France 2-1 Germany match report: UEFA Nations League
Two goals (a superb header and a penalty) from the Atlético Madrid striker saw France come back from Toni Kroos' first-half spot-kick.
France 2-1 Germany: match report
Antoine Griezmann hit a second-half double on Tuesday night as France came from behind to beat Germany in Paris and took a giant stride towards booking their place in next June's UEFA Nations League finals.
Germans led at break after good first-half display
Defeat at the Stade de France leaves the Germans staring down the barrel of relegation from League A, despite a showing that was a clear improvement on Saturday's 3-0 thumping by the Netherlands.
Indeed, Joachim Löw's men could well have scored more than one in a lively first-half display that saw Toni Kroos give the visitors a 14th-minute lead from the spot after Presnel Kimpembe was penalised for a handball.
Griezmann at the double as Les Bleus turn it around
However, France took the initiative in the second 45, and after Griezmann had expertly headed the hosts level from Lucas Hernández's left-wing cross, the forward then completed the turnaround with ten minutes remaining, converting from 12 yards when Mats Hummels was adjudged to have felled Blaise Matuidi in the box.
France just a point off ensuring finals berth, Germany facing drop
Victory leaves Les Bleus needing just a point against the Netherlands next month to be sure of reaching the finals. For Germany, meanwhile, only a win over the Dutch can possibly save them from the drop - and if the Oranje beat France three days earlier, they will already be down by the time they host Ronald Koeman's side in Gelsenkirchen.
France 2-1 Germany: as it happened
But it's cleared, and Milorad Mazic blows his whistle! France come from behind to beat Germany courtesy of two Antoine Griezmann goals, and put one foot into the Nations League finals next June. For Die Mannschaft, meanwhile, it's a second straight defeat - their sixth loss in total in 2018 - and Joachim Löw's men are now in grave danger of suffering relegation from League A.
93' Kroos delivers, and it's off a French head... and behind for a corner! It comes to nought, but there's still time for Germany to win another free-kick on the left.
93' Before Kroos can take the free-kick, though, France make their final substitution, bringing off Kanté for Steven N'Zonzi.
93' Ooh, here's a last chance for Germany to snatch a point, as the visitors win a free-kick for Kroos to deliver from the left flank.
91' France make a second change, two-goal hero Griezmann coming off to a huge ovation and being replaced by Thomas Lemar.
90' Three minutes of time added on.
90' Germany push for an equaliser, but have "more determination than ideas", say our commentary team on Spanish TV.
88' There's a chance for Dembélé, the ball falling to the susbtitute in shooting space about 12 yards or so. His effort is weak, though, and Neuer holds on with relative comfort.
86' France get Giroud into a yard of space to run at the hosts' defence, but he is, er, far from the quickest, and is run out of it by Hummels.
85' France make their first change, Mbappé making way - to rousing applause - for Barcelona's Ousmane Dembélé.
83' And on he comes, for Ginter. Defender off for an attacker, Germany revert back to four in defence.
82' Germany are preparing Julian Brandt on the touchline.
80' Kehrer fizzes in a lovely low cross that no-one in a white shirt can get on the end of. The Germans have ten minutes to save themselves from their sixth defeat of 2018, one that would leave them staring down the barrel of relegation from League A.
79' And he scores! Sends Neuer the wrong way.
78' Now France are calling for a penalty as Hummels goes in on Matuidi... and it's given! Griezmann to take...
75' At one end, Werner sends in an inviting low ball that's just asking to be gobbled up at the back post, but is not. At the other, Pogba gets the ball out of his feet 25 yards out, shoots... and hits Mbappé.
73' We have the first change of the night: Germany boss Löw takes off Sané, who's had a lively evening, and throws on Julian Draxler for the final quarter of an hour.
73' Werner sees a shot blocked by Kanté, before Germany enjoy probably their longest spell of possession of the second half. And what's this? A Mexican wave? Er, they do realise it's 1-1 with 15 to play in a competitive match, right? Give me strength.
70' Mbappé is finding a lot more space to run at the Germans, which is far from wonderful news for the visitors. 20 minutes to go, and it's beautifully poised at the Stade de France.
68' Now France come back at the Germans, Lucas sending in a low ball across the box that almost gets Giroud in on Neuer, but is just cut out.
67' Ufff, that could have been a sucker punch from Gnabry. France lose it in their own half, allowing Werner to lay it off for the Bayern Munich man to shoot powerfully at Lloris - but the Spurs keeper holds on.
