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France 1-0 Germany - Euro 2020: Les Bleus earn narrow win after Mats Hummels own goal

A winning goal off the shins of the unfortunate Mats Hummels would not at first seem the greatest endorsement of France's tournament chances this summer.

Yet, make no mistake, that France remain the team to beat was the clearest message here. Ignore the scoreline. That is UEFA logistical nonsense. France were not the home team, nor was this a neutral venue. 

Didier Deschamps' players began the competition by beating Germany, in Germany, saving the most impressive result of the first round of fixtures until last. 

The venue for this game was Munich's Allianz Arena, meaning France came away with three points having travelled to the ground that epitomises the strength of German domestic football. In the circumstances, this was a significant scalp. 

France got their Euro 2020 campaign off to a winning start as they eased to a narrow 1-0 win over Germany in Munich

The reigning World Cup winners were not at their best but still showed they are the team to beat at the Championships

Germany are still a talented side, but France handled them comfortably - with Low's men lacklustre in front of goal on Tuesday

Tuesday 15 June

European Championship

Group Stage

France

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Germany

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Group Stage

Hungary

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Portugal

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Monday 14 June

European Championship

Group Stage

Spain

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Sweden

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Group Stage

Poland

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Slovakia

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Group Stage

Scotland

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Czech Republic

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Modern football being what it is, there were two Bayern Munich players in France's starting line-up, to go with the four in Joachim Low's German XI, but that is not the reason the World Cup winners looked so at home here. 

For all their flounderings this season, Germany are still a dangerous side, with good technical footballers yet France handled them comfortably for long periods. 

They had two goals disallowed for offside – rightly, both times – and Hummels made a quite brilliant tackle late on to deny Mbappe. Yet most impressive was the coolness with which France soaked up Germany's pressure. 

The defence was exemplary; in N'Golo Kante and Paul Pogba they probably have the midfield pairing of the tournament. This is not just about counter-attacking and forward play. France have quite possibly progressed since the 2018 World Cup win. Undoubtedly, they are the team against which all contenders must be measured.  

Mats Hummels bundled the ball into his net midway through the first half from Lucas Hernandez' cross to put France ahead

Bayern full-back Hernandez wheels away with Adrien Rabiot (left) after his ball in found its way into the back of the net 

France were superb on the counter and they were good value for their opening goal after a bright start to the game

Incredibly, it was 1937 when Germany last defeated France on home soil, and there was little chance of that run ending here. 

Joachim Low's team did not look to have a typical cutting edge in front of goal, where Serge Gnabry was deployed as their most advanced forward. 

Certainly they have no players in the terrifying class of Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema, who might have torn a few apart in the early stages given a group with a few more rabbits.

Quite whether this will be the Group of Death of cliché remains to be seen. The way this tournament is set up, three points may well be enough for progress, meaning if everyone beats Hungary they should at least have a chance of qualifying.  

MATCH FACTS, RATINGS AND LIVE GROUP TABLE 

FRANCE (4-3-3): Lloris 6.5; Pavard 7, Varane 7.5, Kimpembe 7, Hernandez 7; Pogba 8, Kante 7.5, Rabiot 7 (Dembele 90); Griezmann 7, Benzema 6.5 (Tolisso 89), Mbappe 7. 

Subs not used: Lenglet, Lemar, Giroud, Zouma, Mandanda, Digne, Coman, Ben Yedder, Maignan, Kounde.

Scorers: Hummels (og) 20.

Manager: Didier Deschamps 7.

Germany (3-4-2-1): Neuer 6; Ginter 6 (Can 87), Hummels 5, Rudiger 6; Kimmich 6.5, Gundogan 6, Kroos 7, Gosens 6.5 (Volland 87); Havertz 6 (Sane 74, 6); Muller 6; Gnabry 6.5 (Werner 74, 6). 

Subs not used: Halstenberg, Leno, Sule, Klostermann, Neuhaus, Trapp, Koch, Gunter.

Booked: Kimmich.

Manager: Joachim Low 6.

Referee: Carlos del Cerro Grande (Spa) 6.

Attendance: 14,000

Just moments earlier Paul Pogba had missed a huge chance to score as he sent a header over the bar from close range

But the Man United star was integral to the opener as his beautiful ball towards the feet of Hernandez set France on their way

The opportunity to lay down a marker, however, to feel tournament confidence, to play with the minds of fellow contenders, was very much at stake in Munich and it was France who will be sleeping with greater contentment after this.

