Euro 2024 hosts Germany beat France 2-1 in their international friendly on Tuesday to snap a three-game losing streak and regain some confidence following a bad run and the sacking of coach Hansi Flick on Sunday.
Goals from Thomas Muller and Leroy Sane at the start and end of the game gave Germany their first win in their last six matches and capped a turbulent few days for the four-time world champions.
While France, 2022 World Cup runners-up, did not field their strongest team, with captain and top striker Kylian Mbappe on the bench, Germany’s overall performance was far improved from Saturday’s 4-1 home loss to Japan that led to Flick’s departure.
“For us it was clear we’d be running a lot today,” Muller said. “It was a crazy situation in the past three days. But congratulations to Rudi and his staff on how they dealt with it.
“We did what we had to, we worked hard and we were rewarded for it. We should not read too much into this win but for us it was a small emotional release.”
The Germans, managed by sports director Rudi Voller for the game, pressed high from the start.
They were rewarded when veteran Muller rifled home from inside the box after a fine 13-pass move in the fourth minute.
Tchouameni’s low drive in the 57th forced a good save from Marc Andre ter Stegen, who also denied Antoine Griezmann in the 82nd by tipping his shot over the bar.
Sane then completed a quick break to score in the 87th before bringing down Marcus Thuram two minutes later for a penalty, with Griezmann cutting the deficit for the visitors.
“It is important for the players, the federation to play like that, especially in the first half it was a top performance,” said Voller, a 1990 World Cup winner who coached Germany from 2000-2004. “It was a relief for all of us. It just feels good especially after the recent defeats.”