England vs France: Five memorable meetings between World Cup quarter-final foes


England are set to face France in a blockbuster World Cup quarter-final on Saturday, continuing a long footballing rivalry between the near neighbours.

Here we look at some memorable prior encounters.

England 2 France 0 (July 20, 1966)

The final game of the group stage in England’s triumphant home World Cup, which Sir Alf Ramsey’s men won to finish a point above Uruguay and set up their route to glory. Roger Hunt scored in each half to keep 98,000 fans at Wembley happy and pairing the hosts with Argentina in the quarter-finals rather than West Germany. The rest is history.

England 3 France 1 (June 16, 1982)

Sixteen years on the old foes were back together in the World Cup in Spain, with Ron Greenwood’s England comfortably coming through as they topped Group 4. The game is best remembered for Bryan Robson’s goal after 27 seconds, his country’s quickest ever at a World Cup, but the midfielder also put his side ahead for a second time before Paul Mariner made it safe.

France 2 England 1 (June 13, 2004)

One of the most galling defeats of the Sven-Goran Eriksson era, as his star-studded side came within a whisker of knocking off the reigning champions in the group stage of Euro 2004 only to fall apart at the close. Frank Lampard’s 38th-minute header had put England in front but David Beckham had a penalty saved by Fabien Barthez. Zinedine Zidane showed the coolest head of all as the closing moments arrived, curling home a last-gasp free-kick, then converting from the penalty spot after David James took out Thierry Henry.

England 1 France 1 (June 11, 2012)

Roy Hodgson’s hasty elevation to the top of the English game following Fabio Capello’s departure tempered expectations in the build-up to Euro 2012. Laurent Blanc’s team represented a tough start to tournament life for the new regime, but Joleon Lescott’s header on the half-hour raised hopes. Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri hit back short afterwards and a goalless second half saw both sides bank a point. England topped the group but matching exits in the quarter-finals saw them bow out at the same time.

France 3 England 2 (June 13, 2017)

Five years ago, the sides met in a season-ending friendly at Stade de France. Then, as now, Didier Deshcamps and Gareth Southgate were the men in the dugout and it was the Frenchman who came out on top. Harry Kane nabbed an early goal but Les Bleus rallied to go in ahead at half-time. A red card for Raphael Varane at the start of the second period should have changed things but, despite Kane’s equaliser from the penalty spot, Ousmane Dembele sealed the win.

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