Not least Didier Deschamps. He is trying to become the first man to win the World Cup and European Championships as both player and coach and there is no point, as world champions, trying to disguise his team's status. 

Asked if France would be the favourites to win, Deschamps replied, 'I hope so', and there was little sense of his players easing their way into this match. 

They dominated the early possession, played on the front foot quickly, and within seven minutes Spanish referee Carlos Del Cerro Grande had shown a yellow card to Joshua Kimmich for a foul on Lucas Hernandez. Given that Kimmich was going up against Mbappe for much of the night he did well to stay on. 

Not that Hernandez made it easy, exaggerating the intent of a second collision later in the game, with the obvious aim of getting Kimmich dismissed. Fortunately, Del Cerro Grande was having none of it.  

Germany did have chances and went close to equalising - Serge Gnabry hit his effort into the ground and over the bar

Gamesmanship aside, however, Hernandez was excellent, as were France on the counter-attack and Pogba was outstanding in midfield in a way he rarely is for Manchester United. This was the player United thought they were getting; this is why he is so often singled out for criticism. Where is this talent, most weeks? He should be running games in the Premier League as he did here against far stronger opposition.

It wasn't a faultless display, mind. One of the offside goals in the second-half was a result of Pogba delaying his pass, and after 16 minutes he should have put France ahead. 

They won a corner on the right, which was taken by Antoine Griezmann. Inexplicably, Germany failed to pick up Pogba in a dangerous position in front of goal. He was first to the ball, a free header, but somehow steered it over the bar. A big miss.

France were now in their stride, however, and a minute later Mbappe cut inside on the left and struck a shot which was tipped wide by Manuel Neuer. 

It felt like a goal was coming and after 20 minutes, it duly arrived. Pogba was the architect with all the excellence and precision that implies. He struck a quite fabulous cross-field ball, arrowed into Hernandez, from the right to the left. The Bayern Munich man whipped in a low cross which completely foxed Hummels, trying to guard the French poachers behind him. He didn't get his feet right, didn't get his body right and ended up diverting the ball powerfully into his net. Neuer had no chance, but it was no more than France deserved. 

Mbappe was a total menace to the Germany back line and stretched them on several occasions with his terrifying pace

Karim Benzema thought he had scored his first goal since 2015 to add a second, but Mbappe was adjudged to be offside

Germany huffed and puffed but could not find a way through a stubborn France defence and left Munich in frustration

The surprise was that, from there, France let Germany back into the game. 

Having barely threatened to that point, they almost immediately forged their first chance, a set-up from Robin Gosens that Thomas Muller's glancing header sent wide. Then, in the 38th minute, neat work from Gnabry fell for Ilkay Gundogan who scuffed his shot wide. These were encouraging moments for Germany, almost crowned after 54 minutes when a cross from Gosens was met by Gnabry in space, blasting his shot into the turf and sending it over the bar on the bounce – another good chance wasted.

Yet France never stopped probing for a second as much as Germany sought their equaliser. Adrien Rabiot could have seized his moment when through on the left with Griezmann in an excellent position. Instead, he went it alone and struck Neuer's near post, much to Griezmann's immense frustration.

Mbappe had the ball in the net, so too Benzema, but neither counted and, of course, there were moments when Germany looked threatening. Yet this is the first opening game of a European Championships they have ever lost, and they were playing in Munich. 

As much as Italy, Belgium, England and Portugal have laid down their markers over the last few days, this is the result that stands out. Everyone knows who they have to beat now, if they didn't already. It's France. 

Ilkay Gundogan chases after Adrien Rabiot in the middle of the park during the early stages at the Allianz Arena

N'Golo Kante - who was fantastic on the night - duels with Germany's Thomas Muller as he looks to dispossess him

Relive all the action on the night with Sportsmail's OLI GAMP's live blog below

FULL TIME: FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

It's France who take the spoils. It wasn't a devastating performance, but the win is in the bag and they showed enough quality to hint they are here for the long haul.

This game was scrappy at times and lacking in killer moments, but France got the job done thanks to a Mats Hummels own goal after brilliant work by Paul Pogba.

