Samir Nasri admitted he used inside knowledge to beat Manchester City team-mate Joe Hart at the Donbass Arena.
England took the lead on the half-hour mark when Joleon Lescott headed home Steven Gerrard's pinpoint free-kick.
But the lead lasted just nine minutes as France ace Nasri, teed-up by Franck Ribery, slotted home past Hart into the bottom corner from outside the box.
Afterwards Hart paid tribute to Nasri for his goal, saying: "Samir's a clever player" and Nasri admitted he used his trickery to beat his Premier League team-mate.
"Ribery gave me the ball back and the England defence was really low (sitting back). Joe Hart knows I open my body up so I did the opposite," he said.
Nasri was voted man of the match but would have preferred to have won as France target progression into the quarter-finals at least.
He added: "It is a big honour but I would have preferred to win the game. We didn't lose and that is the important thing.
"I am confident about our possibilities of going through to the quarter-final."