France came from behind to grab an impressive victory over Italy in Parma. The 2-1 win was Didier Deschamps’ first friendly victory since taking charge following Euro 2012 and comes on the back of a credible draw in Spain in World Cup qualifying action last month.
Stephan El Shaarawy had given Italy a first-half lead before Mathieu Valbuena equalized prior to half time with a stunning solo effort. Midway through the second half, one of the game’s many substitutes Bafetimbi Gomis popped up to score the winner.
Italy almost took the lead inside the opening 10 minutes as their young strike partnership combined to good effect. El Shaarawy took the ball down well on the edge of the box before laying it back for Mario Balotelli to strike a wonderful effort off his instep that cannoned back off the cross bar.
But it was not long before Balotelli played a part in setting up a first goal for the Azzurri for El Shaarawy. Balotelli fed the ball onto an forward breaking Riccardo Montolivo, who continued his run before cleverly sliding in his Milan teammate, who shot low first time through the legs of Hugo Lloris in the France goal.
The home side’s lead would last just two minutes as Valbuena responded with a goal of the highest order. The diminutive midfielder picked up the ball just inside the left touchline and beat Marco Veratti before cutting the ball back inside defender Andrea Barzagli and dribbling into the box before unleashing a stunning curling effort into the far top corner from the angle.
The score stayed that way until the 67th minute. It was then that Jeremy Menez displayed some impressive trickery down the left to get near the byline before pulling it back to Evra who fired across the face of goal and Gomis slid in to prod home at the far post and take the spoils for France.