France had to come from behind to get the better of Italy in an entertaining friendly in Parma.
Stephan El Shaarawy opened his Italy account on 35 minutes but Mathieu Valbuena's wonderful solo run and cool finish leveled the scores before the break. Bafétimbi Gomis had only been on the pitch for three minutes after replacing Olivier Giroud when he completed the France comeback with a close-range strike on 67 minutes.
The Azzurri started the game strongly and came close to opening the scoring on ten minutes when Mario Balotelli latched on to El Shaarawy's knock down but his effort came back off the crossbar. However, the breakthrough came ten minutes before the interval as Riccardo Montolivo released El Shaarawy, who maintained his composure to score his first international goal.
Italy's lead did not last long. Three minutes later, Olympique de Marseille midfielder Valbuena received the ball on the left and dribbled past Marco Verratti and Andrea Barzagli before curling a delightful effort into the top corner. Didier Deschamps then rang the changes midway through the second half as Franck Ribéry and Giroud were replaced by Jérémy Ménez and Gomis.
The substitutes did not need long to make an impact, as Ménez dribbled past two Italy defenders on the left and found Patrice Evra, whose cross-cum-shot was turned in by Gomis at the far post to give Les Bleus the lead. Lloris had to be at his best to deny Sebastian Giovinco an equaliser and Emanuele Giaccherini struck the crossbar for hosts three minutes from time but France held on.
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