Mbappe - who was menacing all night - thought he had scored a second before he was adjudged to be offside, then he thought he had set up Benzema for a second, before being caught off again.

In the end, they held out for a narrow win, with Germany unable to carve out any real clear cut chances, and the result is fair. It wasn't the spectacle we hoped, but gives us plenty of food for thought going forward.

Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Group F - France v Germany - Football Arena Munich, Munich, Germany - June 15, 2021 Germany's Mats Hummels looks dejected Pool via REUTERS/Matthias Hangst

FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

90+4mins: Kroos pings a long range pass towards Sane but it goes out of play. Joachim Low's men are running out of ideas.

FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

90+2mins: It's all Germany with the ball. Sane charges through the middle towards the edge of the area but he's cut down by France, and they start again - they're launching it forward but France are holding firm.

Ousmane Dembele comes on to waste a bit of time, with Rabiot making way.

FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

89mins: The clock is ticking, and Germany are almost out of time. Muller clips in a deep cross aimed at sub Volland but he can't get a head on it.

There will be SIX minutes of added time.

FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

87mins: Gosens - who was one of Germany's brighter players - is off for Kevin Volland. Ginter comes off too, with Emre Can his replacement.

NO GOAL! FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

85mins: Well I was nearly about to say goodnight Germany, but they're not ready for bed just yet. 

Mbappe found himself through on goal yet again, bursting down the right and squaring for Benzema to slot home - it would have been his first goal since 2015 but the headline writers will have to stand down for now. The PSG star was offside.

FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

79mins: Mbappe is everywhere. He's now popped up on the right as he performs a few stepovers in the box, hits a cross into a Germany player and out for a corner ball.

FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

76mins: Germany continue to ask the questions but France have all the answers - and Mbappe makes mincemeat of the German back four after pouncing on a loose pass and blitzing the defence.

He looks like he's made his way through before he's chopped down in the box - but referee says no penalty.

FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

69mins: Germany continue to pile on the pressure as Rudiger's header from a corner is easily claimed by Lloris.

Ginter isn't looking good after a challenge with Mbappe. Looks like his knee is the issue. Will he come off? Germany needed some changes anyway - here come the cavalry.

It's Sane and Werner coming on for Gnabry and Havertz. Ginter stays on for now.

FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

66mins: GOAL DISALLOWED! 

Mbappe is just offside after a superb curled finish in off the post, having jockeyed his way into the box, but up goes the flag.

FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

62mins: Less than half hour to go. Germany are stepping things up while France look happy to sit and hit them on the counter. Mbappe works into this plan very well, but as it stands the Germans seem to have dealt with him well, for now.

FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

58mins: Pavard is down after Gosens clattered the full back over while trying to get on the end of a Kimmich cross. There's no booking for Gosens although it did look nasty.

FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

56mins: Germany are alive! The men in white are having a good spell now as Gnabry nearly finds himself in again - he races to beat Lloris to a loose ball but the Spurs man gets there first despite a penalty claim.

FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

53mins: Chance! Germany could be level as Gnabry gets on the end of a good Gosens cross but he can't get a good connection on it. He hits it down into the ground from mere yards out and it bounces onto the roof of the net.

FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

51mins: BIG chance! Rabiot is played clean through and the Juventus man is bearing down on goal on the left - he lets fly from an angle but his effort comes off the post!

Let off for the Germans.

FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

46mins: We've barely got going and already Mbappe is making a nusance of himself - he steals possession on the left and he's away, tearing away down the wing and weaving in and out of a few challenges before he comes unstuck inside the area.

Germany breathe a collective sigh of relief. They need to get a better handle on him or he will make them pay.

A flying start

Erm... so apparently this happened prior to kick off.

A parachuter, said to be a Greenpeace activist, floated into the Allianz Arena just before proceedings got underway - landing on the pitch and knocking over some debris on his way down to the turf - which nearly hit France boss Deschamps.

It was certainly more entertaining than what we got in the opening ten minutes.

HALF TIME: FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

A mixed bag of a first half - that started and ended in a rather subdued fashion, but in the middle France got themselves off the mark and Paul Pogba was key.

The midfielder also missed a great chance to put his side up with a header, but made amends as his beautiful timed pass set up Hernandez before Hummels put the ball into his own net. Germany have had a fair share of possession but haven't had too many chances of note. 

