France: Lloris; Debuchy, Varane, Sakho, Evra (Digne 67’); Pogba, Matuidi (Cabaye 67’); Sissoko (Schneiderlin 77’), Valbuena (Cabella 74’), Griezmann (Rémy 58’); Benzema. 4-2-3-1.
Spain: De Gea; Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, San José, Azpilicueta; Koke, Busquets, Fábregas (Pedro 67’); Raúl García (David Silva 57’), Diego Costa (Paco Alcácer 67’), Cazorla (Isco 77’). 4-3-3.
1-0. 73. Rémy. Turned shot past De Gea after Valbuena laid ball across.
A renovated Spain side fell to a 1-0 defeat against France in the opening match of the new season. With the likes of Xavi, Xabi Alonso and David Villa calling it a day at international level, Del Bosque is building a new squad based largely on the successful under 21 sides which won the last two European championships. The coach called up five uncapped players this time around, three of whom, Carvajal, San José and Raúl García all started this match, with Paco Alcácer coming on later on. It was clear though that there is still work to do, as the team hardly managed a shot on target throughout the ninety minutes against a more experienced French side. Benzema felt himself unlucky to have a strike ruled out for a questionable offside early in the second half, and a few minutes later Rémy latched on to Valbuena’s cross to fire a shot past De Gea. Substitutes David Silva and Isco did cause some problems in the closing minutes however, the former clipping a shot just wide of the post and the latter having a penalty appeal turned down, and Alcácer also came close to scoring late on. In the end though it was a game with nothing at stake, and the real test comes on Monday night in the Euro 2016 opener against Macedonia.