Favourites France start Euros with statement win over wasteful Germany

Date published: Tuesday 15th June 2021 9:55 - Sam Charlton

Mats Hummels scores an own goal past Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, France v Germany EURO 2020, TEAMtalk

A first half own goal from Mats Hummels proved to be decisive as World Champions France kicked off their Euro 2020 campaign with a 1-0 win over Germany.

In the final game of the first round of fixtures, the biggest contest of the tournament so far took place in Munich. But in a game featuring a whole host of top attacking talent, it was decided by a 20th minute own goal by Borussia Dortmund defender Hummels.


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It came after Lucas Hernandez had been found in space by a well-weighted Paul Pogba pass, and his cross was too difficult for Hummels to deal with as he skewed his attempted clearance past Manuel Neuer.

The Germans managed little in the way of a response, failing to register a shot on target in the first 45 minutes. Joshua Kimmich’s appeal for a penalty by N’Golo Kante were correctly waved away just before the half hour mark, before Ilkay Gundogan wasted their best chance of the half when he scuffed an effort from 12 yards wide of the goal.

France should have doubled their lead early in the second half when they again found space down their left side and put Adrien Rabiot through, but his effort hit near post when an tee up for Antoine Griezmann was arguably the better option.

Serge Gnabry almost made them pay moments later but he bounced his side-footed effort narrowly over the crossbar.

But it was a timid attacking display from Joachim Low’s side, who were unable to seriously trouble Hugo Lloris at any stage despite seeing plenty of the ball and matching France in all other areas.

Kylian Mbappe saw a brilliant curled strike ruled out in the 66th minute for an offside in the build-up, as did Karim Benzema with five minutes remaining.

But it wasn’t to matter as the tournament favourites saw the game out to ensure they started on a positive note.

 

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