International Friendly
  • Antoine Griezmann (35')
  • Yohan Cabaye (55')
  • Karim Benzema (77', 79')

Karim Benzema brace fires France to 4-0 defeat of Armenia

Karim Benzema struck twice late on as hosts France continued their preparations for Euro 2016 with a comfortable 4-0 friendly win over Armenia in Nice.

Real Madrid forward Benzema wrapped up the game after earlier goals from Antoine Griezmann and Yohan Cabaye at the Allianz Riviera.

Armenia, who have failed to qualify for next summer's tournament, had some bright moments as they resisted the French for 35 minutes, but the hosts took firm control after Griezmann's powerful effort.

France dominated possession in the first half and had a good early chance as Mathieu Valbuena picked out Cabaye in the area, but Gael Andonian blocked the Crystal Palace midfielder's shot.

Armenia goalkeeper Gevorg Kasparov then had to be alert as Hovhannes Hambardzumyan almost sliced a clearance into his own goal from a teasing Patrice Evra cross.

But, for all France's superiority, Henrikh Mkhitaryan was a constant danger and he cut open the hosts to release Karlen Mkrtchyan, but the midfielder unselfishly opted to look to pass to Artur Sarkisov instead of shooting and a good chance was lost.

Sarkisov almost got another chance after an error by Mamadou Sakho, but Kasparov was quick to cut out the danger.

Evra also forced Kasparov to save, but the opener came as Griezmann seized possession in midfield and played a one-two with Benzema before firing a shot into the roof of the net 10 minutes before the break.

Armenia tried to respond and Mkhitaryan tried his luck from 25 yards just before the interval, but Raphael Varane quickly closed him down and deflected the effort wide.

France doubled their lead 10 minutes into the second half with a fine strike from Cabaye as the former Newcastle player rifled in a low shot from the edge of the area.

Benzema could have added another soon after but failed to control a Valbuena cross. Another opportunity came and went as Benzema failed to get the return pass through to Griezmann in an attempted one-two.

Benzema finally got on the scoresheet 13 minutes from time and quickly followed up with another.

His first came with a firm header from a Griezmann corner and he then showed good footwork to outfox Kasparov and fire home his second after being played in behind the defence.

Griezmann went close to a fifth late on but his attempted chip drifted just wide after Kasparov left himself stranded following a poor clearance.