PLAYER RATINGS | France 1-2 Germany: Thomas Müller and Leroy Sané goals down flat France

France v Germany, International Friendly, 12/09/23

Goals from Thomas Müller and Leroy Sané proved the difference between France and Germany (2-1), despite a late consolation from Antoine Griezmann. France were much changed from their victory against the Republic of Ireland last week and were lacklustre as they fell to their first defeat since the World Cup final against Argentina. 

Germany, who sacked Hansi Flick prior to Tuesday’s friendly in Dortmund, began on the front foot, looking to put France’s new-look defence under pressure. The French wall soon cracked. Les Bleus hadn’t conceded in 2023, but Müller changed that, latching on to Benjamin Henrichs’ cut-back, controlling and finishing emphatically past Mike Maignan. 

However, as the half wore on, Germany’s intensity waned and France, led by an impressive Kingsley Coman worked their way into the game. Marc-André Ter Stegen was forced into a smart save to deny Aurélien Tchouaméni just before the break as France started knocking on the door. 

However, the half-time break came at the wrong time for Didier Deschamps’ men, and France lost their rhythm. After a lull, which last almost all of the second-half, Germany doubled their lead through Leroy Sané after a sloppy pass out from Jean-Clair Todibo. The Bayern Munich winger was played through by Kai Havertz and showed good composure to slot beyond Maignan. 

France got a late consolation through Antoine Griezmann, who converted from the spot after Eduardo Camavinga had been brought down in the box. Les Bleus, however, couldn’t find the equaliser and slumped to their first defeat in 2023. 

France player ratings

Mike Maignan – 4

Théo Hernandez – 4

William Saliba – 3 – The Arsenal man struggled, especially in the early stages, looking sloppy in and out of possession in his slightly unnatural position at left-centre-back. He should have been tighter to Müller for Germany’s opener, although in truth, Germany’s early dominance was the result of France’s collective defensive shortcomings. 

Jean-Clair Todibo – 3 – Like his centre-back partner, Todibo looked uncertain and unsteady at times. The OGC Nice centre-back was making his debut for Les Bleus, and he looked nervy. He was at fault for Germany’s second goal, his sloppy pass being easily intercepted and leaving his teammates exposed. 

Benjamin Pavard – 4

Adrien Rabiot – 5

Eduardo Camavinga – 6

Aurélien Tchouaméni – 5

Kingsley Coman – 7 – The brightspark for France. He looked dangerous every time he got on the ball, and his dribbling fluidity had Germany’s defenders retreating. Ousmane Dembélé has yet to completely convince in a France shirt, and more performances like that will give Deschamps a selection headache. 

Randal Kolo Muani – 3 – If this was his audition to take Giroud’s number nine jersey, he didn’t pass. There are plenty of mitigating factors including Deschamps’ formation change, France’s general lack of fluidity and the reconstruction of the PSG forward’s fitness following an ankle sprain. However, Antonio Rüdiger had the better of the former Eintracht Frankfurt man on the night.

Antoine Griezmann – 6 – Always performs for France, and despite not being at his best, still got on the scoresheet and knitted play together nicely in France’s strongest periods of the match. 

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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