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Gerrard satisfied with England's Euro 2012 draw
7:45pm Monday 11th June 2012 in Football League
England captain Steven Gerrard was satisfied after his side launched their Euro 2012 campaign with an encouraging 1-1 draw with France in Donetsk.
Joleon Lescott nodded home the opener in the 31st minute only for Samir Nasri to beat Joe Hart at the near post with a fine strike nine minutes later.
England tired in the second half, but they held France out to secure a point from their Group D opener.
"We would have been delighted with a win but as you saw tonight France have got fantastic players," Gerrard said.
"We caused them as many problems as they caused us so we're satisfied with the performance.
"But we said before the game that win, lose or draw we wouldn't get carried away and that this was just a platform.
"It's great to get off the mark points-wise."
Gerrard was impressed by the performance of 18-year-old former Saints winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was preferred ahead of Stewart Downing on the left flank.
"They're young players but good players. Wayne Rooney showed all those years ago that if you're good enough, you're old enough," Gerrard said.
"Oxlade-Chamberlain showed tonight that he's good enough for this level.
"He's still got a lot of learning to do, but playing with experienced players he'll get there."
England coach Roy Hodgson was pleased with his side's defensive performance and felt they could have taken all three points.
"France don't panic in the final third so you have to be very disciplined in your defending," he said.
"To finish 1-1 and ask the questions of them that we did, I've got to be happy.
"We kept them at bay and there weren't that many situations in front of our goal where I was panicking in any way.
"And there were a few situations in their third where we would have scored a second goal with a bit of luck."
Hodgson refused to criticise the display of referee Nicola Rizzoli.
"The referee did OK. It's foolish to start commenting on the referee's performance," he said.
"Sometimes you'll get a bit of luck, sometimes not.
"I know that Steven (Gerrard) was aggrieved not to get a free-kick, but the referee was fair to both sides. It wasn't one-sided."