Olivier Giroud scores twice for France in final Euros warm-up as Spain youngsters thrash Lithuania

·1-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud staked a claim to win back his place in France’s starting lineup with two goals off the bench in their final Euro 2020 warm-up.

The recall of Real Madrid star Karim Benzema after more than five years in the international wilderness, coupled with Giroud’s lack of game time with Chelsea, has left the 34-year-old more likely to play a role off the bench in this summer’s tournament.

However, Benzema was forced off injured in the first half of Tuesday’s friendly against Bulgaria in Paris with what appeared a minor knock, and Giroud, sent on as his replacement, scored twice late on in an eventual 3-0 win after Antoine Griezmann’s deflected bicycle-kick had opened the scoring.

The goals, Giroud’s 45th and 46th for his country, took him within five of Thierry Henry’s all-time scoring record and served as a timely reminder of his qualities as Didier Deschamps - who began the 2018 World Cup without Giroud in his lineup before drafting him in en route to glory - fine tunes his plans for next week’s opener against Germany.

Elsewhere, Spain hammered Lithuania 4-0 in what had been slated as a Euro 2020 warm-up, despite having to field an U21 side due to their first team being in isolation after midfielder Sergio Busquets tested positive for coronavirus.

Czech Republic, who will face both England and Scotland in Group D, warmed up for the tournament with a 3-1 win over Albania.

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