Euro 2016: France vs Germany… Live! 

by | Jul 7, 2016

Good evening brothers and sisters, and welcome to our live blog for the second Euro 2016 semi-final, between France and Germany. It’s difficult not to think back to 1982 and Seville when considering this match, when a dramatic evening in a World Cup semi-final between these two nations that saw four goals in extra-time, one of the most controversial fouls in the histor of the game, and eventually a penalty shoot-out win for West Germany after a match that had ended as a thrilling three-all draw. We can only hope for such excitement again this evening.

Germany have been excellent in this tournament so far. They’re haven’t conceded a goal from open play yet, and may well have been psychologically boosted by beating Italy after an extraordinary penalty shoot-out last Saturday night. France, meanwhile, have been slowly building up through the gears as the tournament has worn on. Their wins in the last two rounds confirmed them as the top scorers, but they have had moments of defensive brittleness and it may be this that Germany will seek to exploit tonight. Germany may be in ominous form, but France have won the last two tournaments that they’ve hosted. But what will happen this evening? Stay tuned to find out.

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Mark July 7, 201610:03 pm

That’s the tournament for me. Doing Gaelic Football stuff this Sunday. And if WE win (Roscommon) on Sunday, I might even accept a… vict…oh, I dunno. Real sell soul to devil stuff that.

Enjoy the proper writers- Ian, Ed et al – Sunday. Tata…

Mark July 7, 20169:59 pm

Oooh, yeah. Forgot about that. If England…

“The Icelandic war chant looks like it will catch on,” says Lineker as the French copy it. Oh goodie!

Edward July 7, 20169:57 pm

Still, absolute howler of a penalty decision.

Mark July 7, 20169:56 pm

All else aside, a terrific game. Germany actually played quite well (if England played like that, th…no, I’ll stop there). But France were fab too. Just don’t leave it all here, France. You know what you have to do on Sunday.

Mark July 7, 20169:54 pm

“The force is most certainly with them,” says Mowbray of France. And on this form, it is.

Edward July 7, 20169:53 pm

Imagine being French!

Mark July 7, 20169:53 pm

6891. The reverse of 1986. 2-0 France.

Edward July 7, 20169:52 pm

Lloris has been brilliant this evening.

Mark July 7, 20169:52 pm

“The game is up and they know it” says Mowbray as Lloris makes a fabulous save from a Mueller/Mustafi header. It is. And they do. Last min of stoppo.

Mark July 7, 20169:50 pm

Yohan Cabaye of the Premier League comes on for Greizmann. Denied a hat-trick again. Sunday, then. Eh?

Mark July 7, 20169:49 pm

Four minutes stoppo. Portugal haven’t beaten France since 1975, when Portugal had a fascist regime. I think that says a lot.

Edward July 7, 20169:49 pm

Every time anyone says Mario Gotze’s name, I start singing Chas and Dave.

Mark July 7, 20169:48 pm

A third French goal might make them a touch over-confident for the final. So. Careful now.

90th minute.

Mark July 7, 20169:45 pm

Greizmann ends a quick break by rolling a soft shot at Neuer, “hat-trick” rather than “square ball to well-placed colleague” on his mind.

“Ole” say the French crowd. They seem confident. Three minutes left.

Mark July 7, 20169:44 pm

Sissoko makes a muppet of Hector as they contest possession near the end-line. “Not going to happen” for Germany.

Mark July 7, 20169:41 pm

12 seconds after Keown says “its not going to happen” for Germany, Howedes nearly makes it happen, heading inches over. Think Keown’s right, though.

Mark July 7, 20169:40 pm

Ozil runs the ball out of play and the whole scenario screams “not their night.” Nine minutes of it left. Very probably.

Mark July 7, 20169:38 pm

As is the sight of a German called Leroy. Internationalism. Love it.

Mark July 7, 20169:38 pm

Leroy Sane on for Schweinsteiger…and nearly bundles in a cross within seconds. Then Mustafi wellies over another decent chance. 6891, this game. Marvellous.

