France looked shaky in the opening five minutes of both halves against Romania, but gained composure to score twice in the second half and come out as victors in their Euro 2016 opener.
Didier Deschamps chose a star studded line up which consisted of superstars like Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann, and captain Hugo Lloris. Every single player on the pitch fought for the victory but West Ham man, Dimitri Payet, scored the crucial goal for France.
Weak point in the French team was the defence
Hugo Lloris (C) - 6 - The France and Tottenham shot stopper came up big in the first half with a magnificent save from a Romanian corner which kept his side in the game. Loris unfortunately saw his team concede a penalty in the 65th minute which was calmly slotted to his left by Bogdan Stancu.
Bacary Sagna - 6 - The Manchester City full back was not tested much during the game but when he was called upon, he showed both his defensive and offensive capabilities. Sagna was an outlet on the right of the France field throughout the whole game and looked very promising.
Adil Rami - 7 - Raphael Varane’s replacement had a very solid game against Romania, making no mistakes and clearing up the defensive errors well when the very few were made. Towering over all Romanian forwards, the centre back was a force to be reckoned with throughout the game.
Laurent Koscielny - 6 - With his pace at the back, he looked to be a great partner to Rami, as they complimented each other well throughout the 90 minutes. Koscielny was a presence at both offensive and defensive corners, and has warranted his starting place for the next game.
Patrice Evra - 5 - The former Manchester United full back gave away a needless penalty in the 64th minute after he left his leg hanging out in the box and purposely tripped up the Romanian forward. This mistake looked like it was going to be a costly one right up until the 89th minute of the game.
Kante starts in the double pivot in midfield
N’golo Kante - 8 - Kante did what Kante does, he patrolled the midfield throughout the game and showed the spectators why he is one of the best midfielders in the worst at this moment. Kante read the game perfectly and expertly executed his famous interceptions in any case of danger.
Blaise Matuidi - 7 - N’golo Kante made Matuidi’s job very easy during the game, and this allowed the PSG box to box midfielder to move up the pitch and get involved with the attack. Matuidi ran his heart out for France, and perfectly linked defence with attack.
Devastating French attack
Paul Pogba - 8 - The 23 year old had the weight of the nation on his shoulders tonight but he dealt with the pressure and played like himself, showing off a few flicks and tricks during the process. Pogba has been the poster boy for this tournament and big things are expected of him throughout this next month, and he started off very well, reassuring his position among the elites in Europe.
Dimitri Payet (MOTM) - 9 - The match winner, the golden boy, he can do no wrong at the moment. After being substituted off, Payet burst out into tears, assumably tears of jubilation, and this expressed his passion and love for the country he plays for. Payet saved Patrice Evra’s mistakes in the middle of the second half, but we are assured that those mistakes are long forgotten now. Payet's sudden burst of excellence was the highlight of the match, and maybe one of the goals of the tournament.
Antoine Greizmann - 5 - Unlike his fellow poster boy, Paul Pogba, Griezmann did not shine in his first game for France. The 25 year old was substituted off in the 66th minute, for fellow country man, Kingsley Coman. After being tipped to be France’s marquee player by legend Marcel Desailly, Griezmann did not live up to the expectations but hopefully he can perform in his next fixture against Albania on Wednesday.
Olivier Giroud - 8 - The Arsenal centre-forward scored the first goal of the match after the 57th minute and looked lively throughout the match even after being continuously booed by the home fans in fixtures leading up to the European Championships. Giroud was used as a target man by the French team with players like Anthony Martial and Antoine Griezmann running off of him all night.
Kingsley Coman (66’) - The Bayern Munich winger was brought on for Antoine Griezmann, and was deployed on the right wing for the duration of his game. The tricky winger was marked tightly by former West Ham full back Razvan Rat who did not allow Coman to show off his full potential.
Anthony Martial (77’) - The second sub deployed by Deschamps was not a very influential one, Martial did not impact the game much, as he was continuously marked by at least three Romanian players on the left wing.
Moussa Sissoko (90’) - France’s third and final sub was Sissoko who was used only to pack the midfield and potentially waste some time to run down the clock to secure the home nation the victory, but ultimately he was not on the pitch long enough to make any real significant impact.