France will play Portugal in this year’s Euro 2016 final after Antoine Griezmann scored twice for France to beat World Champions Germany in Marseille.
Germany dominated possession throughout the first half but it was France who broke the deadlock just before half time after Patrice Evra’s header was adjudged to have hit the arm of Bastian Schweinsteiger.
It was Griezmann who had the responsibility to take the penalty. From the resulting spot kick he sent Manuel Neuer the wrong way and France led at half time.
France were two up after a mistake from Joshua Kimmich. Paul Pogba pounced on his mistake and he sent in a ball where Griezmann was there to score after Neuer wasn’t able to clear his lines. This was Griezman’s sixth goal of the tournament.
Germany will feel disappointed after they did everything apart from scoring.
France started the match with the same line-up that beat Iceland 5-2 while Germany made three changes with Bastian Schweinsteiger, Emre Can and Julian Draxler replacing the suspended Mats Hummels and the injured duo of Sami Khedira and Mario Gomez.
The first real chance fell to the host in the seventh minute. Griezmann weaved his way past a few German players but his shot was saved by Neuer. By his standard he really should have scored.
Soon after though Germany started controlling the game with their quick movement. France were struggling to get the ball or a foot hold in the game.
Muller wasted an opportunity after being picked out by Emre Can. The midfielder was involved again minutes later as his shot which looked to be heading towards goal but was expertly saved by France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
France did finish the first half the stronger of the two as Griezman’s shot hit the side netting.
Giroud was one-on-one with Neuer at one point but a last ditch tackle from Benedikt Howedes stop Giroud from scoring.
Soon though France were ahead after Schweinsteiger was penalised for an adjudge hand ball in the box. Griezmann stepped up and dispatch the penalty past Neuer.
In the second half France looked more and more confident and Giroud had another chance to double France advantage but his shot was blocked by Jerome Boateng.
Suddenly things were looking worse for Germany and it was Jerome Boateng who went down injured. He was subsequently replaced by Shkodran Mustafi. Mario Gotze also came on for Emre Can.
Unfortunately for Germany it didn’t make a difference because France went 2 up after another mistake this time coming from Kimmich. He gave the ball away inside the box which allowed Pogba to cross the ball in. Neuer was only able to flap his clearance into the path of Griezmann who expertly slotted home.
Germany were almost back in the game as Kimmich tried to make amends but his shot clipped the outside of the post.
Lloris kept his clean sheet as he pulled out a great save to deny Kimmich from scoring. France were able to hold on to book their place in Euro 2016 final against Portugal in Paris on Sunday.