Mark July 7, 20169:36 pm

Gignac for Giroud. Pace on the break not a current French priority. 12 mins left.

Edward July 7, 20169:36 pm

I would like to point out that I predicted France would win this tournament.

Mark July 7, 20169:36 pm

Draxler curls a 25-yard free-kick a yard wide. “Looked in” from where Keown was.

“Cannot beat le French resistance” he adds, getting confident with his O-Level French there.

Edward July 7, 20169:34 pm

Old Antoine “Stephane Guivarc’h” Griezmann.

Mark July 7, 20169:34 pm

Kante replaced…Payet!! just before the goal in what looked like a double-defensive move. But as Kante won the Premier League, it is viewed as a good thing.

He’s been booked already.

Mark July 7, 20169:33 pm

Mind you, Kimmich curls a brilliant left-footer against the French post. Not over yet.

Edward July 7, 20169:32 pm

Old Antoine “Michel Platini” Griezmann.

Old Antoine “Just Fontaine” Griezmann.

Mark July 7, 20169:32 pm

Not now. Neuer paws at a cross, gets bumped by Giroud. Greizmann pokes home the loose ball from 12 yards. Neuer complains.

Mark July 7, 20169:30 pm


Edward July 7, 20169:30 pm

The last twenty minutes of this game are going to be tasty, I reckon*.

* hope

Mark July 7, 20169:29 pm

Thank you, Ed.

20 mins left. Germany bossing possession until they get near the light green bit of the pitch, when they usually go all offside.

Edward July 7, 20169:29 pm


Mark July 7, 20169:26 pm

Payet mishits horribly when well placed. As Barry Davies would have said of Payet’s right peg “well, its not his strongest foot, lets put it that way.”

Mark July 7, 20169:25 pm

Goetze on for the booked Can…who couldn’t. False number nine, Ed. Pleased???

Mark July 7, 20169:25 pm

“Gets one right in the kipper” says K, as the ball hits Payet in the mouth. Did Keown mean “kisser” and get it, ulp, wrong??? Or have I a lot to learn from the master?

Mark July 7, 20169:23 pm

Game has actually become the scrapfest Keown was suggesting earlier.

Mark July 7, 20169:21 pm

So, can plucky, injury-hit, suspension-riddled Germany come back from all this? In the “old days” France would now miss a sitter and Germany would go on to win. How different is the modern world?

Edward July 7, 20169:20 pm

Germany’s defence is looking really quite threadbare now. Forget “a team with 11 Berti Vogts would be unbeatable”, Germany would settle for Berti Vogts now.

Mark July 7, 20169:20 pm

Shkodran Mustafi on in his stead. A former Everton youth, notes Mowbray, exacerbating German misery everywhere in earshot.

Mark July 7, 20169:18 pm

Hector, Germany’s left-back, has been caught offside three time this half.

Meanwhile on the other flank “Boateng’s got a problem.” Yep. He can’t defend. Especially now he’s done his hamstring.

Edward July 7, 20169:16 pm

Last time France beat Germany in a competitive international? 28th June 1958. Gothenburg. World Cup Third Place Match. Curiously, France win virtually every other time that they play the Germans.

Mark July 7, 20169:15 pm

Stirring national antheming from the French fans, many of whom, it must be said, are three-parts through their pints.

Mark July 7, 20169:13 pm

Yep. Much brighter. No laws on pitch colour, of course. Otherwise Derby County in the 70s would never have been let kick-off…

Edward July 7, 20169:12 pm

I STILL say that six yard box is a different colour

Mark July 7, 20169:11 pm

Keown has the game getting “very scrappy” five minutes into a half with two goalscoring chances and some fine defending. Does he even LIKE football?.

Edward July 7, 20169:11 pm

The way commentators and pundits go on these days, I sometimes wonder if perhaps I don’t know the rules of this game as well as I thought.

Mark July 7, 20169:09 pm

Five players in the book already. I’m old enough to remember days when five bookings meant a dirty game.

Mark July 7, 20169:06 pm

And 2-0 to France with a late goal and these possession stats would be an exact revenge for 1986.

