Germany did well to overcome France today, getting a 1-0 win over France through defensive solidity. Although they looked suspect in the beginning, with a flu outbreak across the squad, Mats Hummels and Toni Kroos bossed the field today.
France vs Germany:
Muller won a free kick on the right wing at the half line in the 5th minute, after being challenged by Evra. Germany retained possession.
Benzema struck behind the net in the 7th, and from a TV screen it looked in. Neither side seemed to have momentum.
Griezmann beat the defence by receiving a great lob through ball, but Hummels quickly slid his cross out of the box in the 11th.
Germany had a free kick in the 12th, as Pogba challenged Kroos. GOAL! MATS HUMMELS! Kroos’s free kick went to the man, as Varane misjudged the cross. That was the 2nd time Kroos assisted Mats Hummels from a setpiece, the first being when Hummels headed home from a corner against Portugal. Germany 1-0 France
Klose was challenged by Cabaye, in a clearly malicious challenge as the ref came to talk to Cabaye.
Benzema had some sort of a breakthrough in the 22nd, but he was ruled offside.
Germany had a great set of play in the 24th, as a fantastic cross came in. Klose was in for one of his famous slide in goals, but he fell as he made contact with the ball and Debuchy. The ref said play on.
Muller was running into the box in the 25th, but Evra helped Lloris stop the ball. Evra was down; injured for a couple of seconds.
Ozil put a through ball toward Muller in the 28th, but Varane claimed it.
Germany won a free kick just outside the box on the right in the 29th. Did Kroos do it again for Khedira? He and Ozil stood behind it. They played Howedes’s heel, who won a suspect corner, which really didn’t make sense. Germany won a throw in from the corner as Lloris hit it to the side.
Muller went down in the box as a cross from Schweinsteiger was coming in, but the ref said play on.
VALBUENA! In the 33rd a beautiful ball from the back went to Griezmann, who crossed to Benzema. The cross went too far to Valbuena, who got a shot. It was going in, but Neuer’s elastics came out again. It then went to Benzema, but the German defence rushed him and it went back for a corner. That was the best chance that didn’t go in so far.
Khedira was on the floor injured in the 37th. He was hit by a ball from Debuchy, as the right back was trying to stop Klose. Khedira came off, but no one knew whether there would be a substitution or not.
Muller sent the ball to Hugo Lloris for sportsmanship as Khedira returned to the pitch in the 39th.
Debuchy conceded a free kick not too far away from the box after challenging Howedes on the left wing. Kroos took it, with Ozil there too, but it was well defended in the 40th.
Evra crossed in from the left wing in the 42nd minute, as Benema got the header. Hummels “stomached” it away, and for some reason Benzema was appealing for handball.
Benzema got a shot in the 44th, but he didn’t shoot even an inch away from Neuer. He really could’ve scored there.
Half Time: Germany 1-0 France; Goals, Hummels
Half Time Report: Germany has been brilliant in possession, as they have been efficient in keeping the ball and passing their way around France in Germany’s high press system. France’s midfield has done well to contain Germany, although Paul Pogba has been generally stuck in deeper areas today, with only Matuidi able to attack. The setpiece work from Germany has been world class, really threatening every time they got a free kick.
Toni Kroos has been the best player on the pitch by some distance, assisting the goal while drawing so many fouls from attacking midfield. Mesut Ozil looks isolated when on the flank, but he is immense when cutting into the centre to create plays while Howedes penetrates the flank.
France should’ve capitalized from a couple of chances, and would’ve but for Manuel Neuer. The German stopper, along with Keylor Navas of Costa Rica, has been the best in the tournament so far.
France are favouring more of a holding 4-3-3, with Evra and Debuchy attacking more than Pogba and Cabaye. Evra and Debuchy have been fantastic, with Pogba slotting into the right to cover Debuchy’s overlaaping of Valbuena and Cabaye coming back to act as a 3rd centre back. In attacking areas, the French outfit are playing through Valbuena and Debuchy on the right, while Evra allows Griezmann to drift in.
Germany have finally switched to a 4-2-3-1, with Miroslav Klose penetrating the lines in the back 4. They do well coming around, and Ozil, Kroos and Muller get around each other in the “3” of the formation. They also do well in the air, switching to more of a 4-2-2-2 with Klose and Muller up front, and Ozil and Kroos making the plays while Howedes and Lahm get plays in. Defensively, Khedira and Schweinsteiger are sitting back, but it doesn’t matter much, as Pogba and Cabaye can’t penetrate through Kroos. The midfield duo tend to attack 1 at a time, which works well for them.
The 2nd half started.
France won a free kick in the 49th but it didn’t work at all.
Ozil won Germany a corner in the 52nd, but they were called for a foul on Lloris during the dangerous setpiece.
Sami Khedira was shown yellow in the 54th for holding Griezmann back from a counter attack.
Toni Kroos drove from just outside the box, but it was further from the target than expected from the Bayern midfielder in the 55th.
Valbuena broke free just by Neuer, but he couldn’t control and he didn’t have enough time.
VARANE! He got a fantastic header, but Neuer was there to capture the low paced ball in the 60th.
Valbuena was hurt after colliding with Schweinsteiger in the 62nd. The players took the time as a water break.
France won another corner in the 63rd, but Benzema couldn’t control the cross.
Round of 16 super sub Andre Schurrle came on for Miroslav Klose in the 69th. With a substitution like that, you would think Low had a plan to play him in the semifinal- if Germany made it.
MULLER! Schurrle dummied an incoming ball, and Muller drove up the right flank in the 69th. His cross/shot curled out just past the post.
Laurent Koscielny came on for Mamadou Sakho, a strange substitution considering France is down a goal in the 71st. Sakho had major fitness problems in the previous games… could that relate?
Cabaye came off for Loic Remy in the 73rd. That’s the one we were waiting for. It is risky to sacrifice a midfielder against Germany.
Schurrle drove in the 73rd, but his effort was easily saved by Lloris.
BENZEMA! His effort was well blocked in the 76th.
Schweinsteiger was shown yellow for a challenge that prevented another counter.
Evra won a free kick to the left of the box, after he drew a Schurrle challenge in the 80th. The French won a corner, which was claimed by Manuel Neuer. WHAT A COUNTER! Ozil played in, but Muller dummied and it went to Schurrle, who shot, but Lloris cleared it.
Gotze came on for Mesut Ozil in the 83rd.
Germany won a corner in the 84th, and it was cleared by Benzema.
Valbuena came off after the corner for Olivier Giroud.
SCHURRLE! Muller’s cross in the 87th went to Schurrle, who blasted it, but Varane blocked.
The ref announced 4 minutes of stoppage time.
Cristoph Kramer came on in the 91st for Toni Kroos. What a performance from the Bayern man!
BENZEMA! In the 94th, his shot was hit out by Neuer, who threw up an arm to deny France the glory.
Full Time: Germany 1-0 France; Goals, Hummels; MOTM, Hummels
Manuel Neuer- The German goalkeeper claimed his spot as best goalkeeper in the tournament and world against Algeria and today. 9
Philipp Lahm- The right back did very well in defence, and even did well to attack in the end. 7
Mats Hummels- Not only did he score the goal, he defended and denied the French so many times, before they got to Neuer. 9
Toni Kroos- He was so threatening today, and he controlled the side in every way. 9
Thomas Muller- He was so dangerous, making plays and attempting to finish them. 7
Matthieu Valbuena- He was constantly threatening on the wing, and made some brilliant plays. 7
Later today, Brazil take on Colombia for a spot in the semi final at 4 today. The recent events in the tournament have seen James Rodriguez and company become favourites. Could Brazil stop them?