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World - FIFA World Cup
June 20, 2014
• Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, Bahia
Referee: B. Kuipers
• Attendance: 51003
B. Džemaili 81'
G. Xhaka 87'
O. Giroud 17'
B. Matuidi 18'
M. Valbuena 40'
K. Benzema 67'
M. Sissoko 73'
France dominated long portions of the match, with Switzerland only growing into the game once Les Bleus changed formation and looked to protect what they had - leaving the French in pole position in Group E. I've been Simon Harrison and I hope to see you again next time, but be sure to stick around for later coverage of Ecuador vs Honduras.
FULL TIME! France win 5-2 against Switzerland, in a game which certainly wasn't for the defensive purists. Goals from Giroud, Matuidi, Valbuena, Benzema and Sissoko were enough for Deschamps' side, despite two late strikes from Dzemaili and Xhaka for the Swiss.
90' + 4'
GOOOOOOOAL! BUT NO! The referee already blew the final whistle! Sissoko plays a delicious ball into the striker's feet, before Benzema looped a dipping effort over Benaglio and into the back of the net! A gorgeous strike, but bad luck for the Real Madrid man!
90' + 2'
Switzerland are ending the game the stronger of the two sides, but France won't mind given their general performance. It's a case of too little, too late for the Swiss, who have only grown into the game as Les Bleus took their foot off the gas.
There are three minutes of stoppage time in the second half.
Switzerland are laying siege to the French box in the late stages, with Xhaka really looking motivated to retain his place in the starting eleven against Honduras. The introduction of Dzemaili at the break has certainly improved Hitzfeld's side, but they'll still be disappointed to have seen their shrewd defensive record dashed tonight.
Yellow Card Yohan Cabaye
Assist Gökhan Inler
Goal Granit Xhaka
GOOOOOOAL! SWITZERLAND HAVE TWO! Xhaka fires home emphatically at the back post, after being released by a very tidy through ball from Inler. He blasts home on the volley with his left foot, displaying some outrageously good technique!
Shaqiri forces Lloris into a good save, as the goalkeeper gets down smartly to his right to palm the Bayern man's effort away. He only needs half a chance to try his luck, Shaqiri has been fairly unlucky not to have found the back of the net this evening.
Lichtsteiner breaks down the right yet again, but Koscielny puts in a good block to deny the Juve man. France clear their lines, with the Swiss forced back towards their own goal yet again. Dzemaili tries to find Xhaka with a crossfield ball, but the goalscorer's pass bobbles out of play.
France don't have the clean sheet they would have so desperately wanted, but the scoreline is still more than convincing. Griezmann is given a runout in place of Valbuena, who earns an embrace from his coach as he leaves the field of play.
Goal Blerim Dzemaili
GOOOOAL! WHAT AN EFFORT FROM DZEMAILI! The substitute lines up a 30-yard free-kick, which zips through the wall and into the bottom right corner. Benzema is the culprit, with the striker shielding his face rather than concentrating on doing his job. A good strike nevertheless and Switzerland have a consolation goal.
Senderos releases Mehmedi down the left hand side with a hopeful clearance, but the Freiburg man is closed down effectively by Debuchy. France continue to be professional and efficient in their outlook, with Switzerland unable to find anything in the way of penetration.
France look extremely comfortable, with this defeat leaving Switzerland with a lot to do if they are to pick themselves up for their fixture against Ecuador. The French supporters are jubilant and so they should be.
Sissoko exchanges a one-two with Debuchy down the right hand side, before the former squares a cross to Valbuena, who fires straight at Benaglio. France attack again, with Matuidi drawing another save out of the Swiss goalkeeper, before Senderos acrobatically clears his lines.
A quarter of an hour remains and Switzerland will be hoping for the final whistle to arrive as soon as possible. The crowd are mocking the Swiss, cheering as France hold onto possession comfortably, just to add insult to injury. They've been awful this evening.
Goal Moussa Sissoko
Assist Karim Benzema
GOOOOOOAL! SISSOKO NETS THE FIFTH FOR FRANCE! Inler gives away possession needlessly, before a quick French break presents Sissoko with a chance at the back post. The Newcastle midfielder fires a low finish beyond Benaglio and into the far corner!
Cabaye slots Evra through on goal, before the Man United left-back tries to stab a dinked finish over the advancing Benaglio. It heads high and wide, despite his claims of the 'keeper making a save.
XHAKA GOES CLOSE! He's been a real handful in the air, this time turning Rodriguez's cross across the face of goal! France look unable to deal with him, but he simply can't hit the target.
France are looking in fantastic shape, without any suggestion that their form is going to dip any time soon. They've been solid throughout, with Lloris looking more than capable on the rare occasions that Switzerland have tested him. The French national anthem rings around the stadium once again.
Goal Karim Benzema
Assist Paul Pogba
GOOOOOOOOAL! BENZEMA SCORES TO MAKE IT FOUR FOR FRANCE! It's another mistake from Switzerland to allow the Real Madrid man in behind, before a wonderful improvised finish from the Frenchman squeezes in between Benaglio's legs! Wonderful outside of the boot assist from Pogba!
Sakho limps off the field after appearing to feel some tightness in his hamstring, with Koscielny the man to replace him. Not something France will be wanting to see, but the change allows for Deschamps to ensure that his first choice central defender is well rested for their next fixture.
