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Feb 8, 2007

England and France suffered morale-sapping setbacks in their Euro 2008 build-ups when they slumped to home defeats on Wednesday.

A sublime goal from Barcelona's Andres Iniesta gave Spain a 1-0 win over Steve McClaren's England in Manchester while Iniesta's club teammate Javier Saviola was on target as Argentina beat France 1-0 in Paris.

But there were no such problems for two other Euro 2008 favourites as Germany cruised past Switzerland 3-1 while the Netherlands trounced Russia 4-1.

Substitute Iniesta settled the game at Old Trafford, England's last home game before they return to a new-look Wembley.

His 20-yard strike left debutant goalkeeper Ben Foster with no chance just after the hour mark.

"It was always going to be difficult with the players we had missing," said McClaren who was without star striker Wayne Rooney.

"When you have to make changes it is difficult to get cohesion and we struggled with that."

At the Stade de France, Saviola's delicate touch was decisive in the 15th minute to defeat the World Cup runners-up.

France pushed for an equaliser but the Argentina defence was well marshalled by captain Roberto Ayala, winning his 107th cap - beating the Argentinian record held by Diego Simeone.

France coach Raymond Domenech said the result had let him frustrated.

"We had everything: there was desire, great movement, great build-up but our last touch was missing," he said.

Argentina coach Alfio Basile was overjoyed with the result.

"It's a great satisfaction to win against France, one of the best teams in the world at the moment," said Basile.

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