Edward July 7, 20169:06 pm

No human being can adequately explain the referee’s sock choices to me. None.

Mark July 7, 20169:05 pm

Giroud and Greizmann have early shots blocked as the first half starts to play out again.

Mark July 7, 20169:05 pm

Ref waves play on with more of a flourish than he gives penalties.

Mark July 7, 20169:04 pm

Here we go again.

Edward July 7, 20168:57 pm

France have been rotten, and even I – who have now predicted France to win the tournament on both our own podcast and on The Sound of Football – didn’t think it was a penalty. And I am an ego maniac. Ian can vouch for this.

Mark July 7, 20168:56 pm

Of course it didn’t help that the ref put his hands together almost in pray as an alternative to pointing to the penalty spot.

Mark July 7, 20168:55 pm

For those not watching, Schweinsteiger put his hand on Evra’s shoulder as a corner came in. Evra glanced the ball onto Schweinsteiger’s hand. And, yes, Evra’s head is BIG. HUGE. But there is no way Schweinsteiger meant to handled the ball. None. At all. And this from someone semi-begging for France to win.

Edward July 7, 20168:55 pm

Edward July 7, 20168:52 pm

Thierry Henry and Rio Ferdinand have lost their MINDS. Alan Shearer is wondering whether or not he has joined them.

Ian July 7, 20168:52 pm

That was the sort of penalty decision that away teams don’t get.

I have an opinion on penalty kicks, which is that, considering that the effect of giving one is an almost certain goal, if not everybody can see automatically what it was given for, it shouldn’t be given. So, some sympathy for for Germany, who’d bossed the vast majority of the first half. Sure sets up a fascinating second half, too.

Mark July 7, 20168:52 pm

Rio Ferdinand has just clearly, brilliantly explained why it wasn’t a penalty…and then said it WAS a penalty. Coming to something when Shearer is the voice of reason. However momentarily.

Mark July 7, 20168:51 pm


Mark July 7, 20168:51 pm

Henry thinks its a penalty. And what more expert view do you need on HANDBALLS than Thierry fcuking Henry???

Mark July 7, 20168:50 pm

I’m asking just to check that it isn’t just me.

Mark July 7, 20168:49 pm

“Did the referee really see that?” asks Keown. Replays suggest possibly. But the “fifth” official probably did. You know. The one which never does anything.

Edward July 7, 20168:49 pm

Absolutely howling decision. But probably the best thing for this game, entertainment wise.

Yes, I am magnificently selfish, why do you ask?

Edward July 7, 20168:48 pm

Here’s a conspiracy theory for you, Ian. Patrice Evra has been so flakily anonymous in this tournament I am beginning to think he is someone that only I can see. Like Yetta Feldman in So Haunt Me.

Mark July 7, 20168:48 pm


Mark July 7, 20168:47 pm

Its for a handball by Schweinsteiger. But the ref didn’t tell anyone and the crowd don’t sound like they all know even as Greizmann lines up the kick

Mark July 7, 20168:47 pm

What? France penalty.

Mark July 7, 20168:46 pm

Replays show how good Howedes’ tackle was. His leg looked seven feet long in super slo-mo. But still. And Gignac, Giroud’s understudy is S…L…O…W…E…R…

Two minutes stoppo.

Mark July 7, 20168:44 pm

And Giroud is THROUGH and…..ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssslowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Howedes gets back and puts in a last-ditcher. Arsenal fans everywhere nod their heads knowingly. Chance of the match and not even a shot at the end of it.

Mark July 7, 20168:42 pm

France’s best attack for AGES. Greizmann side-nets after a good move which not even Evra could entirely fcuk up.

Edward July 7, 20168:41 pm

I’d take Angela Merkel over Christine Hamilton any day, and for more or less any criteria you could mention.

Mark July 7, 20168:41 pm

Just as Ho Chi Minh City has generally (if not officially) become Saigon again, so will Payet City return, methinks.

I guarantee you are not getting analysis like THIS anywhere else, either. Which is probably just as well.

