Three days after being humiliated at home 4-1 by Japan, Germany recovered by beating, for the first time since the quarter-final of the 2014 World Cup, the French team 2 to 1, Tuesday in Dortmund in a friendly match.
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The French team suffered its first defeat of the year by falling victim to the awakening of Germany (2-1), although in the midst of a crisis but suddenly galvanized by the arrival of its great rival, Tuesday September 12 in a friendly match in Dortmund.
Two days after the dismissal of Hansi Flick and the appointment of Rudi Voeller as interim coach, the future hosts of Euro-2024 could fear the worst by receiving the Blues who were undefeated in 2023 and already almost assured of their participation in the continental tournament. But on the contrary, it was Didier Deschamps’ troops who fell into the trap, undoubtedly underestimating the burst of pride of a Mannschaft in dire straits in recent months and which had just been humiliated by Japan (4 -1), Saturday.
For this prestigious poster, a true classic of world football, the boss of the vice-world champion team decided to make six changes compared to the starting eleven which had easily won against Ireland (2- 0), Thursday at the Parc des Princes in Euro-2024 qualifying, sparing its star Kylian Mbappé, a first since November 30, 2022 and the France-Tunisia in the 1st round of the World Cup, and introducing a completely new defense. A sign of the little consideration given to this meeting without any stakes, one week before the start of the Champions League.
The sanction was immediate and this French team with its experimental rearguard was logically overwhelmed, conceding two goals, signed by veteran Thomas Muller in the 4th minute, his 45th achievement in 123 selections, and Leroy Sané at the end of the match ( 88th), just before Antoine Griezmann’s score was reduced from the penalty spot (89th).
The Blues, who had kept a clean sheet this year before going to Germany, generally erred on the side of too much naivety behind, notably the hinge composed of William Saliba and Jean-Clair Todibo, not particularly helped by Benjamin Pavard, still little reliable on the right and unable to control the speed of Serge Gnabry. Enough to unleash the 60,486 spectators at Signal Iduna Park, who even allowed themselves a break in the first period.
Kolo Muani disappoints again
If the defense swayed, the absence of Mbappé was cruelly and logically felt. The statistic is revealing: France has not won any of its last three matches without the Parisian striker. Only Kingsley Coman survived while Randal Kolo Muani and Antoine Griezmann, captain in blue for the second time, produced a very poor performance.
Kolo Muani, who aims to dislodge the indestructible Olivier Giroud from his position as N.1 center forward in the French team, did not take advantage of the Milanese’s injury withdrawal to score points and was once again disillusioned, not not achieving much against a German defense announced as being very crumbly. Suffice to say that Giroud can sleep soundly for the moment with a view to the Euro.
The rapid exit of Ilkay Gundogan (25th), undoubtedly due to injury, could have destabilized the Germans but the general apathy on the French side coupled with an unusual technical waste greatly facilitated their task.
The return of Ousmane Dembélé (65th) in place of Coman did not have the gift of shaking things up either, even if he allowed himself a few breakthroughs on a pitch he frequented during his visit at Borussia Dortmund (2016-2017). But the neo-Parisian may make crazy differences with the ball, he remains chronically clumsy in the last gesture.
Germany therefore withstood the shock and was completely reassured, beating France for the first time since the quarter-final of the 2014 World Cup. The Blues will have to show another face, on October 13 in the Netherlands, to secure their ticket for Euro-2024 for good.