Euro 2016

Germany 0 France 2: Talking points

GERMAN DEFENCE SHAKY WITHOUT BOATENG

Germany coped reasonably well with the absence of the suspended Mats Hummels, but the loss of Jerome Boateng to an apparent muscle strain with half an hour to play proved a blow too many. The second goal was a defensive calamity.

UMTITI MAKES THE MOST OF HIS CHANCE

In his second start for France, centre-back Samuel Umtiti's performance was notable not for the crosses he failed to reach - but for the number he successfully cut out.

Among the very many interventions, he twice denied Thomas Muller what might have been a long-awaited first goal in a Euro Finals.

SUPER SCHWEINI MAKES MISTAKES TOO

For all the concerns over his fitness, Bastian Schweinsteiger had been excellent in the first half. But his concentration slipped for one crucial moment, Patrice Evra moved ahead of him and the ball curled his way.

Schweinsteiger flung himself at the player with both arms outstretched, as if auditioning for a superhero movie. It was his 38th game at major international Finals but he is only statistically superhuman.

Nicola Rizzoli made a brave, eagle-eyed but undoubtedly correct decision to award a penalty (from which France scored the opener).

GERMAN DOMINANCE DID NOT PAY OFF

France rampaged forward from the start but from about the 12th minute until seconds before half-time, and for brief periods in the second half, Germany's dominance was near absolute.

The way Germany calmed themselves and took a grip on the semi-final was extremely impressive - if not, in the end, rewarded.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 09, 2016, with the headline 'Germany 0 France 2: Talking points'. Print Edition | Subscribe