Ian July 7, 20168:40 pm

Theresa May needs to stop looking like Angela Merkel, and that loathsome Leadsom person needs to stop looking like Christine Hamilton.

Mark July 7, 20168:38 pm

Like Saigon and Ho Chi Minh City. Payet City becomes Pogba City. To no effect. Another confidence-boosting save for the Head and Shoulders marketing department by Neuer. Joe who??

Edward July 7, 20168:37 pm

There’s quite a lot of the Conservative Party leadership election in this match. Not necessarily a forgone conclusion but still with the feeling the loser will be relegated to the realms of a trivia question one day.

Germany are Theresa May. I can guarantee that you are not getting analysis like this ANYWHERE else.

Mark July 7, 20168:37 pm

Are France doing this deliberately? Their tactics have thus far resembled Muhammad Ali against George Foreman in 1974. All-out attack in the first round. That doesn’t work. Ali cacks himself and goes all defensive. The rest, you know.

France off the ropes to win another free-kick in Payet City (30 yards again, though).

Mark July 7, 20168:34 pm

Panic on the streets of the French defence as Germany move into Barcelona possession stats.

Meanwhile, Hearts and Aberdeen both progressed in the Europa League, though Aberdeen lost in Luxembourg tonight. Two games into their season. On July 7th. Sake.

Edward July 7, 20168:32 pm

In the way that some people don’t believe in global warming, I don’t believe in Martin Keown. Never did.

Edward July 7, 20168:30 pm

It is my belief that they are trying to turn that goal area into a basketball court.

Ian July 7, 20168:28 pm

I’ve worked 48 hours this week and I’ve still got a day to go, so the crazies might well overcome me tonight and I can get onboard with any conspiracy theories you may have.

Mark July 7, 20168:28 pm

Schweinsteiger shot tipped further over than it was already going after an Ozil volley from his “what was…THAT?” portfolio. A good clearance if Patrice Evra had hit it.

Edward July 7, 20168:27 pm

Still convinced that the six yard box is a different shade of green from the surrounding turf at the German end.

Mark July 7, 20168:26 pm

Neuer saves a well-hit shot. Very much the suburbs of Payet City that free-kick. Dare I say, not enough “SWAZZ”?

Mark July 7, 20168:24 pm

“Referee sees that one” says the whole of Germany as Payet is upended in “Payet territory”. 30 yards out. Payet has annexed quite a bit of territory in these finals.

Ian July 7, 20168:24 pm

There seems to be quite a bit of losing of footing going on out there. The pitch at Marseille has been pretty terrible from the start of the tournament.

Mark July 7, 20168:23 pm

Kroos upended just outside the box by Pogba. Keown about to say “the referee got that right” by giving nothing when the replay shows the ref got it not right. Although I see Ian disagrees. And he’s usually right,

Still, a lively game.

Ian July 7, 20168:22 pm

If that was a foul, it was just outside the penalty area. And, of course, if you need to see it three times from varying angles in super slo-mo before you can can call it, it ain’t a bleedin’ foul.

Mark July 7, 20168:20 pm

Dominated, yes. Over-run? No.

Edward July 7, 20168:20 pm

Mark July 7, 20168:19 pm

“France getting overrun in midfield,” says Keown over pictures of a slow…sorry…”patient” German build-up. I mean…you know…WHY?

Mark July 7, 20168:16 pm

Mueller rolls a 25-yarder into the waiting Lloris’s pouch. Not lacking confidence there.

Edward July 7, 20168:16 pm

What the hell kind of defending was that? And the fact that it WORKED speaks volumes about this German side’s attacking potency.

Edward July 7, 20168:15 pm

Actually, Schweinsteiger and Rooney have more in common than just being national captains. They are both considered to be washed up pensioners but are both only in their early 30s. The fact that they are washed up relics has nothing to do with their age.

Mark July 7, 20168:15 pm

Can left-foot mishit saved by Lloris. First team to hit a shot properly wins?

Mark July 7, 20168:14 pm

Mueller slides a Can cross wide. Stretching a bit. Keown reckons he’s “lost his confidence in front of goal” and you know what he means…but Mueller doesn’t look the confidence-losing type from this distance…

Mark July 7, 20168:12 pm

Gott. Ja. Schweinsteiger. The odds on a France victory just shortened in my head a bit more.

