Mats Hummels Own Goals Sinks Germans
In a tight and tense battle between France and Germany at Euro 2020, only a Mats Hummels own goal separated the two sides, giving pre-tournament favourites France an opening-match win.
The game started well for Germany, but France grew into the game and it was the man who now lives in Bavaria who helped create the own goal on 20 minutes.
Bayern’s Lucas Hernández mishit Paul Pogba’s exquisite pass over to the left, but Hummels still shanked the ball into his own goal as a result, knowing Mbappe was behind him and ready to pounce.
As a result, France started sitting back, absorbing the pressure, and using Kylian Mbappé’s electrifying speed to launch counterattacks.
It was the Paris Saint Germain star who almost teed up a second goal, releasing Adrien Rabiot for a near-post shot that beat Manuel Neuer but crashed into the post, leaving Antoine Griezmann furious.
In a matter of moments, Joachim Löw deployed Joshua Kimmich in the midfield, and suddenly Germany were a force – Serge Gnabry coming within a whisker of equalizing.
The French held on to earn three points in Group F, joining Germany’s next opponents Portugal at the top of the group standings.
Paul Pogba set up the goal, and was awarded the ‘Man of the Match’ award for his performance in the midfield.
“We all put the effort in. We’re all focused on our jobs on the pitch. We know we need to live up to our tag as world champions and come out on to the pitch with humility. When we need to suffer, we do it together and when we attack, we do it together,” said Pogba.
France manager Didier Deschamps was thrilled with how his team dug in and fought against a well-organised German outfit, adding “We played a great game against very good opponents. I knew my players would be ready and we were up for the fight. We weren’t far away from scoring the second goal that would have made us safe, but we didn’t suffer that much in the second half. It was a strong match with quality and talent.”
For Germany coach Joachim Low, his final tournament as national team manager got off to a disappointing start.
“It was a really intense match and we fought until the very end. I cannot blame my team for not trying – they gave everything they had,” concluded Low.