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France vs Germany a few quick thoughts

  • After 50 games of this Euro 2016 tournament we now know who the finalists will be as hosts France booked their place in Sunday’s final against Portugal with a win over World Champions Germany
  • In front of a packed Stade Velodrome in Marseille, Didier Deschamps side ran out 2-0 winners but they certainly had to work for their win
  • Match statistics may tell you one story but a scoreline tells you another
  • Germany had all the possessions and the chances in the first half but they couldn’t put France to the sword
  • How they could have done with injured Mario Gomez in their starting lineup
  • They had France pinned on the ropes during the first half but they couldn’t find a knockout punch
  • Once again Thomas Muller drew a blank and therefore failed to register a single goal during this tournament
  • It wasn’t Muller time (sorry)
  • Oliver Giroud did have the best of what few chances France had but his lack of pace let both him and his side down
  • As the game looked to be heading into the break with no goals from either side the pivotal moment then happened
  • Bastian Schweinsteiger was penalised for handball by Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli in an aerial challenge with Patrice Evra
  • Personally I felt it was a harsh decision but many have said it was the right one
  • Thankfully for France I wasn’t the referee
  • Antoine Griezmann was then given the opportunity to give France the lead from the penalty spot
  • He stepped up and duly obliged
  • France ahead in first half injury time
  • At this point Germany were still to concede a goal in open play
  • Advantage France, could they withstand the German onslaught for another 45 minutes
  • There cause was certainly helped when Jerome Boateng went down after tearing a hamstring
  • Even if Germany were to go through that would be the end of Boateng’s participation
  • Samuel Umtiti in only his second game for France was managing to keep everything that Germnay threw at him at bay
  • For someone who has only played for France in the last week he certainly didn’t let the big game occasion get the better of him
  • But with 18 minutes to go, the man of the tournament Antoine Griezmann would all but decide the tie once and for all
  • Paul Pogba picked up a loose ball in the box after Mustafi cheaply gave away possession
  • After a neat bit of skill he lofted a cross into the area, one that Manuel Neuer could only flap at
  • Unfortunately for Neuer the cross fell at the left foot of Griezmann and he was on hand to stab home to double France’s advantage and send the partisan crowd into raptures
  • France had just 18 minutes to hold out before reaching a 4th European Championship final
  • But Germany weren’t prepared to roll over
  • Almost instantly Joshua Kimmich curled an effort from outside of the box but it agonisingly hit Hugo Lloris’ post and drifted safely wide
  • It would be Kimmich again who would call Lloris into action again as saw a header brilliantly saved
  • Bu that would be all Germany had left to offer as it was to be France’s night
  • France may have started this tournament slowly but they are improving with every game that has passed
  • It seems that Didier Deschamps has now finally found his best eleven and I would be very surprised if he makes any enforced changes for Sunday’s final
  • That will mean that Adil Rami and N’Golo Kante will once again have to make do with the bench
  • Then again why change a winning formula
  • As for Germany they failed in a bid to add a European Championship to World dominance
  • Where was the ruthless efficiency when they really needed it
  • But it’s France who move on to the final
  • Can they get the result that not just French football needs but the whole nation
  • We will find out on Sunday
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