French on song in Albania win
Goals from Florent Malouda and Loic Remy put the Group D pacesetters in control by half-time and Anthony Reveillere rounded off the win in the second half. Les Bleus host Bosnia in Paris in their final game next Tuesday with both teams certain of at least a play-off place, with a point sufficient for Laurent Blanc's men to qualify as group winners.
Bafetimbi Gomis missed a fine early chance for the hosts, the Lyon striker poking wide after neat interplay with Samir Nasri. Yohan Cabaye shot over from long range, but the Newcastle midfielder was the provider for the opening goal as his cross was allowed to reach Malouda, who finished with the aid of a deflection. Debutant Mathieu Debuchy saw an angled drive saved by Samir Ujkani before Albania finally pressed forward and Hugo Lloris saved from Gilman Lika.
Nasri shot straight at Ujkani following a free-kick and Yann M'Vila fired wide before Gomis failed to make the required connection with Malouda's left-wing cross. France doubled their lead, though, when Manchester City midfielder Nasri advanced down the left and crossed for Remy to finish from a narrow angle. Albania almost responded immediately when Odise Roshi let fly from long range and forced a superb diving save from Lloris at the expense of a corner.
France pair Cabaye and Patrice Evra were withdrawn due to injury, with Marvin Martin replacing the former at the interval and Evra giving way to Reveillere two minutes later. Gomis' control let him down when through on goal and he then could not convert an acrobatic effort from near the penalty spot. Elis Bakaj shot over at the other end before the France substitutes combined for a third goal, Martin playing in Reveillere to finish from a narrow angle.
Albania's Klodian Duro fired a free-kick over and Younes Kaboul blocked Bakaj's shot before Gomis' powerful strike was well held by Ujkani. Djibril Cisse replaced Gomis and his first contribution was a shot which Ujkani turned behind for a corner.
From another flag-kick at the other end, Lloris reacted well to prevent Cana converting. The France keeper then saved from Hamdi Salihi and the match concluded with Cisse shooting waywardly over the bar.