France hand Australia another six-goal rout
France's defender Raphael Varane (C) and forward Olivier Giroud (R) jump for the ball during their friendly football match against Australia on October 11, 2013 at the Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris
Just a month after being hit for six by Brazil, Australia were given the runaround again as France proved their recent troubles in front of goal were a thing of the past.
If reports in the Australian press are to be believed, then German manager Holger Osieck will be sweating on his job when he wakes up on Saturday morning, despite guiding the Socceroos to the World Cup finals.
"The result speaks for itself, we never really got into game," admitted Osieck.
"As I said in the press conference yesterday (Thursday), France is a quality team and we could never really compete against them."
In truth, France were brilliant with Olivier Giroud, retaining his place ahead of Karim Benzema, bagging a brace while Franck Ribery scored a penalty and had a hand in five goals.
Even Benzema, on as a second half substitute, got in on the act, along with Newcastle United pair Yohan Cabaye and Mathieu Debuchy on a fine night for the hosts, who discovered that World Cup qualifying results elsewhere had guaranteed them a play-off place.
"If we can pick up this habit it will simplify things," said France coach Didier Deschamps.
"It's not easy to score six goals. You can say that Australia are not a great team but they've qualified for the World Cup.
"We played a great game, we were effective, we created chances, played with fluidity, simplicity and movement starting from the back.
"We put them under pressure continuously -- there was a lot of quality in what we did."
France had come out of the blocks on fire, showing they had lost none of swagger that saw them bang in four goals in the second half of their last match in Belarus.
A classic one-two between Patrice Evra and Giroud saw the Manchester United full-back get down the left flank and then pick out the Arsenal striker once again 12 yards out, only for debutant goalkeeper Mitch Langerak to make an instinctive stop, before skipper Lucas Neill flung himself in front of Ribery's follow-up.
But that was as good as it got for Australia.
Giroud belied his size with some clever juggling outside the box before releasing Ribery down the left, the Bayern Munich flyer then teeing up Loic Remy for a header that went over the bar.
Incredibly, though, Portuguese referee Artur Ribeiro signalled for a penalty, adjudging David Carney to have handled in the box as he challenged Remy.
Australia's players were incensed and television replays proved they had every right to be as Carney's arm made no contact with the ball.
But Ribery was not feeling charitable and calmly slotted home the spot-kick on eight minutes.
He was a constant menace down the left and just past the quarter hour he made a typically bustling run down the wing before picking out Giroud to justify his selection with a delicate chipped finish.
The third was a beautiful team goal but again Ribery was involved, slipping in Samir Nasri between the centre-back and full-back before the Manchester City midfielder found Giroud to slot home on 27 minutes.
And two minutes later Ribery played a square ball across the box for the onrushing Cabaye to lash home.
Whatever Osieck said to his players at half-time, it didn't work.
Within six minutes of the restart, Debuchy had rifled home a half-volley on his weaker left foot after a poor headed clearance and Benzema had converted at the near post from yet another Ribery cross.
It was Real Madrid striker Benzema's first goal in a France shirt for 1,222 minutes, perhaps more of an indication of Australia's defending than his own return to form.
Ribery went off just past the hour mark and with it so too did France's main attacking threat, although Remy spurned two glorious chances to get his name on the scoresheet while Langerak made late saves to deny Nasri and Moussa Sissoko.
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