66' Mbappé drops deep to receive the ball and run at the German defence, before Lucas sends in another cross from the left which, this time, gets a deflection and drops into Neuer's hands.
64' France have their tails up now, and promptly win a free-kick in shooting territory. Griezmann is unable to make the most of this chance, though.
62' It's a goal with Atlético Madrid all over it, as Lucas pings in a lovely ball from the left onto the head of Griezmann, who harnesses the power on the ball to redirect it across Neuer and into his left-hand corner!
61' They can now, though! Griezmann heads the hosts level!
59' Gnabry runs at Kimpembe, who deflects his shot out for a corner to the visitors. In the blink of an eye, however, France turn defence into attack and get Mbappé running at a furiously backpedalling Schulz, who does well to knock it behind for a corner. One corner becomes two, but Les Bleus can't find a way through.
57' Now France win a dangerous free-kick out on the left. Mbappé stands over it, but delivers too long.
56' Matuidi plops a volleyed ball over to the back post... but there's nobody there in a blue shirt, and Schulz has all the time in the world to head it into his keeper's arms.
54' Schulz and Sané certainly appear to enjoy playing together. The left wing-back scuttles forward and cuts it back to the Manchester City man in the box, who can only hook his first-time effort off target.
52' Ooh, but there's a big chance for Mbappé, who outpaces Süle to collect Luas' cute little through ball and run in on Neuer - but the keeper stretches out a vital boot to turn the striker's low shot away from goal! Lovely pass from Lucas, top stop from Neuer.
51' France are massively struggling to deal with Germany's pace on the break. In the blink of an eye, Schulz is charging at the home backline and slips in Sané... but the flag is up.
48' Up the other end, Lucas' shot is deflected out for a corner, which comes to zip. Deschamps has several of his substitutes warming up on the touchline now.
47' Gnabry drifts into a deep position and dissects the French defence with a slide-rule ball that is only just too long for Werner. Lloris gratefully grabs hold.
46' No changes for either side.
Peeep! Back underway in Saint Denis.
Well, there's suddenly a very different look to Group A1, it's fair to say. If it stays like this, it'll be wide open going into the final round of fixtures next month.
45' And that is half time! Germany lead - and could well have more than just the one goal to show for themselves - after a much improved display in the opening 45 at the Stade de France.
44' Close from Giroud! Lucas shows great pace to burst by three white shirts and towards the byline, where he cuts it back to near post and into the path of the Chelsea striker', whose first-time effort is off target!
41' France have come a little more alive in the past couple of minutes, and win a free-kick in shooting territory - one which, at the second attempt, Pogba sends straight into the wall.
38' Germany look so comfortable in possession as the knock it about in the French half, but suddenly Les Bleus get Mbappé involved and there's a reminder of the threat he poses. First, he swivels on the byline and sends in a cross that is just too high for Pogba's jump, before a cute angled ball from Griezmann only needs a touch from the 19-year-old... but he can't quite get his toe on it from six yards out, and Neuer gathers.
35' Now Ginter heads a Kroos corner just off target. Germany should really be a couple of goals ahead.
32' Germany are slicing up this French backline. Kroos knocks it out wide to the left for Schulz, whose first-time ball finds Sané in shooting space just inside the box - but he dawdles ever so slightly, and his effort is blocked.
28' Ginter earned himself a place in the referee's notebook for the foul - on Griezmann - that gave away the second of those free-kicks, by the way.
28' France get a free-kick out on the left for a foul on Lucas Hernández. Griezmann's delivery is cleared, and Pavard's attempt at a shot that is not unreminsicent of his World Cup stunner is also blocked. The French then immediately win another dead-ball chance in pretty much exactly the same position, but again the away side deal with it.
26' Mbappé is down in a heap and appealing for a penalty after tussling with Hummels in the box, but Mr Mazic quite rightly tells the France striker: nothing doing.
23' And again Germany almost get a second! Pavard has to look lively to halt Sané's charge into the box and, in the process, concede a corner. Kroos swings it in, and his delivery drops to the feet of Ginter.. but Lloris saves!
20' "France look like they'd take a time-out right now if they could," say commentary team on Spanish TV. Well, quite.
18' Germany almost plunder a second! France pop it about for a good couple of minutes before twice sending in crosses that the Germans repell. After the second cross is cleared, the visitors break and suddenly it's two on one, Sané leading the charge. He looks to slip in Werner for what would surely be 2-0... but his ball is slightly too long!
