France’s perfect record in 2023 ended this Tuesday with a 2-1 away loss against Germany in a friendly game. Goals from Thomas Müller and Leroy Sané were enough for Rudi Völler’s side to clinch a much-needed win to boost the hosts’ morale. Antoine Griezmann halved the deficit late on from the penalty spot.
2014 World Cup winner Müller thwarted Mike Maignan only four minutes in. “We made a catastrophic start“, Didier Deschamps told TF1. “We were always late in duels and in our positioning and that led to Germany’s opener. I’m not going as far as saying we gifted them two goals, although the second one is also avoidable.“
Deschamps opted to shuffle his defence with Benjamin Pavard, William Saliba and Jean-Clair Todibo filling in for Jules Koundé, Lucas Hernandez and Dayot Upamecano. Tuesday’s starters have done little to convince the France manager to change his pecking order. “I have made changes, of course, some of them were forced given the unavailability of certain players. Even if it was Germany, it allowed me to see other players.“
Deschamps felt his side had failed to match Germany’s intensity and aggressiveness on and off the ball. “Of course, this is not what I expected. This is what the highest level is about. We haven’t been used to losing for a long time.” The 1998 and 2018 World Cup winner was also unimpressed with Anthony Taylor’s call to not award a penalty for France when Antonio Rüdiger blatantly shoved Randal Kolo Muani in the penalty box. “In the end, we lost because we did not deliver what the highest level demands.”
Les Bleus will try to make amends for it by qualifying as early as possible for Euro 2024. France will play against The Netherlands in Amsterdam on October 13th.
GFFN | Bastien Cheval