Antoine Griezmann was at his very best as two goals from the forward secured a spot in the finals for the hosts, France. It wasn’t the easiest of games though as Germany were perhaps the better side for much of the match. It took a series of last ditch defending and some magnificent saves from Hugo Lloris to keep their clean sheet intact. With this victory, France are set to face Portugal in the finals of Euro 2016 at Stade de France on Sunday.
France started brighter in this contest as some wonderful linkup play down the left hand side saw Griezmann skip past a couple of German defenders and curl a shot with his right foot which was saved well be Manuel Neuer. After this though, it was all Germany. Ozil and Kroos kept finding space on the edge of the box and a shot from Emre Can forced a fine save of Lloris. They kept pushing and probing as France were completely dominated in both play and possession. Right at the dying moments of the first half, France won a corner from which they won the penalty for the opening goal. The corner was met by Evra’s head onto the outstretched arm of Schweinsteiger and the referee took a while before pointing to the spot. This incident was very similar to Boateng’s handball vs Italy. Griezmann stepped up and sent a thumping goal in to give France the lead against the run of play. From then on, France got a decent grip of the match. In the second half, another German error led to the second French goal. First, Kimmich failed to clear a ball in the box, conceding possession cheaply to Pogba. Pogba’s cross was then poorly punched out by Neuer as the resulting clearance fell to the feet of Griezmann who scored his simplest goal in a brilliant tournament for him so far. Kimmich came closest for Germany with one long distance shot clipping the post and a strong header producing one of the saves of the tournament from Lloris. In the end, Deschamps men held on for a historic win while Low and his men were in tears after coming so close yet again at the European Championships.
Man of the Match – Antoine Griezmann
It’s a surprise that no one had suggested this earlier, but Griezmann’s 6 goals in 6 matches at the Euros will definitely put him in contention for the Ballon D’Or. He was poor in the game against Romania, but now, he’s leading the French charge for European glory. France will need him to be at his very best if they want to beat Portugal in a couple of days time. At the moment though, the entire nation will be singing his name as fans celebrate this historic and elusive win over the immensely talented German side.
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