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Germany 0-0 France: World Champions keep Germans at bay in UEFA Nations League opener

Daniel Orme in Editorial, General Soccer News 6 Sep 2018

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Reigning World Champions France opened their UEFA Nations League campaign with a battling 0-0 draw against Germany at the Allianz Arena on Thursday evening.

The first-half was initially a low-key affair as both sides struggled to create chances. Germany roared into life in the second period and created numerous opportunities only to find France goalkeeper Alphonse Areola a formidable opponent.

Fortune favours Rudiger

Antonio Rudiger was possibly fortunate to avoid a red card in the opening few minutes as he attempted to put pressure on Benjamin Pavard. The Frenchman fell to the floor and looked to be the victim of a stamp but the referee was unmoved.

The first shot in anger took well over a quarter of an hour to arrive. RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner cut in from the left but had his low effort held easily by Alphonse Areola. Mats Hummels should have scored as he connected with Rudiger’s knock-down from a corner but his header flew over the bar.

Manuel Neuer then had to be at his best to keep out Olivier Giroud’s headed effort from N’Golo Kante’s deep cross.

Champions end stronger

France continued to create chances in the latter stages of the first half. Kylian Mbappe eyed the top corner from a free-kick only for Neuer to collect the ball with ease. Chelsea forward Giroud then went close again as he attempted to cleverly flick the ball home from the forward’s low cross but it trundled wide as the half-time whistle blew.

The World Champions had another opportunity right at the start of the second-half as Pavard found Antoine Griezmann but the latter shot straight at the German stopper.

Wasted opportunities the story of the game

The opportunities continued to come and go as both sides battled to gain the lead. Thomas Muller took aim from range but his shot trundled into the arms of Areola. Joshua Kimmich then blazed over the bar just before Marco Reus went close as he shot from the centre of the box but the ball was pawed away from the top corner.

Mbappe spurned a wonderful opportunity to open the scoring for Didier Deschamps’ troops as he motored away on the counter-attack only for his final shot to dribble harmlessly wide.

Areola keeps the Germans at bay

As time wore on, Germany begun to look increasingly dangerous. Following another counter attack, Muller attempted an acrobatic effort before Hummels’ fierce drive was also somehow kept out by Areola. Substitute Gundogan also sent a stunning effort high over the crossbar before Muller’s cross-come-shot almost caught out the French before their goalkeeper intervened to tip the ball over the crossbar.

The Paris Saint Germain man somehow managed to better himself. Mathias Ginter found space from a corner and looked sure to turn home but the stopper somehow leapt across to keep the scores level come the end of the match.

Final Thoughts

It would be possibly be fair to suggest that Germany will rue their missed opportunities in Munich. Their carved opening Didier Deschamps’ men on numerous occasions but were not able to quite find the net. Areola was the undoubted man of the match as both teams claim a hard-earned point.

Germany will now turn their attentions to their upcoming friendly clash with Peru, whilst France will play their second game in the UEFA Nations League against the Netherlands on Sunday evening.

Match Report

Germany: Neuer (6); Kimmich (7), Hummels (7), Boateng (6), Rudiger (7); Ginter (6), Kroos (6); Goretzka (6) (Gundogan (7), 66′), Muller (7), Reus (6) (Sane (N/A), 83′); Werner (6).

France: Areola (8); Hernandez (6), Umtiti (7), Varane (6), Pavard (7); Kante (7), Pogba (6), Matuidi (7) (Tolisso (N/A), 85′); Griezmann (6) (Fekir (N/A), 80′), Giroud (6) (Dembele (5), 66′), Mbappe (7).

Goals: N/A

Referee: Daniele Orsato

Yellow Cards: Rudiger (88′)

Red Cards: N/A

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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