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  Wednesday, 27 March, 2002, 21:53 GMT
Scots pulverised in Paris
Thierry Henry is congratulated on his wonder goal
France played with invention way beyond the Scots
France 5-0 Scotland

Scotland were given a masterclass by world champions France as Berti Vogts watched his new charges ripped to shreds in Paris.

A strong French side, packed with experience, hardly gave the Scots a touch of the ball and gave the impression they could score any time they felt like it.

They managed five magnificent goals and Scotland looked light years behind their illustrious opponents in every department.

Zinedine Zidane scored the first with David Trezeguet grabbing a brace, Thierry Henry was on target and Steve Marlet finished things off.

Scotland were almost gifted a surprise opening goal inside the first minute when French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez took a fresh air swipe at a back pass and the ball trundled inches wide of the post as the home crowd gasped in disbelief.

Matteo tries to get to grips with Zidane
Zidane gave a masterful performance
From then on it was all downhill for the Scots.

After a quiet opening, the first glimpse of goal for the home side saw the net bulge.

With 12 minutes gone, Colin Cameron made a hash of a clearance and when Viera picked out Zidane, the Real Madrid playmaker thrashed a wonderful shot past Neil Sullivan from 20 yards out.

10 minutes later, the French doubled their advantage when Trezeguet out-jumped the Scots defence to nod a Bixente Lizarazu cross high into the net, with Sullivan losing his footing as he shaped to dive.

Stevie Crawford stole in behind the French defence immediately afterwards but snatched at his shot and the ball bobbled wide.

With Zidane running the show, he French were exuding effortless brilliance, with the visitors reduced to chasing shadows.

Arsenal hit-man Henry scored a glorious third goal in the 32 minute when he latched on to a cut back from club mate Sylvain Wiltord and sent a stunning strike on the turn into the top corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area.

Vincent Candela keeps an eye on Neil McCann
Five minutes before half time, the Scots were once again carved open with ruthless virtuosity. Viera threaded a pass through four defenders and found Trezeguet, who coolly lofted the ball over the advancing Sullivan from close range.

Gary Holt and Scott Gemmill were introduced at the start of the second period, while the French threw on Mikael Silvestre and Claude Makalele: Norwich City and Everton versus Manchester United and Real Madrid tells its own story.

A further rash of substitutions disrupted the flow of the fabulous French, but Roger Lemerre's side continued to purr with an exhibition of poised possession football.

Zidane was full of tricks and full backs Lizarazu and Vincent Candela continued to bomb forward with menace, but the Scots were spared any further embarrassment with the French content to toy with their prey rather than finish them off.

However, with just a few minutes remaining, late substitute Marlet gave the 80,000 crowd a bonus with a smart strike which flew high into the net.

France: Barthez, Candela, Leboeuf, Desailly, Lizarazu, Vieira, Petit, Zidane, Wiltord, Henry, Trezeguet. Subs: Rame, Silvestre, Makelele, Djorkaeff, Marlet, Christanval, Karembeu, Carriere.

Scotland: Sullivan, Weir, Dailly, Caldwell, Crainey, Matteo, Cameron, Lambert, McCann, Freedman, Crawford. Subs: Douglas, McNaughton, Gemmill, Kenny Miller, McNamara, Thompson, Holt, Hughes, Paul Gallacher, Ross.

Referee: J Granat (Poland)

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BBC Radio Scotland's Alasdair Alexander
"The scoreline illustrates the gulf in quality"
See also:

27 Mar 02 |  Football
France hammer Scotland
Other top World Cup 2002 stories:

Links to more World Cup 2002 stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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