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Club News

Mandanda's France Beat Italy

2 September 2016

Steve Mandanda played the whole game as France beat Italy 3-1 in a friendly in Bari on Thursday night.

The Eagles keeper made his first appearance for his country since arriving in SE25 in the summer in what was his 23rd cap for Les Blues, who bounced back from the disappointment of losing in the final of Euro 2016 by beating the Azzurri on their own turf.

Manchester United attacker Anthony Martial opened the scoring in the first half but Italy found a way past Mandanda just four minutes later when Graziano Pelle equalised in fine style, but Olivier Giroud would soon put France back ahead.

However it only remained that way as Mandanda pulled off a great stop to thwart Riccardo Montolivo's blast from 30 yards, before PSG full-back Layvin Kurzawa wrapped up the victory on 77 minutes.

The game was also notable for the first use of video technology during an international match when Italy appealed for a penalty after a perceived handball in the box by Kurzawa, with referee Bjorn Kuipers stopping play while TV replays were consulted and opted not to award a spot-kick.

With Hugo Lloris out injured, Mandanda looks set to keep his place between the sticks as France take on Belarus in their opening 2018 World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night, but Yohan Cabaye won't feature after picking up a slight groin injury.

Meanwhile Christian Benteke was an unused substitute as Roberto Martinez lost his first game as Belgium manager as David Silva scored twice to clinch a 2-0 friendly win for Spain in Brussels.

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