Antoine Griezmann got the better of goalkeeper Manuel Neuer once again, scoring both goals as France rallied to beat Germany 2-1 in the UEFA Nations League on Tuesday.
Midfielder Toni Kroos gave Germany the lead from the penalty spot after 14 minutes and the visitors had chances to go further ahead before Griezmann equalized with a superb header in the 62nd.
Griezmann showed perfect timing to meet Atletico Madrid teammate Lucas Hernandez’s cross from the left with a glancing header which looped over Neuer’s outstretched hand.
With 10 minutes left, Griezmann coolly put France ahead with a penalty for his 26th international goal. He sent Neuer the wrong way, having also done so in the European Championship semifinals two years ago — when Griezmann also scored twice.
World Cup star Kylian Mbappe’s pass led to Griezmann’s penalty. He picked out midfielder Blaise Matuidi’s run and center half Mats Hummels was adjudged to have impeded Matuidi, although there was no video review available to the referee and contact appeared minimal.
The win moved World Cup winner France top of Group 1 in the top-tier League A, while Germany is last with only one point.
It is the first time Germany has lost two consecutive competitive matches since 2000 — but France’s win was tougher than expected.
Germany’s confidence has taken a bashing since its group stage exit at the World Cup as defending champion and two unconvincing performances in the Nations League — a 0-0 home draw against France and a 3-0 loss away to the Netherlands last Saturday.
Coach Joachim Loew tried a more adventurous formation, bringing in pacey wingers Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane. With left back Nico Schulz also pushing up regularly, France was completely stretched at times in the first half.
The opening goal came after France midfielder Paul Pogba carelessly lost the ball and Germany broke quickly. Sane’s low cross drew a penalty when it hit the arm of defender Presnel Kimpembe — who again looked vulnerable following a poor performance in a 2-2 draw against Iceland in a friendly last Thursday.
But just like against Iceland, France had the last word.
Source: The Associated Press