WALES were well beaten by France on Wednesday night (June 2) as they began their warm-ups for the European Championship.
World Cup winners France featured Paul Pogba, Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann in what was a strong line up.
Gareth Bale started for Wales while Harry Wilson, Daniel James and Joe Allen also started.
There was an early chance for the hosts as Pogba crossed into the box for Benzema but Danny Ward made a good save to stop the Real Madrid forward’s header.
Wales hit back with a chance of their own as James’ cross was parried by keeper Hugo Lloris and France were forced to clear before the ball could be poked in.
There was a chance for Wales with 17 minutes gone as Joe Morrell’s cross was headed back across goal but the offside flag went up before a header went over the bar.
With 22 minutes gone a French cross was headed towards goal by Pogba but Ward made a great save.
However, the rebound from Benzema was blocked wide by Neco Williams. The referee consulted the pitch-side VAR monitor after claims it was blocked by a hand and subsequently awarded a penalty.
It seemed harsh on Wales as Williams had no time to get his arms out of the way with Benzema just inches away from him.
In a double blow for Wales, Williams was shown a straight red card.
Benzema took the spot kick but Danny Ward guessed right to make an excellent save and keep the score at 0-0.
The hosts were not to be denied on 33 minutes though as Adrien Rabiot’s deflected shot was saved by Ward but the rebound was poked in by Mbappe.
Mbappe saw a shot go over before half time and in added time Wales were given a corner which fell to Harry Wilson on the edge of the box but he fired wide.
It signalled that Wales still had life in them but they faced an uphill battle in the second half if they were to turn the game around.
That battle became almost impossible two minutes after the restart as Griezmann showed his class to curl a shot into the top corner of the net, leaving Ward with no chance of making a save.
Pogba tried his luck from long range but his shot was straight at Ward who gathered the ball.
Bale, Allen and Wilson were brought off shortly before the hour mark with Aaron Ramsey, Ben Davies and Kieffer Moore brought on as Rob Page looked to get a look some more of his players.
Ramsey was involved almost straight away as he slipped the ball through for James but his shot was well saved by Lloris before the rebound was fired over.
Benzema came close with twenty minutes to go but his shot was deflected wide for a corner.
With fifteen minutes to go Wales were given a free kick on the edge of the box. It was taken by sub David Brooks but his effort hit the wall.
Two minutes later France put the result beyond doubt. Benzema chested the ball down in the box but after his shot came out off the post, the ball fell to Ousmane Dembele who slotted the ball into the empty net to make it 3-0 to the hosts.
Dembele then tested the palms of Ward with a fierce shot from distance but the Welsh keeper made a comfortable save.
Benzema then saw a header saved as France continued to search for goals.
That was the last of the action and France saw the game out for a 3-0 win.
Wales will now look to pick themselves up for their next game, at home to Albania on Saturday, kick off at 5pm.
There first game in the European Championships takes place a week later.
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