[player 1014] started in goal with a familiar backline in front of him led by [player 95807]. It was the expected diamond shape with [player 185658] at the top of it. Benzema was fit after his knock in the friendly against [team 18690].
Germany played with a back 3. Returning after two years, Hummels was at the heart of the defence. [player 32362] started in an unnatural position at right wing-back with [player 30289] and [player 4842] partnering in the middle. Another returning veteran, [player 30286] started up top alongside Gnabry and [player 32612].
[team 18660] were opening their tournament against World Champions [team 18647]. The match was being held in Munich with supporters in the stadium. Everything surrounding the game was making the German fans believe that with their noisy support, their side can start the game on the front foot.
How wrong were they? Germany started the game terribly. They were all over the place and the French were all over them. Even though Germany had the line share of possession during the first few minutes, they were losing the ball in critical areas. France doesn’t dominate possession under [coach 474616], they play on quick transitions and Germany’s style was allowing France to do what they do best.
The French penetration resulted in a 20th-minute own goal by the returning Hummels. [player 186797] put the ball into the box and the communication between [player 30642] and Hummels was horrible or didn’t exist. [player 30372] couldn’t do much about it as the ball hit him and went in the goal. It was a goal that always coming and that goal signifies Germany’s problems, simply all over the place.
Germany were not looking convincing on the ball and the lack of combination between the front players was adding to the issues. [player 942] did come close to equalize when he missed a glorious opportunity. In all fairness, he should have at least got it on target.
France themselves were not looking as good as expected in the first half but Germany’s lack of penetration was keeping France comfortable.
The first half ended with France being the better side but Germany did start to grow into the game. The Germans did have the line share of possession but it was a possession that was highly ineffective. [coach 896295] had to change something to get back into the game.
Germany looked much better at the start of the second half. There was a significant increase in the intensity of their pressing and ball retention. The energy was different and the French struggled a bit.
The Germans then had some fine chances but struggled to take it. The lack of cohesiveness among the German front players was an issue. The final pass or the final delivery was not good enough.
The French knew they had to increase the intensity of their game and had to double their lead. Even though Germany were having a strong spell, France’s defending all over the pitch was excellent.
The positive German spell came to an end quite prematurely as the possession was beginning to be ineffective offensively. The German defensive high line was always gonna be an issue given [player 96611]’s pace and [player 93948]’s clever movement.
France started to have some counter-attacks. Mbappe’s sensationally curled finish was ruled out due to an offside before Benzema’s goal was also ruled out. Jogi did send on [player 31823] and [player 4783] to add some attacking threat but it never worked.
Germany were massively lucky to lose by a single goal, it could and should have been three or four.
France have shown how good they are and they are only gonna get better. As for Germany, they play [team 18701] next where they can almost get eliminated if they lose. With the players they have got, Jogi has got no excuses whatsoever for playing like this.
Fixture Details: [fixture 11984430]
Author: Devashish Akolekar