After a disasterous Euro 2000, England went to France to try to get themselves back on the right footing against the current World and European Champions. Kevin Keegan surprised everyone when he dropped Michael Owen in favour of Andy Cole as he tried a new line-up in this friendly.
In an exciting game, England were unlucky not to have taken the lead in the early in the first half when Gareth Barry's shot from 25-yards out went just over Lama's crossbar. After a promising start by England, Anelka almost put his country ahead but his shot went inches wide of England's net. England continued to apply pressure in the first half and saw the French goalkeeper tip efforts over his bar from Cole and Barmby, and then Lama blocked a shot from Barmby.
France then seemed to dictate the flow of the game and England's defence had to block shots from Anelka, Henry and Petit. With two minutes of the first half remaining France were unlucky to have shots from Henry and Anelka stopped.
England were forced to make a change during the interval after Adams' collision with Deschamps just before the half-time whistle. Southgate replaced England's captain.
England made the first break of the second half when Beckham crossed the ball, which Blanc could only put out of play for a corner to the visitors. The resulting corner saw Southgate's header just miss the net.
England looked to have been given a lucky break when Henry was called offside, however it looked as though he was played onside by Gareth Barry.
Just before one hour of the game had passed Blanc and Deschamps were substituted which signalled the end of their international careers and it took almost two minutes for these players to leave the pitch due to the appreciation of their fans.
France were now in control of this game and took the lead in the 64th minute through Emmanuel Petit. Zidane created the play which lead to the goal and Petit hit his shot from the edge of the penalty area, past a sprawling Seaman.
With twelve minutes remaining England injected more fire power into their attack by sending on Michael Owen. Eight minutes later Owen had provided the England coach the perfect answer to his exclusion from the starting line-up in this game by scoring the equaliser. Keiron Dyer crossed the ball from the right to Owen who was able to hit the ball into Lama's net.
On the stroke of full-time England half cleared a corner, the ball was picked up by Petit who found Vieira but the Frenchman could only shoot the ball straight at David Seaman. The game drew to a close with England having looked much better than they did in Euro 2000 and has given the country hope that they could get off to a good start in their World Cup 2002 qualifying campaign next month.
Lama, Lizarazu, Blanc (Leboeuf 58), Desailly, Thuram (Candela 79), Petit, Deschamps (Vieira 58), Djorkaeff, Zidane (Pires 66),
Anelka (Wiltora 45), Henry (Trezeguet 73).
Subs Not Used: Barthez, Micoud, Karembeu, Dugarry, Rame.
Seaman, Campbell, Adams (Southgate 45 mins), Keown, Barry, Anderton (Dyer 69 mins), Beckham, Wise, Barmby (McManaman 82 mins), Scholes (Owen 78 mins), Andy Cole.
Subs Not Used: Martyn, P Neville, Ince, Smith, James. (Full Squad)
France Goal: Petit (64 mins)
England Goal: Owen (86 mins)
France Caution: Zidane
Referee: J Ansuattegui (Spain)