England produced a resolute performance as they kick-started their European Championship campaign with a draw against France in Donetsk.

Joleon Lescott headed England ahead after half an hour from Steven Gerrard's free-kick, but Samir Nasri equalised just nine minutes later as France began to dominate proceedings.

Neither side could break the deadlock in the second-half with the points shared in the opening Group D encounter, with games against Sweden and co-hosts Ukraine to follow for the pair.

Joleon Lescott
Lescott headed England ahead.

In his first competitive fixtures in charge of England, Roy Hodgson was looking to deliver the country's first-ever opening game win in European Championship history.

After frustrating the stylish French side, led by Laurent Blanc, England went almost went ahead through James Milner, who after being played in by Ashley Young, rounded goalkeeper Hugo Lloris but could only shoot into the side netting.

However, England's luck changed on the half hour as Lescott got beyond Alou Diarra to head home from three yards after Gerrard's free-kick.

Diarra, who was found wanting for the opener, forced Joe Hart into a smart stop at the other end before France levelled the contest through Nasri's driven effort from 20 yards.

The Manchester City midfielder was given too much time on the edge of the box, as his low effort outfoxed teammate Hart at his near post as France drew level just nine minutes after England stormed into the lead.

The second half followed a similar pattern from the first half, as France dominated possession, with England happy to sit back and soak up pressure.

Karim Benzema produced the best two efforts of the second period, forcing Hart into a low stop prior to his shot being header over the crossbar by captain Gerrard.

Blanc introduced Hatem Ben Arfa and Marvin Martin late on, but the creative pair couldn't force an error from an tiring England midfield.

The draw extends France's unbeaten run to 22 matches, while England, in Hodgson's third match in charge since being appointed in March, will take amply positives from a solid performance.