Malouda set for busy summer

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Football News

It was a night of mixed fortunes for Chelsea's players in the final round of European Championship qualifiers last night, with success and failure bestowing a large crop of Blues players.

Florent Malouda enjoyed the greatest of successes, helping France to a vital draw against Bosnia & Herzegovina in Paris to secure their place in Poland & Ukraine next summer.

Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko gave the visitors a first-half lead before Malouda was withdrawn on the hour. Samir Nasri equalised with a penalty on 78 minutes, and Les Bleus now join some of Europe's biggest names in the main draw.

Things aren't so simple for Raul Meireles and Petr Cech, with the pair set for play-off action after slipping too and securing second place respectively.

Portugal were in the box seat in Group H, but a final day 2-1 defeat to Denmark saw the hosts top the group and condemn Meireles & Co. to the knock-out lottery.

Czech Republic started their Group I clash against Lithuania in third place, but knew if they could better Scotland's result then they would take the runners-up spot in the group.

The Scots lost 3-1 in Spain, who had Fernando Torres and Juan Mata as an unused substitute, leaving the Czech's to take second place with a 4-1 win in Kaunas. Cech was beaten by a second-half penalty.


Romelu Lukaku and Branislav Ivanovic suffered final day heartache with Belgium and Serbia respectively, and the pair will be joining Yossi Benayoun in watching the competition.

Lukaku's Belgium needed a victory in Germany to assure qualification, but after a good start fell to a 3-1 defeat against their impressive hosts. Turkey stole in to steel second.

Serbia blew their chance to overtake Estonia with a 1-0 defeat in Slovenia. Ivanovic played 90 minutes, with Manchester United skipper Nemanja Vidic missing a penalty in the match.

Jeffrey Bruma played 90 minutes for Holland in their first defeat during qualification, with Sweden claiming a 3-2 win over the group winners and securing their own place in the competition proper as best runners-up.

John Obi-Mikel played 20 minutes for Nigeria in a 0-0 draw against Ghana.

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