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International friendly: Germany 1 France 2

France’s revival under Laurent Blanc continued as they inflicted a 2-1 friendly defeat upon Germany in their international friendly in Bremen.

Olivier Giroud scored just 21 minutes into his international debut, before Chelsea’s Florent Malouda gave France a deserved second on 69 minutes.

Cacau did manage to pull one back for the hosts in the dying minutes, but it was more than Germany deserved after a disappointing performance against the revitalised French.

From the outset it was clear that this was a match that was going to be played at a high tempo in an open manner, and though it was Germany who bossed possession, it was France who offered the first threat, with Tim Weise saving well from a Yohan Cabaye header.

France opened the scoring at the midway point of the first half. Mathieu Valbuena’s well-weighted pass released Mathieu Debuchy down the right, and he easily cut inside Dennis Aogo to set up Giroud for a first-time finish.

Thereafter, the home side contrived to miss a string of chances, though they found Hugo Lloris in good form.

The Lyon goalkeeper superbly saved when Miroslav Klose was through, and he also denied Holger Badstuber from close range.

Germany’s pace was posing issues for the guests, and before the first period was up Mesut Oezil created another chance for Klose that the striker missed, before the Real Madrid man skimmed a fine drive just wide.

Joachim Loew’s side showed little of this swashbuckling attacking attitude after the break and instead lost their shape, allowing France to counter into big holes and manufacture numerous chances.

Giroud headed over the top when free in the centre moments before a thumping Debuchy drive was punched clear by Weise.

Eventually the visitors took one of their chances, and again it was Debuchy who was the catalyst, making a lung-bursting run down the right before crossing for substitute Malouda to bundle over the line.

Germany offered a belated response through Cacau, who turned in a cross from the right, but that came too late to change the outcome.

Although not considered one of the favourites for Euro 2012, Blanc’s men successfully showed in Germany that they are not opponents to be taken lightly as they extended their unbeaten run to 18 matches.

Wed 29 February, 2012
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