Muller and Gundogan both had efforts from close range but neither tested Manuel Neuer.

FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

43mins: What a pass that is by Varane - he hits a 40-yarder deep into the final third and Pogba picks it out of the sky with ease. Griezmann is in support to backheel it to a team-mate and it goes out for a throw in.

FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

40mins: Kante is just awesome. The rumours of him having three lungs must be true as he charges around Germany's penalty area and wins possession in a really dangerous area.

Griezmann gets to the byline and balloons a cross high above the head of Neuer that isn't troubling the Germany back line.

FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

37mins: Chance! Gnabry does brilliantly to acrobatically flick on a lofted ball into the box and Gundogan pounces on it just yards from goal, but - under pressure from Pogba - he slices it wide.

FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

34mins: Not bad for a centre-back! Varane channels his inner Leo Messi as he darts in and out of two Germany players with fabulous footwork and earns himself a free kick.

France push forwards as the ever-dangerous Mbappe surges down the byline and knocks it off a Germany player for a corner.

FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

30mins: France really growing into this one now. They started tepidly and on the back foot, but they look confident. Germany insist on playing out from the back at every opportunity, that could end badly...

FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

24mins: Kroos stands over it... and it strikes the wall, bouncing away from danger. And the Germans have another free kick after Muller was caught by Varane!

Muller ran over the last one, and he leaves this one to Kroos too. It's much further out... and this one flies well over the bar.

FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY

22mins: Chance! Muller gets up to steer a header goalwards after a decent cross in from Gosens, but Neuer is equal to it.

Now here's a chance from a free kick after Kante fells Gundogan...

GOAL! FRANCE 1-0 GERMANY (Hummels OG, 19)

Well Pogba has made up for that miss now! France have the lead and what a pass that was by Paul Pogba, who floats a superb ball with the outside of his boot out to Hernandez on the left.

He fires across the box and Germany defender Mats Hummels can only bundle into his own net.

FRANCE 0-0 GERMANY

17mins: Mbappe looking to get in the groove - he lets fly and tests the gloves of Neuer, away for a corner... which fails to beat the first man.

FRANCE 0-0 GERMANY

14mins: CHANCE! Now it's France's turn to get a feel for the ball - here's a nice sequence between Kante, Griezmann and Pavard, who crosses in... and it's cleared away for a corner!

But Pogba somehow heads over from the set piece! He should do much better, the Man United midfielder. 

FRANCE 0-0 GERMANY

9mins: France haven't had too many touches on the ball here, it's Germany who are having the more promising start with some early dominance, but with the talent on display in that France team - they'll only need one chance, one moment to change all that.

FRANCE 0-0 GERMANY

5mins: Somewhat scrappy start to proceedings here as Kroos passes straight out for a throw-in, before good work from Gosens sees Germany win possession straight back after some pressing down the left flank.

First yellow of the night goes to Kimmich for a foul on Hernandez - not ideal when you've got Kylian Mbappe running at you for the next 83 minutes.

FRANCE 0-0 GERMANY

2mins: Bright start by the Germans as Havertz is picked out in a pocket of space and works the channel, with the underdogs keeping a spell of possession before winning a free kick on the far right hand side.

Hummels gets a head on Kroos' delivery but loops it well over.

This promises to be an entertaining one

Here are the teams again if you're just joining us:

France team: Lloris, Pavard, Varane, Kimpembe, Hernandez, Pogba, Kante, Rabiot, Griezmann, Mbappe, Benzema

Germany team: Neuer, Ginter, Hummels, Rudiger, Kimmich, Kroos, Gundogan, Gosens, Havertz, Muller, Gnabry.

Almost ready to go

Just five minutes to go. France, the reigning world champions, lead us out first, with the Germans filtering in behind shortly after.

Big moment for these players to be kicking off on home soil.

We'll have both anthems now.

Germany's bid for redemption

This is Germany's first major game against top tier opposition since they were humbled 6-0 by Spain in the Nations League last November.

It appeared to spell the end for coach Low, who will depart after this competition, and led to widespread criticism from German media.

Can they bounce back against the best team in the world?

Which stars will shine?

It's an exhibition of world class talent on show tonight, but who will seize the moment?