15' This is so much more lively from Germany than at the weekend. Kehrer scuttles down the right and into the box, where Pogba momentarily wins it back before losing it to Gnabry, whose good hustling earns Die Mannschaft a corner. It comes to nought, but still: it's been a thoroughly decent first quarter of an hour for the away side.
13' Kroos stands over it... and scores! It's not the most powerful of penalties, but it's just far enough into the corner to find the net despite Lloris getting a touch.
12' Penalty to Germany! The visitors race at the France backline at pace once more, and Sané's cross is adjudged to have hit the arm of Kimpembe as he sought to cut the ball out!
10' Judging by the first ten minutes, we can expect Germany to be more threatening in attack than on Saturday. Werner feeds Gnabry's run into the box and races towards the penalty spot to collect the return, only to have the ball nicked off his toe by the ever-alert Kanté.
8' Blimey, Mbappé is frightening. France break at pace and get the PSG man on the ball for the first time. He promptly leaves his man with twisted blood on the right-hand touchline before pinging it into the box, where the visitors scramble it clear.
6' Kroos and Kimmich zip it about nicely before the Real Madrid man slips a ball into the run of Sané, whose cross is easily dealt with by the French backline, but that's encouraging attacking play from the Germans.
4' First sight on goal for the hosts, but Antoine Griezmann slices his left-footed effort wide from just outside of the box.
2' Germany have set up with a three-man central defence of Ginter, Süle and Hummels, which then becomes a back five every time France step into their half. The hosts look to be in their usual 4-2-3-1.
Peeeep! We are underway.
Teams out, anthems done, toin-coss too... let's go!
Tonight's referee is Milorad Mazic of Serbia, who was the man in the middle for May's Champions League final in Kiev.
If they are to come away with all three points tonight, though, Germany will have to end France's run of 14 games without defeat (since a 3-2 friendly loss to Colombia in March) and become the first team to beat the world champions in a competitive match since Sweden 16 months ago.
That's because, as the table below shows, that defeat in Amsterdam (coupled with September's 0-0 draw with the French in Munich) has left Die Mannschaft with just one point after two games - two behind the Dutch and three behind their hosts tonight, who can take a giant stride towards June's Nations League finals with victory.
Under-fire Germany coach Joachim Löw makes five changes to the side that lost 3-0 to the Netherlands on Saturday, Nico Schulz, Niklas Süle, Timo Kehrer, Leroy Sané and Serge Gnabry all coming in for Die Mannschaft, who must win tonight if they are to keep their hopes of qualifying for the Nations League finals alive.
France coach Didier Deschamps makes four changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Iceland in Thursday's friendly in Guingamp: Lucas Hernández comes in at left-back for Lucas Digne, Steven N'Zonzi makes way for N'Golo Kanté at the base of midfield, while, further forward, Blaise Matuidi is in for Ousmane Dembélé and Kylian Mbappé - who inspired Les Bleus' late comeback against the Icelanders - starts in place of Florian Thauvin, who has returned to club Marseille after picking up a foot injury
Hello and welcome to live coverage of this evening's big-name UEFA Nations League clash between France and Germany at the Stade de France. Kick-off is in half an hour's time, and let's dive straight into tonight's team news in Saint Denis.
France vs Germany: match preview
Germany find themselves in a battle to keep their UEFA Nations League hopes alive as they visit world champions France in Saint-Denis, Paris, this evening (20:45 CEST).
Germany in need of a win at Stade de France
Having kept his job despite Die Mannschaft's shock first-round exit at this summer's World Cup, there are renewed question marks over the future of coach Joachim Löw after his side fell to a comprehensive, 3-0 defeat to the Netherlands in Group A1 on Saturday - their fifth loss in nine matches in 2018.
That reverse leaves the Germans bottom of the group with one point from two games, and they must now win tonight if they are to stand any chance of qualifying for the finals next June. If they lose, meanwhile, they could even host the Dutch in the section's final fixture on 19 November with relegation to League B already confirmed.
France closing in on finals qualification
By contrast, the French head into tonight's clash top of the group and in pole position to reach the finals. Indeed, victory over Germany - against whom they are unbeaten in four matches - would leave Les Bleus needing just a point against the Netherlands on 16 November to be certain of qualification.
France vs Germany: confirmed line-ups
France: Lloris, Pavard, Varane, Kimpembe, Hernández, Pogba, Kanté, Mbappé, Griezmann, Matuidi, Giroud
Germany: Neuer, Ginter, Süle, Hummels, Schulz, Kehrer, Kimmich, Kroos, Sané, Werner, Gnabry
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