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Jul 04 2014

France vs Germany: The 5 Best Players

Germany starting XI: Manuel Neuer; Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Benedikt Hoewedes; Sami Khedira, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil; Thomas Mueller, Miroslav Klose

France starting XI: Hugo Lloris; Mathieu Debuchy, Raphael Varane, Mamadou Sakho, Patrice Evra; Yohan Cabaye; Mathieu Valbuena, Blaise Matuidi, Paul Pogba; Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann

300 000 German fans
300 000 German fans assembled in Berlin to watch the game (via @_Borsti)

It was a matter of two European heavy weights facing off. Both previous World Champions. Neighbours. Before the game, questions were raised over the fitness of the German side, Mats Hummels was so unwell he couldn’t make it to training, and 7 other German players were reportedly exhibiting flu like symptoms. On the French side Sakho was back, fit from injury, and Griezmann got the nod ahead of Giroud. It was a clinical display from the Germans as they piped Les Bleus 1-0 thanks to a tantalizing Mats Hummels header from a set piece. On the night, the better team won. Here’s my pick of the best players from the game:

The Top  5 Players from tonight’s game

5) Paul Pogba

The best player on the field for France, he added some dynamic to the french attack.

4) Philipp Lahm

Back to his usual full back position, as opposed to defensive midfield (which was a disaster against Algeria). He looked much more confidant here. He also assisted the attack by driving the ball forward

3) Toni Kroos

He had a good game in the midfield  and provided the delivery for Hummel’s goal from a free kick.

2) Manuel Neuer

Solid at the back, he made a few good saves. One early attempt from Valbuena and a late Benzema chance are two of note. But his defense did their job so he wasn’t stretched to his limit

1) Mats Hummels

He was central to a good defensive performance as a whole from the Germans. He scored the only goal of the game, sending the Germans through.

Mats Hummels celebrates vs France

Mats Hummels celebrates his goal vs France (via @UEFAEURO)

As you can see, the German goal keeper and two defenders make up my top 5 – it tells a story, a solid defensive display from Germany. On most occasions it looked like the French lacked creativity or ideas to try and break through. 

Congrats to Germany, World Cup Semi Finalist for the 4th consecutive time – impressive consistency!

-P

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