Belgium warm up for Wales Euro 2016 qualifier with win in France

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport at Stade de France
Belgium players celebrate after scoring the fourth goal against France
Marouane Fellaini scored twice in Belgium's win over France
Euro 2016 qualifier: Wales v Belgium
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium Date: Friday, 12 June Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru and the BBC Sport website

Belgium warmed up for Friday's vital Euro 2016 qualifier against Wales with an impressive 4-3 friendly win over France in Paris.

Two goals from Marouane Fellaini and a 20-yard effort from Radja Nainggolan gave Belgium a comfortable 3-0 lead.

Mathieu Valbuena's penalty reduced France's deficit, only for Eden Hazard to respond with a spot-kick.

Substitutes Nabil Fekir and Dimitri Payet struck late for France but Belgium coasted to a memorable win.

Just five days before facing fellow Group B pace-setters Wales, Belgium selected their strongest possible line-up and produced a formidable display with Wales manager Chris Coleman watching in the stands.

With a packed Stade de France at full volume, the game began with a raw intensity belying a friendly, and it was Belgium who seized the initiative.

After France failed to clear a 16th-minute corner from the visitors, Nainggolan's shot was deflected into the path of Fellaini, who struck powerfully beyond Hugo Lloris from eight yards.

Christian Benteke wasted an excellent chance to double Belgium's advantage when he headed straight at Lloris from close range.

But the Aston Villa striker's miss mattered not as Fellaini nodded into the bottom corner to give the Red Devils a commanding half-time lead.

Marc Wilmots' side were 3-0 up soon after the restart, as Nainggolan's powerful, low strike from 20 yards whistled into the bottom corner.

France seemed to have a lifeline when Valbuena converted his penalty after Nicolas Lombaerts' foul on Olivier Giroud but, within a minute, Belgium had a spot-kick of their own.

Laurent Koscielny brought down Axel Witsel in the box, giving Hazard the opportunity to calmly send Lloris the wrong way and roll the ball into the corner.

The Chelsea player's next involvement was to set up substitute Romelu Lukaku with an outrageous 'rabona' cross, but the Everton forward's shot struck the bar.

France substitute Fekir reduced their arrears with a late volley, before fellow replacement Payet stroked home Les Bleus' third from the edge of the area in injury time.

But those goals did not detract from what was an excellent Belgian team performance, and a bold statement of intent ahead of their crucial match against Wales.

France's Olivier Giroud tries to fend of Belgium defender Nicolas Lombaerts
France's Olivier Giroud tries to fend of Belgium defender Nicolas Lombaerts