French revolution reinvented as they trigger out Germany with a win

June 16, 2021

The French revolution, romanticism, art and cuisine is mostly what we have come to terms with when we hear the name of this country but what we can surely now agree on is that French Football is also a dominant component that can define the whole of the culture in a single word. The courage, the determination, the strength and the skill to pull off any trick from up their sleeves just to humiliate their opponent is what the pepites(the precocious French talent in French) were all about. Didier Deschamps’ men proved yet again why they are the Champions of the World and how they are still the title favorites in this competition against the former World Champions.

Paul Labile Pogba- this name is enough in the international football to make the Germans turn their head around and think what hit them last night. The French international gave his all trampling every blade of grass just to flirt with the glory for his team and come out triumphant in their first game of their Group stage fixtures along with him the French wonderkid Kylian Mbappe and the guy who calls himself just an “ordinary” football player but we all know his capabilities when his humble self comes onto the pitch just to sooth our eyes with his intelligent moves-N’golo Kante, have all been instrumental in their own fashion for clinching this victory away from the Germans.

Paul Pogba in action

I would like to pause here and reflect what I wrote and want to make a remark- with all that talent, expectation and what could have been the climax of UEFA EURO 2020 boiled down to a defensive mistake in the first half and turned out to be very much anti-climactic than we anticipated it to be. Joachim Low later on commented- “We were not clinical enough there is certainly something about Didier Deschamps’s side”. I wonder what legendary French international Eric Cantona would have said to the boys after this phenomenal performance- maybe he would have congratulated the team by making a video for them in instagram with the collar of his t-shirt up and saying that Football is the only way they can continue with revolution and fight against all the atrocities of racism and other problems that the world have been infested with- well we can only imagine.

Kimmich battling it out with Griezmann

Die Mannschaft kicked off this enthralling fixture trying to hold on to their possession with all their might and Toni Kroos’ free kick found Mats Hummels who headed it in just to find Hugo Lloris, the skipper and the custodian for the Le Bleus comfortably getting to the end of it. Thomas Mueller, Kai Havertz and Serge Gnabry were looking to have been connecting well for them to create chances and put their stronger foot front. Kante was forced to drop deeper into the defensive position until the first quarter of the play when Pogba and Griezmann acted with war chests and gained back the possession and started playing out their roles quite brilliantly.

Mueller’s battle with Kimpembe and Hernandez

Benjamin Pavard down the right flank and Lucas Hernandez up in the left started combining with Pogba and Anotoine Griezmann more and more just to let Kante and Rabiot attract more German midfielders towards their positions to look for niches in the middle of the park. The Allianz Arena with 14,000 spectators jeering and cheering for their teams turned the city of Munich into an amphitheatre of San Fermin (bull fighting in Spanish). The temperature started to rise in the Stadium and as the French media defined this encounter to be “Fiery” the teams started to play their mind games which lead to the breaking of the deadlock and an event which will go down in the German footballing history with not so fond memories.

Mueller after his miss

Pogba’s dangerous cross-field pass at around 20th minute entirely splitted up the German defense and the Bayern Munich defender Lucas Hernandez drills in a low cross and Mats Hummels being unable to adjust his positioning properly as Kylian Mbappe had been breathing down his neck the entire night clipped in the ball with his shin way past Manuel Neuer and at the back of the net putting the Le Bleus ahead with his own goal. The Germans did not take much time to react to it as Gosens’ teasing cross for Mueller went wide and Joshua Kimmich fought well with Kimpembe who turned every attack down and refused to stand down in the French defense which made things even worse for the hosts. Germany were struggling with their in-play transitions whenever the French went into counterattacking positions with Antoine Griezmann playing pivot when they were out of possession.

Lucas Hernandez after bullpining the shot on target
A celebration like no other

Pogba putting in subtle and beautiful passes for Benzema who with his brilliant controlling skills made the German midfielders and defenders put in double shifts at the back almost every five minutes of the first half as Joachim Low’s side lacked the invention to stop that kind of revolutionary play. The Germans launched their attack from the initiation of the second half with Serge Gnabry, Kai Havertz, Gosens, Mueller and Kimmich going all in for an equalizer but Mbappe stealing the spotlight cleverly trying to trick Ginter with his galloping run-ins to make a nasty challenge inside the six yard box but the Freiburg defender out-witted the wonderkid with his impressive defensive capabilities time and again.

Paul Pogba after his challenge on Toni Kroos

The visitors were expected to double their lead three times in the entirety of the second half. At around 52nd minute when Adrien Rabiot decided to shoot the ball in with his left foot than to square pass it to his colleagues at the left and hit the woodwork instead ; the second one came in at the juncture of 66th minute when Mbappe collected a pass at the left and cutting into the area and stroked a cool finish just to be strayed off-side in the build up; the final one when Benzema produced an absolute belter of an effort into the net after his reemergence into the national team with a not so well timed cross from Mbappe at the 86th minute just to adjudge and ruled out due to offside. The Germans were close to put the score line at parity when Gnabry missed the target and substitute Leroy Sane’s shot went some meters above the crossbar.

Rabiot’s shot hits the woodwork

The French side emerged victorious with their clever game plan and presence of amazingly talented team who played their part like a symphony out of Beethoven’s piano and acted out of Shakespeare’s comedy making us gaga and lose our sleep reminiscing the flashbacks of the game with nothing but pure joy. Germany would have to find a solution for their forward line if they want to qualify for the next round of the competition as their group rivals Portugal and France are not going to make it easy for them.

Team News:

France (4-4-2) Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Kimpembe, Hernandez; Kante; Pogba, Rabiot; Griezmann; Benzema, Mbappe.
Substitutes: Mandanda, Maignan, Lenglet, Lemar, Giroud, Dembele, Tolisso, Zouma, Digne, Coman, Ben Yedder, Kounde.

Germany (3-4-3) Neuer; Rudiger, Hummels, Ginter; Kimmich, Gundogan, Kroos, Gosens; Havertz, Gnabry, Muller.
Substitutes: Leno, Trapp, Halstenberg, Volland, Werner, Sule, Klostermann, Neuhaus, San, Emre Can, Koch, Gunter.

Referee Carlos del Cerro Grande (Spain)

Star of the Match: Paul Pogba.

Paul Pogba with his Star of the Match award