Captain Harry Kane admitted England had just not been good enough after 10-man France battled back to secure a 3-2 win in Tuesday night’s international friendly in Paris.
Kane’s close-range finish and second-half penalty, which saw consultation with the video assistant referee and a red card for home defender Raphael Varane, had cancelled out efforts from Samuel Umtiti and Djibril Sidibe.
However, Ousmane Dembele won it for Les Bleus 12 minutes from time when he punished some sloppy England defending.
Kane was disappointed England failed to go on to get a positive result, as they had with a last-gasp equaliser in Saturday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Scotland in Glasgow.
“Scoring two goals away from home in France should be enough. We have got to find a way to win them, especially when they go down to 10 men. We just weren’t good enough,” Kane said on ITV.
“We will have to look back and see why. They were just getting too much space in vital areas, even with 10 men.
“If we want to be brave and play like that, then sometimes mistakes like that are going to happen.
“It is stuff we have to work on, but [Eric] Dier is a great player and it was a ball which got cut out and that was unfortunate.”
There were several expected changes made by Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate, but Kane refused to use the differing personnel as an excuse.
“We have been working a lot on being [adaptable] and it is disappointing,” the Tottenham forward added. “After getting back to 2-2 and then they were down to 10 men put us in the driving seat, but we really didn’t step it up another gear and they seemed to get a second wind.
“We will have to look back and see why, but it wasn’t good enough.”
The game had kicked off five minutes late due to a series of prematch tributes for the victims of the Manchester and London terror attacks, including the Republican Guard’s rendition of Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” a spirited, unified airing for the national anthems and a minute’s silence.
Southgate felt the defeat was not all negative for his experimental Three Lions team, which saw Tottenham full-back Kieran Trippier handed his England debut while goalkeeper Tom Heaton started before being replaced by Stoke’s Jack Butland for the second half.
“I thought there were some definite positive individual performances,” the England manager said on Sky Sports News HQ.
“I thought Raheem Sterling caused a lot of problems in the position he played and I thought Harry in the first 50 or 60 minutes really led the line well.
“A lot of the play with the ball was good. It seems that at 2-2, after the sending off, they went up a level in terms of what they were able to find and we didn’t manage that period of the game well.
“We should have kept the ball far better.”
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