobile put the home side ahead after three minutes before Daniele De Rossi added a penalty after debutant forward Simone Zaza was fouled by Bruno Martins Indi.

Indi was handed a straight red card in somewhat harsh fashion, effectively ending the match as a contest and giving the Holland coach, Guus Hiddink, an unsatisfactory start to his second stint in the job.

Italy had dropped Mario Balotelli, while Arjen Robben was one of several Dutch players ruled out through injury.

Dries Mertens and Axel Witsel were on target as Belgium marked their first match against Australia with a friendly 2-0 win in Liege. Belgium, beaten by Argentina in the World Cup quarter-finals, were the better side in a match of relatively few chances.

The opening goal in the 18th minute came when Mertens beat the Australia goalkeeper, Mat Ryan, somewhat fortuitously from a narrow angle after Kevin De Bruyne had struck the bar. Witsel made it 2-0 in the 77th minute, cracking a left-foot shot from the edge of the penalty area into the top corner of the net. – The Guardian

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