Germany were beaten 1-0 by France in their first EURO 2020 game. Despite causing the defending world champions several problems at the back, Joachim Löw’s men failed to score, with an unfortunate own goal from Mats Hummels the difference in the end. Germany suffered their first ever opening game defeat at a European championship tournament.
Joachim Löw named the same starting XI that impressed in the warm-up game, a 7-1 win against Latvia. Next up for Die Mannschaft is Portugal (Saturday, 18:00 CEST), who won their opening game 3-0 earlier in the day against Hungary, putting the pressure on Germany.
The two former European champions started cautiously in front of 14,000 spectators in Munich, with Germany enjoying the majority of possession and getting forward well, mostly via Robin Gosens on the left. France sat deep and waited for the chance to counter, limiting Germany to nothing more than a half chance from a corner in the opening quarter of an hour.
The first notable chance of the half, however fell to France, as Pogba headed narrowly over the bar from a corner (16’). Moments later, Neuer was tested for the first time as Mbappé attempted to curl one into the far post after a cut-inside. The Germany captain saved well and his outfield teammates were able to settle things down again, but only for a short while. France’s next attack in the 19th minute found its way into the back of the net via an unfortunate Mats Hummels, whose attempt to clear Hernandez’s cross beat a helpless Manuel Neuer.
Germany were unfazed by the setback, but chances were few and far between after the opener, a Gündogan effort from twelve yards was the closest Germany came against a France side who were showing their class both on and off the ball and took a 1-0 lead into the half-time break.
Soon after the restart, France came within inches of doubling their lead as Rabiot struck the post, but it was Germany who subsequently took the upper hand with a string of chances. Gnabry’s shot bounced just clear of the bar (54’), and Hernandez was on hand to deny Havertz a clear-cut chance at goal just seconds later. The Germany fans, who made their support heard for 90 minutes regardless, were audibly impressed with their team’s start to the second half.
In the 66th minute, Mbappé had Neuer beaten, curling one in off the post after a superb solo move, but the celebrations were cut short by a delayed offside flag. In the 73rd minute it was time for some attacking changes: Löw brought on Timo Werner and Leroy Sané for Gnabry and Havertz. France continued to sit deep, making life very difficult for Germany in the final third, and relied almost entirely on Mbappé’s pace as an outlet, as seen in the 78th minute, when a risky but fair slide tackle from a retreating Hummels denied Mbappé what would surely have been France’s second of the night.
In the 85th minute, France were indeed celebrating their second, courtesy of Karim Benzema, but the DFB team was let off the hook again as a narrow but correct offside call ruled the goal out. Despite the sustained pressure and a further two changes in Emre Can and Kevin Volland, Löw’s men failed to create a truly dangerous situation and the game ended with three points for France.