Griezmann guides France to final – Germany v France
Germany 0-2 France
Antoine Griezmann scored twice as France beat Germany 2-0 at the Stade Velodrome to set up a Euro 2016 final with Portugal in Paris, on Sunday.
Germany enjoyed almost 70 per cent possession during a frantic first-half in Marseille but it was France who broke the deadlock in injury time at the end of the first period when Patrice Evra’s header was adjudged to have hit the arm of Bastian Schweinsteiger. Griezmann made no mistake from the spot (45+2) and the tournament’s leading goalscorer was again celebrating in the 72nd minute after he capitalised on mistakes from Joshua Kimmich and Manuel Neuer to score his sixth goal of the competition to send Didier Deschamps’ side to the final. For Germany, who did everything but score, they exit the tournament having now lost four of their last six semi-finals at major tournaments.
Deschamps’ side started the second half in confident fashion with Moussa Sissoko picking out Giroud, but the striker’s shot was expertly blocked by Jerome Boateng. Seconds later, Griezmann went close again after combining with Giroud in the penalty area and the former’s shot was deflected over the crossbar. Germany were still seeing plenty of the ball but in the absence of the injured Gomez, they were struggling for a cutting edge in the final third with Laurent Koscielny and the impressive Umtiti defending resolutely. Germany were forced into a change in the 61st minute when Shkodran Mustafi replaced the injured Boateng and Joachim Low was soon calling for attacking reinforcements with Mario Gotze coming on in place of Can. But it was France who extended their lead and it was thanks to two Germany errors, the first by Kimmich and the second by Neuer, that handed Griezmann his second. Kimmich gave the ball away inside his own box, before the Bayern Munich goalkeeper punched Pogba’s cross only to see the ball fall to Griezmann who made no mistake from close range.
Germany almost responded immediately and it was Kimmich, who almost made amends for his mistake, clipping the outside of the post with a curling effort from the edge of the penalty area. Low threw Leroy Sane on for Schweinsteiger with 11 minutes remaining and he almost scored with his first touch before Mustafi lashed over from close range and Howedes headed over. France went close to extending their advantage with four minutes remaining but Griezmann fluffed his lines in search of a hat-trick, firing his effort straight at a grateful Neuer. It proved to be the Atletico Madrid forward’s last action and he was replaced by Yohan Cabaye after getting a standing ovation from all four sides of the ground.Germany had one final chance to pull one back as Kimmich turned the ball goalwards but Lloris kept his clean sheet intact with a tremendous diving stop to sum up Germany’s evening.
Man of the Match – Antoine Griezmann (France)
- Shkodran Mustafi replaces Jerome Boateng 61 mins
- Mario Gotze replaces Emre Can 67 mins
- Leroy Sane replaces Bastian Schweinsteiger 79 mins
- N’Golo Kante replaces Dimitri Payet 71 mins
- Andre-Pierre Gignac replaces Olivier Giroud 78 mins
- Yohan Cabaye replaces Antoine Griezmann 90+ mins
Germany – Emre Can,Bastian Schweinsteiger,Mesut Ozil,Julian Draxler.
France – Patrice Evra, N’Golo Kante.