France head coach Didier Deschamps feels his side looked comfortable as they began their Euro 2020 campaign with victory over Germany in Munich.
Mats Hummels’ own goal helped the reigning world champions seal a tight 1-0 win at the Allianz Arena.
The experienced defender could not adjust his feet quickly enough, turning a Lucas Hernandez cross past Manuel Neuer after 20 minutes of the Group F clash.
Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema had goals ruled out for offside in the second half, but it mattered little in the end as France took three points from their first game in a group that also includes Portugal and Hungary.
Speaking to M6, Deschamps said: ‘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.’
Paul Pogba was named man of the match. It was his delightful pass with the outside of his foot that stretched Germany’s defence as he found Hernandez with a ball over the top on the left, the full back volleyed the ball back across goal and Hummels could only clumsily shin it past his own goalkeeper.
‘The team performance is the most important thing,’ said the Manchester United midfielder. ‘Without them, I wouldn’t have played as well. We all put the effort in.
‘We’re 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.’
With Portugal beating Hungary 3-0 in the group earlier in the day, defeat leaves Germany with an uphill battle to reach the knockout stages.
‘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,’ said Germany boss Joachim Loew, speaking to ZDF.
‘There were spells of the match when we were able to increase the pressure on them, but we didn’t create any clear-cut chances.’
Germany face Portugal next and Joshua Kimmich said: ‘We have the level to keep up with the top teams. France are a big favourite in this tournament, but in the next match we need to show that we are also among the contenders.
‘We were not the worst team today. We dominated the match and conceded a stupid goal to fall behind. I think a draw would have been deserved.’
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