Edward July 7, 20168:11 pm

Bastian Schweinsteiger. Captain of Germany. First start of the tournament.

Tell that to Wayne Rooney.

Mark July 7, 20168:11 pm

Is Baby Face Kimmich unpopular in the German squad? They’ve just massively overhit two passes to him – the second seemingly aimed at his head at a pace. Bit harsh.

Mark July 7, 20168:09 pm

Ooooh, Tony G REALLY scuffed that shot. The save will boost Neuer’s ego. So that’s good.

Mark July 7, 20168:07 pm

Ma Tweedy and Greizmann combine, the latter forcing a save from Neuer which he wouldn’t have managed if Antione had “put his laces through it”

Mark July 7, 20168:06 pm

Kimmich is having a Benjamin Button of a tournament. Started it looking fifteen. Looked about eleven in that last camera shot.

Edward July 7, 20168:05 pm

I don’t feel INVESTED. Some on. Let’s see some blood. Figuratively speaking, of course.

Mark July 7, 20168:03 pm

That’s the BBC view, certainly. But I preferred Davies and I now prefer Mowbray.

The ref’s socks, though…

Ian July 7, 20168:02 pm

Wilson on the mike, hmm? Been trying to work out who’s the modern day Motson and who’s the modern day Davies. This scheduling hints at Wilson being the Davies.

Mark July 7, 20168:01 pm

“Hoping for the game of the tournament,” says Keown. He asked for a “defensive masterclass” on Saturday…and got it. Wishing him similar good fortune tonight

Edward July 7, 20168:01 pm

Two vast tragedies on view tonight: Germany wearing black socks and France wearing blue shorts. What is life?

Mark July 7, 20168:00 pm

Officials’ socks. The MOST wrong socks in international football history. Mein Dieu. Mon Gott. Etc…

Ian July 7, 20168:00 pm

I reckon he buys a new one for every match. Or, more likely, has one given to him. I’d have a lot more time for it all of he wore a skanky old flea-bitten thing that he’d had for thirty years.

Edward July 7, 20167:59 pm

I would love to be French. All the things about the French that annoy me wouldn’t annoy me then, because I’d be French.

Edward July 7, 20167:58 pm

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH MATE. Steve Wilson calls a Marseillaise down only for a Lied Der Deutschen to bust out. AHHHHH.


Mark July 7, 20167:58 pm

Francois Hollande’s scarf is just TOO big, though.

Ian July 7, 20167:58 pm

Well, this Germany team is nowhere near as objectionable as their Klassen Von 82, and I love Germany as a country nowadays, but I’ve always had a bit of a thing for La France. Saw a few matches there in the 1980s on holiday, primarily because their domestic season started quite early.

Mark July 7, 20167:57 pm

I’m getting a Francophone vibe from this liveblog tonight.

Allez les, presumably, Bleus.

Ian July 7, 20167:55 pm

I did lend you Tor. I think you might even have given it back to me.

Mark July 7, 20167:54 pm

Yep. France got a dodgy shoot-out penalty. Ball hit the post then hit the keeper and went in. Ball should have been dead when it went back into play off the post.

Ian July 7, 20167:54 pm

Ah, I’m mixing it up with Brazil in the quarters, aren’t I?

Mark July 7, 20167:52 pm

France/Germany 2014. Friday afternoon. Dull. Hummels header. And then we got on with our lives. Guessing even Uli Hesse would struggle to wax lyrical about that game.

1986. West Germany won 2-0, on the break after France dominated. And after France beat Brazil in a classic quarter-final. So. Germay. Boo. Again.

Edward July 7, 20167:52 pm

I think you lent me Tor!. I have definitely read it. I must steal all of your football books that I’ve not read.

Ian July 7, 20167:51 pm

I think that winning the European Championships in 1984 softened the blow of losing that match, as it goes, though West Germany did also beat them on penalties in the semi-final of the World Cup in 1986, too. I don’t remember France having had their revenge, but I fancy that tonight might be the night for that.

