France’s 26-year unbeaten record over Germany has ended as the visitors came from behind to win 2-1 in Paris on Wednesday.
Marseille’s Mathieu Valbuena opened the scoring following Karim Benzema’s free-kick which cannoned off the bar before Thomas Mueller restored parity soon after the break.
Despite the hosts dominating, Sami Khedira scored a 74th-minute winner to give Germany a rare victory at the Stade de France.
In a bright opening from both sides, it was the visitors who spurned the best opportunity.
Ilkay Guendogan’s break saw him pick out Khedira with a fine pass towards the edge of the area, but the Real Madrid star could only drag his shot narrowly wide.
While France opted for a more cautious approach, Germany should have broken the deadlock six minutes in.
A neat ball threaded into Mesut Oezil from Mueller saw the former denied by a sprawling Hugo Lloris, who raced off his line to maintain the score.
Didier Deschamps’ side settled into their rhythm following a frantic opening dominated by Germany.
The hosts did create a chance of their own, as Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko miscued a shot in a promising position, and Rene Adler – back in the international fold following a two-year absence – denied Benzema.
France were struggling with the immense counter-attacking threat the visitors pose.
Lloris was again called into action, turning a Per Mertesacker header onto his own bar and out for a corner.
The relentless attacking from both sides continued in a surprisingly open first half.
Franck Ribery displayed trickery and pace to evade his marker, before Valbuena blazed over.
Seconds later, Benzema beat the offside trap but not Adler, who pulled off a monster stop to deny the Real Madrid man.
On the stroke of half-time, Benzema’s audacious, curling free-kick slammed against the crossbar, with the shortest player on the field – Valbuena – heading past Adler to hand the hosts the lead.
After the break, the visitors were far more conserved, and the new approach paid dividends almost immediately.
Substitute Etienne Capoue was the guilty party in conceding possession as Mueller struck past Lloris to restore parity after 51 minutes.
Joachim Loew’s side were once more susceptible to the width offered by Valbuena and Ribery, with the latter spurning a golden opportunity to hand the hosts the advantage following Benzema’s cut-back.
Despite that, the tenacious Germans would seize the initiative against the run of play.
Oezil threaded a sumptuous ball into Khedira, who beat the flag and Lloris to silence the raucous fans inside the stadium before the hosts were denied by the linesman as Germany held on to confirm victory.
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