Cristiano Ronaldo just got off the mark at the Euros, so is it time for the likes of Mbappe, Pogba and Kai Havertz to step up next?

Take your seats

Only 14,000 in attendance but in a game of this magnitude it's bound to feel like double that as both sets of fans filter into the stadium and bid to create an atmosphere.

Benzema boost

The Real Madrid striker went six years without representing his country over the sex tape scandal involving Mathieu Valbuena, but he continued to excel for his club and he's finally made a sensational return for France.

He made his comeback in a 3-0 friendly win vs Wales at the start of the month, in which he missed a penalty, but make no mistake - his presence will be massively felt in a major tournament given his experience and pedigree at the highest level.

Betting latest

Here are the latest odd's for tonight's huge game, courtesy of Betfair

France vs Germany
France 9/5
Germany 13/8
Draw 11/5

Euros winner
France 9/2
England 5/1
Belgium 6/1
Italy 13/2
Spain 15/2
Portugal 8/1
Germany 8/1
Netherlands 14/1

Portugal up and running

France and Germany will likely have had an eye on the other game in this group - as Portugal made a winning start to life at the Euros with a 3-0 triumph over Hungary. 

Cristiano Ronaldo netted a late double to outline their ambitions for the tournament, and both teams here will be looking to join them on three points. Fernando Santos' side looked dangerous even though they left it late for their first goal.

GERMANY TEAM NEWS

It looks like three at the back for Germany as they aim to deal with this talented France side.

Timo Werner has to make do with a place on the bench, and Leroy Sane is also out of the starting XI with Low opting for a forward line of Serge Gnabry, Thomas Muller and Kai Havertz.

Josh Kimmich and Roben Gosens will bomb down the flanks at wing back, with Toni Kroos and Man City's Ilkay Gundogan in midfield. Leon Goretzka is not fit to make the squad.

It's a three man defence of Matthias Ginter, Mats Hummels and Antonio Rudiger, in front of Manuel Neuer. 

German team: Neuer, Ginter, Hummels, Rudiger, Kimmich, Kroos, Gundogan, Gosens, Havertz, Muller, Gnabry.

FRANCE TEAM NEWS

We'll start with the French. The big news is that Karim Benzema starts for Les Bleus after recovering from an injury and what a moment that is for the Real Madrid star after so many years away from the team. 

It's a strong side from Deschamps with Mbappe up front too and Antoine Griezmann in behind - supported by Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante in midfield. Kimpembe and Varane are selected in central defence.

France team: Lloris, Pavard, Varane, Kimpembe, Hernandez, Pogba, Kante, Rabiot, Griezmann, Mbappe, Benzema

Write off Germany at your peril

Germany aren't being given much hope of getting a win against France, and will be up against it tonight trying to stop the likes of Kylian Mbappe, but legend Lothar Matthaus believes the nation could go all the way this summer after their disastrous campaign at the 2018 World Cup. 

He told Sportsmail Germany will not fear France or Portugal and has also tipped Chelsea striker Timo Werner to shine.

Not ideal preparations for Les Bleus

France are the leading favourites to win Euro 2020 but were hit by a team spat in the build up to this tournament opener, as Olivier Giroud angered Kylian Mbappe by criticising his failure to pass to him after their 3-0 friendly win vs Bulgaria.

Mbappe is understood to have been so furious he nearly called a press conference to discuss his feelings, but Giroud sought to quash the incident in training the next day by forcing a hug on the PSG star.

Coach Didier Deschamps and captain Hugo Lloris have also tried to sweep the row under the rug, but France will be hopeful it doesn't have a negative impact on the team today. 

Fans arriving at the Allianz

There will be around 14,000 supporters in attendance tonight and, just like England, Germany will have home advantage as they welcome the French to the Allianz Arena, home of Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

Some German fans have already arrived in Munich and have been keen to wave their flags and made their voices heard ahead of kick-off, while French supporters have also been spotted turning up to the famous ground.

Willkommen

Welcome to Munich. We've got an absolute cracker on our hands here tonight, with two European giants going head to head at the Allianz Arena in what is arguably the biggest game of the tournament so far. 

There's going to be a showcase of talent on offer here and it has the potential to be a really exciting game as the last two winners of the World Cup face off. Join me here for all the latest line-ups, updates and goals as they happen. Kick off is at 20:00 GMT.

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