Last Updated: 11/06/12 7:13pm
Mark says: "Got to be Joleon Lescott MOTM, first goal to get us started and solid at the back, stopped everything!"
Martin writes: "Thought England played okay today but got too negative in second half - will be hard team to beat though. Draw decent enough result against France."
Stay with us for all the reaction and analysis but also feel free to get in touch at Lewis.Rutledge@bskyb.com for a while longer to let me know your thoughts on the game and who you feel should be named man of the match.
The final whistle goes and England have drawn 1-1 with France in Donetsk to give both teams a satisfactory start in Group D.
There was late drama when these two teams met at the European Championship eight years ago but not here, as Benzema's last-gasp shot from distance is repelled by Hart.
France are firmly in control of possession as the clock ticks down, with both teams perhaps ready to accept a point.
The impressive Welbeck makes way for Defoe for the closing stages, as England look to snatch a late winner.
Milner delivers a menacing low cross towards Welbeck following a fast break but Mexes stays alert to slide in with an excellent clearance.
Newcastle supporters will be well aware of Ben Arfa's prodigious skill but he just dwells on the ball too long here and surrenders possession easily.
Debuchy wriggles away from Cole for the first time but his cut-back just fails to pick out a team-mate and England survive.
Young has been a real threat for England and he delivers a low cross from the left that could have paid dividends had Lloris not done well to make a crucial interception.
Welbeck comes to England's rescue with a crucial block from Cabaye's ferocious shot that takes the ball away for a corner.
Hodgson makes his first change and it is a double substitution, with Parker and Oxlade-Chamberlain making way for Defoe and Henderson.
England appear increasingly frustrated by the decisions of the referee as they feel he has given them very little today, with Milner the latest to go down after a challenge before eventually getting back to his feet.
Welbeck shows good pace to trouble Rami down the England left, before France launch a swift counter-attack that culminates in Benzema forcing Hart into a good save from a tight angle.
France's patient approach gives way to a sudden burst of pace that nearly catches England napping, but the defence stays alert.
The game is going through a bit of a lull at the moment as France pass it around in defence and midfield, with England just happy to keep their shape.
England's front two have received little service since the start of the second half and Hodgson must be thinking about changing things up for the closing stages.
Parker produces the type of block that has become his trademark as he throws himself in front of Malouda with little regard for his own safety to charge down a potentially dangerous shot from the edge of the area.
France win a corner but Hart confidently comes through a sea of bodies to take the catch and distribute calmly to send England on their way forward.
Johnson cuts in from the right flank and tries his luck with a left-footed shot that sails high over the crossbar and into the stands.
Benzema draws a decent save out of Hart with a powerful long-range strike that sends Hart diving athletically to his right.
Gerrard has produced another all-action display this evening and he atones for a rare sloppy pass with a decent challenge to win the ball back.
Ribery stays down following a double challenge from both Milner and Gerrard, but England play on and the Frenchman eventually regains his footing.
Debuchy has been impressive for France today but Cole is more than a match for him on this occasion as he makes a well-timed tackle.
Johnson looks frustrated after seemingly being fouled by Ribery to halt a marauding run forward, with the referee again allowing play to go on.
Milner spins away from Mexes down the right wing and manages to dig out a great cross, but none of his team-mates showed enough anticipation to get into the danger zone.
France spring forward and Evra is played in by Ribery on the overlap, before delivering a menacing low cross that is well cleared by Gerrard.
Gerrard takes a tumble just outside the area under pressure from Debuchy, but referee Rizzoli tells him to get back to his feet and waves play on.
Gerrard picks out Johnson with an excellent diagonal pass but the England full-back cannot escape the attentions of Evra.
England appear to have weathered an early storm from France at the start of this second half as Oxlade-Chamberlain goes down under a foul from Nasri to win a free-kick in midfield.
Hart has to rush off his line to deal with a back-pass from Milner that was never really on, and England survive a moment of panic.
Parker goes down after a tussle with Ribery when the Frenchman was holding him off with an arm to the chest.
France get the second half started and will be looking to pick up where they ended the first half. Neither manager has made a change at the interval.
The half-time whistle goes and England will be relieved to hear it after struggling for the last few minutes. Hodgson's men had previously acquitted themselves well and taken the lead through Lescott, but Nasri's equaliser has left this game very much in the balance.
Benzema plays a neat one-two with Ribery before driving into the area and testing Hart with a shot from an acute angle.
Cabaye lets fly from at least 30 yards out but his well-struck shot takes a deflection and goes behind for a corner, which Hart gets a strong fist on to send it to safety.
Ribery tries to wriggle away from a couple of challenges down the France left but Johnson holds his ground yet again to make a good tackle.
England had looked solid in defence before that goal, the first they have conceded under Hodgson, and now just need to regroup.
