Germany 0-2 France: Griezmann double sinks German hopes of European glory

There will be no back-to-back international successes for the Germans, as France march on to Paris.

Germany 0-2 France: Griezmann double sinks German hopes of European glory
Image credit: BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/Getty Images
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Germany: Neuer; Kimmich, Höwedes, Boateng (Mustafi 71), Hector; Can (Gotze 67'), Schweinsteiger (Sané 79'); Özil, Draxler, Kroos; Müller.
France: Lloris; Sagna, Koscielny, Umtiti, Evra; Pogba, Matuidi; Sissoko, Griezmann (Cabaye (90+2'), Payet (Kanté 71'); Giroud (Gignac 78').
SCORE: 0-1, Griezmann 45+2' PEN. 0-1, Griezmann 72'.
REFEREE: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA). Booked: Can (36'), Evra (43'), Schweinsteiger (45+1'), Özil (45+1'), Draxler (50'), Kanté (75').

The host nation, France, have advanced the the final of the European Championships, following their historic win against Germany in the semi-finals.

An Antoine Griezmann brace confirmed France's place in the final in Paris, as German fans were left stunned by a deflated performance from die Weltmeister

Energetic first half

The game began in the fashion that a semi-final between arguably the two current best national teams in the world should - fast. Neither team were able to settle in position as both sides fought for posession through high pressure in midfield. 

The first real chance of the game fell to France, as a neat passage of link up play between Blaise Matuidi and Griezmann resulted in Germany requiring Manuel Neuer's assistance between the posts, as the Atlético Madrid star fired his shot at goal. 

Deutsch dominance

Germany toyed around after the 20 minute mark, posing a threat on the French defence as they began to unlock play on the edge of the box. Firstly - Germany's light in attack - Mesut Özil, skipped past several French midfielders, before slipping the play out wide to the feet of Joshua Kimmich, the Bayern Munich player had his cross blocked. 

An appeal for a German penalty were evident during their dynamic spell of dominance, as Toni Kroos looked to have been tripped by Paul Pogba in the box. To the relief of the Frenchman, the appeal was ignored by the referee, as play resumed. 

The link up between Özil and Kimmich was adding immense pressure to the French back line, as the trickery of Arsenal's star man once again found Kimmich out wide. The youngster cut in and shot, as he saw his effort blocked once more, as Bacary Sagna closed down the chance. 

The hosts make their mark

The game was turned on it's head, as France were awarded a penalty, completely against the run of play. Replays showed that Bastian Schweinsteiger's arm was in an unnatural position, and just like the previous round, Germany were punished for their inability to keep their hands down in the box. 

The tournament's top scorer, Griezmann converted his penalty, sending the daunting figure of Neuer the wrong way. France had the lead at half time, Germany were left wondering how. 

It was tough for the Germans to take. | Image credit: Alexander Demianchuk\TASS via Getty Images
It was tough for the Germans to take. | Image credit: Alexander Demianchuk\TASS via Getty Images

Second half panic for Germany

The second half did not cheer up for the Germans, as their heads seemed to have dropped after the penalty decision. The same could be said about France, who struggled to come to terms with the scoreline after a first half schooling from Germany. 

Thing's went from bad to worse for Joachim Löw's side, as Jerome Boateng was forced to exit the game early due to a suspected muscular injury. Without Mats Hummels or Boateng, Germany were weakened, and France took advantage. 

The second half, like the first, was predominantly Germany, but without the wicked element in attack. Die nationalmannschaft have been increasingly craving a goalscorer this tournament, and their needs were particularly highlighted when it mattered most. 

The hosts however, had what the World Champions needed - someone to put the ball in the net, who would gobble up any chance on goal. 20 minutes from time, Griezmann scored again, doubling his and his country's tally in the game. Pogba dispossessed Kimmich, sending the German back line into a frenzy, resulting in a panicked attempt at a clearance from Neuer. The ball fell to the feet of Griezmann, who neatly prodded the ball home, sending France into the final. 

Final showdown in Paris

It just wasn't enough for the Germans tonight, as their high hopes and search for International supremacy came crashing down in Marseille. France however, have inspired a nation, as they close down on their first international title for 16 years. Les bleus clash with Portugal in Sunday's final, can they keep the party alive in Paris? We'll soon see.