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 March 28, 2002 | 1910 IST

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France still not a "dream team": Lemerre

World champions France may have thrashed Scotland 5-0 in a majestic World Cup warm-up but coach Roger Lemerre warned that the champions were still some way short of being a "dream team" on Thursday.

The French scored four goals within the first 45 minutes on Wednesday and had sealed the game before the break against Scots who were overwhelmed technically and physically from the start.

But Lemerre said: "France are not a dream team. We are a team well-organised and disciplined. We played in a very simple way. But as far as the dream is concerned we'll see about it later," he said.

However, he was delighted with the performance against Scotland. "We had four shots in the first half and we managed to score as many goals. It's something exceptional.

"We played in a very simple manner and we were able to implement exactly what we wanted.

"We were really strong on the pitch. And what we did during the first half was sometimes outstanding," captain Marcel Desailly said.

"The first goal (by Zinedine Zidane) broke the deadlock and it was much easier to play after that."

Inspirational Zidane, at his very best, opened the scoring thanks to a superb 20-metre volley which left goalkeeper Neil Sullivan no chance in the 12th minute.

The game was from there was totally dominated by the world and European champions who gave the feeling they could score whenever they wanted.

"We had a fantastic first half. We scored great goals and we produced a game like we never had before. It was a real delight," Zidane said.


France did not miss midfielder Robert Pires at all.

The Arsenal player was ruled out of the World Cup after he tore a right knee ligament during a FA Cup quarter-final victory over Newcastle last week.

Lemerre, who wanted to stick to his 4-2-3-1 lineup, had decided to field in Thierry Henry on the left wing along with Juventus's David Trezeguet.

Henry scored a goal and Trezeguet hit a double to lift his personal tally to 18 goals for France.

"At first I was a little bit confused to be on the left but after a while everything went smoothly," Henry said. "It's still difficult to say something when you win by such a margin.

"We beat Japan 5-0 and we tamed Portugal 4-0. Every time people had said the opponents were too weak. I don't know."

It is the 10th time France scored four goals in a first half of an international match. The last time was against tiny Albania, dumped 5-0 in March 1991.

France will know a little bit more next month when they host Russia, the only side to have beaten them at the Stade de France since it was opened in January 1998.

The Russians won a qualifying match 3-2 for the 2000 European championship.

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