GOAL France are quickly back on level terms as Nasri fires a powerful finish into the bottom corner from just outside the area. Diving to his right, Hart was maybe unsighted by Gerrard but he will still be disappointed to have let that in.
Parker has been a typically unsung hero so far but he does well to block a Nasri shot from distance here.
France have responded well since going behind and are dominating possession just at the moment, with England content to soak up the pressure. Meanwhile, Oxlade-Chamberlain has been booked for unsporting behaviour.
France win a free-kick of their own wide on the right and Hart is required to pull off a splendid stop from Diarra's header. It was central but Hart's instinctive reactions still saved the day, with the rebound coming back in to the centre for Diarra to head wide.
The England fans in the crowd are in good voice and will be fancying their chances of seeing their team push on to victory, as the French defending was awful for that Lescott goal.
GOAL England win a free-kick in a good position wide on the right and Gerrard delivers an excellent cross which an unmarked Lescott heads powerfully past Lloris for his first international goal.
Ribery versus Cole is another heavyweight clash and the England full-back does well to tackle the France playmaker, although Hart has to be alert to take possession as the ball squirms free.
Welbeck has looked lively up front for England and his duel with Manchester United team-mate Evra has been fascinating, with the France defender just doing enough to combat his threat so far.
Another decent period of passing for England almost bears fruit, but Gerrard's attempt at a killer final ball is intercepted.
Debuchy, who has been linked with a couple of Premier League clubs, gets forward from right-back to whip in a cross that could have been dangerous, had any of his team-mates made the effort to get into the centre.
Nasri is seeing plenty of the ball as he tries to pull the strings in midfield for Les Bleus, but England's defence has been well organised so far.
There is some concern for Welbeck as he goes up for an aerial challenge with Rami and then gets trod on the ankle by the France defender as they come back down to earth. The physios come on to administer treatment but it looks as though he will be fine to continue.
Johnson races into an advanced position but wastes the chance to send over a telling cross as his delivery sails over the heads of everyone on the centre.
The tempo of the game has not been fast in the early stages, perhaps because of the heat or perhaps because the two teams are still sizing each other up.
Oxlade-Chamberlain shows what he is capable of with a delightful piece of skill that takes him between two France players, but his pass forward towards Young prompts the assistant to raise his flag for offside.
At the other end, Hart is sent scrambling to his right to produce a smart save from Cabaye's long-range effort.
England carve open the France defence as Young picks out Milner with a superb pass but, after doing the first part well to go around Lloris, the Manchester City midfielder shoots wide from an angle that was tight but by no means impossible.
Ribery torments his defender down the France right before playing the ball back to the edge of the area, where France are eventually crowded out by a sea of white.
France are beginning to turn the screw as Nasri tries his luck with a low shot from 20 yards which flies narrowly wide of Hart's right-hand post, although the keeper had it covered.
France break quickly thanks to a clever pass from Cabaye which sets Ribery up one-on-one against Johnson, but the England right-back stays disciplined to make a well-timed challenge.
Nasri earns a free-kick down the France right following a foul by Cole, and England look nervous as they defend the set-piece before Joe Hart comes to collect the ball.
France look cultured in possession but England have been quick to close down their opponents, with Cole and Lescott working hard.
France gain a foothold in the game with a slick move which nearly causes problems for England as Nasri attempt to pick out Benzema with a chipped pass, but England deal with the danger.
Oxlade-Chamberlain wins the ball in a dangerous area and drives towards his defender before seeing his pass, which was perhaps hit too early, cut out.
Young tries to release Welbeck down the England right but the flag is raised for offside, which looked a marginal decision.
England enjoy a spell of early possession before the ball is played forward down the left for Oxlade-Chamberlain to chase, but he cannot quite keep it in.
England kick things off in Group D and there is a fantastic atmosphere at the ground, with both teams well supported. Let us hope the match lives up to its billing and produces plenty of entertainment.
If there were points scored for the national anthems it would be 11-11 at this point, before a huge cheer rings around the Donbass Arena.
Kick-off is just a few minutes away now as the players gather in the tunnel. There are a few handshakes between club-mates but everyone looks steely-eyed with determination.
Tim writes: "I think England will be very solid at the back tonight as we saw in the last encounters. I think Oxlade will hopefully make a good impact, and give us some good attacking options just like Owen in 98. 1-0 England."
Hodgson has been speaking ahead of the game and says he has selected Oxlade-Chamberlain because he will provide the team with balance, and because he has impressed in training.
It appears from the feedback as though a lot of fans are worried about France, but it also works the other way. Here is what our French reporter, Patrick Haond, has had to say about England: "In France, observers always fear England. They are, of course, considered the strongest opponents to Les Bleus in Group D. If they can get through the group stage, everything seems possible for the team - even winning the final."
"Peter - Ex-Pat- Villa fan checking in from a very sunny Chicago. I reckon a late equaliser from England 1-1. Well at least I hope."
