Friendly: Germany is having fun with France three months before the Euro!


By: Manu Tournoux

Three months before Euro 2024, the France team welcomed Germany to Groupama Stadium in Lyon this Saturday evening. A meeting, certainly, friendly but important for the two selections which could meet again next summer. For this shock and a few months after the defeat of the Blues in Dortmund, Didier Deschamps aligned a 4-3-3 with Brice Samba in goals. In central defense, Benjamin Pavard was associated with Dayot Upamecano while Warren Zaire-Emery accompanied Aurélien Tchouameni and Adrien Rabiot in midfield. In front, Kylian Mbappé and Ousmane Dembélé surrounded Marcus Thuram. For his part, Julian Nagelsmann opted for a 4-2-3-1 where Kai Havertz, alone at the forefront, was supported by a trio composed of Florian Wirtz, Ilkay Gündogan and Jamal Musiala. A duel which would quickly turn to the advantage of the Mannschaft… Surprised by the German kick-off, the Blues left Florian Wirtz completely free in the space between the midfield and the defense.

Impressive since the start of the season in the Bayer Leverkusen jersey, the 20-year-old jewel then took the ball before landing a sublime right shot under the bar of a helpless Samba (0-1, 1st). Showered after only 8 seconds of play and taken by the intensity of their evening opponent, Lucas Hernandez's teammates tried to react and then relied on the vivacity of Dembélé… Dominant in his duel against Mittelstädt, the Parisian winger found Mbappé for the first time but the latter crossed his shot too much (22nd). In the process, the former Monegasque, found by Hernandez, stole his ball but saw his attempt repelled by Ter Stegen (25th). Too little inspired in the game and generally dominated collectively, Didier Deschamps' troops nevertheless had one last opportunity before the break but Rabiot, six meters away, was blocked by Andrich (35th). Trailing at the break, the Blues were still cracking when they returned from the locker room…

The Blues have completely come through!

Very fragile on the defensive level, the France team was once again overwhelmed against Wirtz's vista. Starting from his left side, the Leverkusen player unleashed a marvelous long pass in depth for Musiala, who cleared Samba before finding Havertz behind. Alone at six meters, the Arsenal striker crossed his left shot to make the break (0-2, 49th). Stunned and amorphous, the Blues had all the difficulty in the world to appear dangerous on the outskirts of the opposing surface. Like a disappointing Zaire-Emery or a far too discreet Thuram, the reigning world vice-champions found no solution against the German bloc. Often caught in the depths, Koundé's partners also displayed a lot of excitement in the face of the breakthroughs of Havertz, Musiala and Wirtz, omnipresent during this meeting. Frustrated by the turn of events, Deschamps finally brought new blood to his starting lineup.

Théo Hernandez replaced his brother while Zaire-Emery, Koundé and Thuram gave way respectively to Camavinga, Clauss and Giroud, chanted by the public in the Lyon enclosure. Despite these changes, the appearance of this match hardly changed. Overwhelmed in the duels, unable to reverse the trend and too little united collectively, the Tricolores faltered again and again. If the Blues had, certainly, the merit of not conceding a third goal – well helped by the last decisive parades of Samba and unlucky when Rüdiger pushed a ball back at the last minute on his own crossbar (88th) – the defeat (0- 2) did not, for its part, suffer from any possible dispute. A setback that feels like a wake-up call just a few weeks before heading to German lands…

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