Mark July 7, 20167:49 pm

Meanwhile, at the other end of the literary scale… “He’ll get balls in there,” are the first words I hear from Alan Shearer. Seems appropriate somehow

Edward July 7, 20167:48 pm

Here’s one. They played in the World Cup quarter final two years ago. I know I watched it, I was liveblogging it for here. I had absolutely no recollection of that match.

Ian July 7, 20167:48 pm

I can’t recommend the book Tor! by Uli Hesse Lichtenberger highly enough, by the way.

Ian July 7, 20167:45 pm

Picture the scene. It’s the 8th July 1982 in Seville, and in front of a 70,000 crowd West Germany are playing France in the semi-final of the World Cup. France are the team of the romantic, with the languid brilliance of Michel Platini leading the version one of Le Carre Magique – The Magic Square, one of the greatest ensemble midfields that world football has ever seen.

For a long time, it feels quite routine. It’s hot, almost one hundred degrees Fahrenheit, and it’s intense, but when Pierre Littbarski gives West Germany the lead and Platini levels from the spot, well, this is all in the normal tolerance for what we might expect from such a match. With an hour played, though, the match enters infamy. Patrick Battiston has only been on the pitch for ten minutes after having come on for Bernard Genghini, he chases a through ball and is clattered by the German goalkeeper Harald Schumacher, knocking him unconscious, cracking three ribs and knocking out two teeth.
Nevertheless and, the match goes into extra-time and France score twice in its first eight minutes to streak into a three-one lead. With no further replacements available, though, they wilt in the heat. Karl Heinz Rummenige pulls a goal back, and six minutes after this Klaus Fischer pulls them level. Even at the start of the penalty shoot-out, France grab the initiative when Uli Stielike misses the third kick for West Germany, but Didier Six misses France’s fourth and in sudden death Maxime Bossis also misses. West Germany, a deeply unloved team already on account of their Shame of Gijon group match which was stitched up with Austria to knock Algeria out, hadn’t missed a penalty in a shootout again until last Saturday night against Italy.
Mark July 7, 20167:44 pm

I agree about false number nines (and Maundy Thursday).

So, will Germany miss Gomez more than Hummels? Without being discernably good, Gomez has offered “something” to the German attack. And unless Thomas Mueller breaks his Euro duck, or Julian Draxler plays as well as I think he can. Which reminds me. You know the song “If anyone can, Emre Can”? No? Well, that’s because it probably doesn’t exist. Which is another reason why I’m tipping the hosts tonight.

Edward July 7, 20167:43 pm

It is Thursday. But not Maundy Thursday. danwalker

Edward July 7, 20167:40 pm

Fucking “false nine”, fuck off.

Edward July 7, 20167:38 pm

Rio Ferdinand’s beard makes him look like a dockyard heavy in a Tintin adventure.

Edward July 7, 20167:29 pm

Mats Hummels missing tonight, thanks to a thoroughly unjustified booking in the quarter final. Germany aren’t so good that that sort of thing won’t have an impact. There’s my hot take.

Edward July 7, 20167:26 pm

Right, football. What? Yes. Who’s playing?

Ian July 7, 20167:26 pm

Well, well, well. France vs Germany, hmm? Now, there’s a fixture with some history behind it. I’ll be back in a thrice with a little historical context behind this evening’s match in Marseille, but first of all here’s some hot team action to get you in the mood.

Germany Neuer, Kimmich, Boateng, Howedes, Hector, Can, Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Kroos, Draxler, Muller.

Substitutes: Leno, Mustafi, Khedira, Schurrle, Podolski, Weigl, Tah, Gotze, Sane, Gomez, Ter Stegen.

France Lloris, Sagna, Koscielny, Umtiti, Evra, Pogba, Matuidi, Sissoko, Griezmann, Payet, Giroud.

Substitutes: Mandanda, Jallet, Rami, Kante, Cabaye, Gignac, Martial, Schneiderlin, Mangala, Digne, Coman, Costil.