Liam writes: "I can't see England getting anything. They just simply aren't good enough. 2-0 France. Cabaye and Ben Arfa to come on and get the other."
Brian Taylor says: "I fear for Johnson at full-back. He is so out of place. Massive liability. We will soak up pressure and hope for a break. Draw most likely result. But we must score first."
One point of interest, or indeed a ready-made excuse for a less than inspiring performance, is the heat in Donetsk this afternoon. The temperature is expected to exceed 30 degrees Celsius during the match, which could prove energy-sapping for both sets of players. England have been based in the cooler Krakow and flew out yesterday to prepare for the fixture.
Timal writes: "Ummmm... Can England win without Rooney, Lampard, Ferdinand? I think no. Also with France, Benzema, Ribery, Maluda, Nasri,.. I think never. 2-0 France."
While England were hugely disappointing at the World Cup, it is fair to say that France were a complete shambles as a mutiny in the ranks infected their entire tournament. Things have turned around quite dramatically since then, however, with Laurent Blanc revitalising Les Bleus with typical Gallic flair and masterminding a 21-match unbeaten run. They have an enviable array of attacking talent at their disposal, with seven Premier League players in the squad.
This just in from our friends at Sky Bet: "France remain 6/4 favourites to make a winning start to their Euro 2012 campaign but there's plenty of patriotic support from England fans ahead of kick-off at the Donbass Arena and Roy Hodgson's men are now 21/10 for the win with the draw 2/1. France to win 2-1 is popular at 10/1, while the scorecast of England to win 1-0 and Ashley Young to score is 45/1. John Terry (25/1) to net the first goal has proved popular and would be a bad result for Sky Bet."
Jamie Jeeves writes: "Gonna go for a draw. I just don't see how we're gonna beat these guys with the amount of flair they have. I'm going 1-1 but I do hope we win just don't see it."
There have been some positive signs in the two warm-up games, with England yet to concede a goal under Hodgson after beating Norway and Belgium 1-0. The messages coming out of the camp have all been about high spirits and unity, and there has certainly been a feeling that the players are more at ease with their surroundings, following criticism of Capello's strict, insular regime in South Africa a couple of years ago.
Expectations are unusually low regarding England's chances this summer and that is perhaps not surprising when you consider how poorly they fared at the World Cup, as well as the turbulent build-up over the past few weeks and months. After a solid qualification campaign, Fabio Capello dropped a bombshell by resigning as manager following the John Terry captaincy row, and the team remained without a permanent boss or skipper until 1st May, when Hodgson was surprisingly given the job ahead of the 'people's choice' Harry Redknapp. There has also been the furore over Rio Ferdinand's non-selection and a number of injuries to original members of the squad including Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry, Gary Cahill and John Ruddy. Not that it is healthy to dwell on the negatives......
Dave Shelton writes: "England do look more solid defensively under Hodgson and with Chamberlain playing, I believe we can just edge this one 2-1. Come on England!!!!"
The referee for today's game is Nicola Rizzoli, and the performance of the Italian official is sure to come under as much scrutiny as any of the players.
France: Lloris, Debuchy, Rami, Mexes, Evra, Nasri, Cabaye, Diarra, Malouda, Ribery, Benzema. Subs: Mandanda, Giroud, Matuidi, Reveillere, Menez, M'Vila, Martin, Ben Arfa, Valbuena, Clichy, Koscielny, Carrasso.
England: Hart, Johnson, Terry, Lescott, Cole, Milner, Gerrard, Parker, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Young, Welbeck. Subs: Green, Walcott, Henderson, Carroll, Baines, Jones, Jagielka, Downing, Defoe, Butland.
Tom Ross writes: "Can't wait for this game! Predicting a 2-1 win for England with both Welbeck and Gerrard getting on the scoresheet. COME ON ENGLAND!"
Adam is the first to get in touch, saying: "Hoping for a decent display from our England team. I'm hoping to see Oxlade-Chamberlain perform well tonight. I just hope the defence without Ferdinand can cope with such likes as Benzema, Ribery and Nasri. Good luck to the England!!!"
The England team news is in and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been given the nod on the left of midfield, with Danny Welbeck preferred to Andy Carroll as the main striker in Wayne Rooney's absence and supported by Ashley Young. There is also a place in the side for James Milner, while Joleon Lescott has been handed a starting berth alongside John Terry in central defence.
Kick-off is still an hour and a half away but please get in touch with your pre-match views and predictions at Lewis.Rutledge@bskyb.com or via Twitter @SkySports Lewis. What type of game are you expecting and which players do you think will make the biggest impact? You can also join in with our live chat throughout the match here.
Welcome to our minute-by-minute commentary of the opening game in Group D, as England kick off their Euro 2012 campaign against France at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk. Sweden and co-hosts Ukraine are the other teams in a group that promises to be fiercely competitive, and Roy Hodgson will be determined to make a strong start against a French side that has been tipped as tournament dark horses.