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France 2 Germany 0: Giroud and Gignac on target for Euro 2016 hosts

Olivier Giroud and Andre-Pierre Gignac were on target but it was Anthony Martial who stole the show as France beat Germany 2-0 on Friday.

The Euro 2016 hosts welcomed Germany to Paris having won their last four games on the spin and extended the run to five thanks to Giroud and Gignac, although the match was heavily overshadowed by reports of shootings and bomb blasts elsewhere in the French capital.

The security threat prompted French president Francois Hollande to leave the stadium midway through the game.

Martial beat three defenders on a slaloming run down the left byline before teeing up Giroud for the opener in first-half injury time and Gignac – who came on for Giroud in the second half – headed home a second four minutes from the end as Didier Deschamps’ men gained a measure of revenge for their 1-0 defeat to the world champions in the World Cup quarter-finals last year.

France were without Karim Benzema and Mathieu Valbuena due to the much-publicised legal case surrounding a sex tape and the pair’s absence was felt as the hosts struggled to break Germany down.
Both teams found chances difficult to come by in the opening half hour and it was not until the 35th minute, shortly after Germany defender Jonas Hector had limped off to be replaced by Emre Can, that Thomas Muller spurned the game’s first real opportunity by firing a half-volley narrowly over at the near post. 
Mario Gomez then shot into the side-netting as Germany began to take control and the recalled Fiorentina striker should have given Joachim Low’s men the lead when he lashed over from 10 yards out after being played through by Muller. 
Germany were punished for Gomez’s profligacy thanks to a sparkling piece of play from Martial on the stroke of half-time.
Martial picked up the ball on the left and cleverly jinked his way past the challenges of Antonio Rudiger and Matthias Ginter before sliding the ball under the legs of Jerome Boateng and into the path of Giroud to slot the ball beyond Manuel Neuer.

Giroud was presented with an excellent chance to double his tally in the 57th minute from Antoine Griezmann’s wonderful right-wing cross but could only direct his diving header well wide of the target.

Paul Pogba then stung the palms of Neuer, who was forced to turn over from the Juventus midfielder’s vicious long-range effort.

Muller beat France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris with a drive from distance only to see his shot rebound off the left-hand post, with Gignac then settling matters as he powered Blaise Matuidi’s left-wing delivery into the net.

Fri 13 Nov, 2015
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