BIG CHANCE FOR MEHMEDI! Lichtsteiner breaks to the byeline, before clipping a cross to the back post which floats over Debuchy! Mehmedi takes a touch, but Lloris is incredibly quick off his line to pressure the Freiburg man and force him to panic and fire over.
Xhaka is nearly picked out at the back post by an early cross from Rodriguez, but Evra does just enough to put his man off. Deschamps looks to his bench, with Pogba replacing Giroud, which should mean that Benzema will be France's number nine.
A lull in both the game and the atmosphere in Salvador, as France look to close space and remain hard to play through. If Switzerland were to find an unlikely goal, things might liven up a little, but otherwise this is going to be a routine second half for Les Bleus.
Half an hour remains for Switzerland to drag themselves into this game, or at least soften the blow to their goal difference. Benzema sees a shot deflected over the crossbar by Djourou with Benaglio wrong-footed. France are comfortable and the Swiss don't seem to have any questions to pose to their opponents.
DZEMAILI GOES CLOSE! The substitute is pressured by Sakho, but the shot evades the French defender and whistles narrowly over the crossbar. It seemed to open up for the Napoli man, but from 30 yards the odds were always against him.
Switzerland spread play wide to Shaqiri well, with the Bayern man taking a wonderful first touch. Debuchy and Varane double up well on the Swiss midfielder, with the latter sliding in to put the ball into touch. France continue to frustrate their opposition.
France transition quickly once again, with Benzema feeding Giroud. The Arsenal man takes a poor touch, which bobbles behind him, but recovers well. He shifts the ball onto his left foot, before arrowing an effort out of play for a goal-kick. He puts up an apologetic hand.
France haven't pressed forward too readily in the opening ten minutes of this half and appear happy to absorb some pressure. Their lightning counter attacks will be something that Switzerland will be paranoid about. Shaqiri turns Sissoko, before releasing a long-range effort that he drags terribly wide.
Shaqiri delivers a dangerous cross into the front post from a free-kick, but Matuidi does just enough to ensure that Xhaka isn't able to steer a header inside the upright. France concede a corner, but the Gladbach man once again fails to hit the target after meeting Shaqiri's delivery.
Seferovic ambitiously tries to sweep a left-footed effort across goal and inside the far post, but Lloris is confident enough to let the ball bobble behind for a goal-kick. Drmic will be confident that he will see some second half action, given the Real Sociedad man's lacklustre display.
A fractured start to the second half, with both outfits giving away possession cheaply. Switzerland know that they need the mother of all comebacks if they are to take any points from this game, but have moved the ball fairly sharply in the early minutes since the restart.
Giroud tries to curl a left-footed effort into the bottom corner, but Senderos slides in well to turn the Frenchman's shot behind for a corner. Valbuena's delivery is terrible, however, and fails to clear the first man.
One change at the break for Switzerland, as Behrami is taken off for Dzemaili. Mehmedi and Seferovic play a clever one-two, but Sakho comes across well to sweep up, slide in and dispossess the left winger as he raced into the box. Inler tries his luck from 30 yards, but Lloris collects easily.
We're back underway in the second half! This might be a case of damage limitation now for Switzerland, but France will want to win comfortably and show that they're a strong force in this World Cup.
Xhaka had a goal disallowed for offside for Switzerland, while Benzema missed a penalty for France. This game might well be over already, but the former's late minute winner against Ecuador suggests that there might be slim hope yet. Hitzfeld needs to make a couple of inspired substitutions once again.
HALF TIME! France are almost out of sight, leading 3-0 over Switzerland at half-time in Salvador. Goals from Giroud, Matuidi and Valbuena have gifted Les Bleus' a sizeable cushion, but Deschamps won't want his side's level of performance to dip whatsoever.
45' + 2'
Benzema weaves in between two defenders and releases yet another shot towards goal, but Benaglio is easily able to get down to his left and smother it. That should be that in a great half for France.
France are allowing Switzerland to have possession, but only due to their confidence in their ability to break upfield. Rodriguez and Lichtsteiner haven't been able to press up and support whatsoever for the Swiss. There are two minutes of stoppage time at the end of the first half.
VALBUENA AGAIN! The Marseille man goes close after receiving a good pass from Matuidi, but Benaglio is able to beat the Frenchman's effort away from the danger zone! Switzerland are really on the ropes.
Five minutes until the break and France can't believe what they've managed achieve in this first half. Their fans are delirious, while those with an allegiance to Les Bleus on the field continue to press forward.
Assist Olivier Giroud
Goal Mathieu Valbuena
GOOOOOOOOOAL! VALBUENA MAKES IT 3-0! Les Bleus break upfield extremely quickly, leaving Hitzfeld frustrated on the Swiss bench! France break from the corner, with Giroud racing down the left and picking out the Marseille man at the back post! He fires into the roof of the net, sparking wild celebrations!
Great challenge from Debuchy! The right-back tracks back accidentally to recover and ensure that Shaqiri can't deliver from the byeline. Switzerland win a corner, but Giroud is once again on hand to make a defensive header.
Terrible cross from Sissoko! The former Toulouse man breaks down the right and gets to the byeline, but his clipped cross is way beyond Benzema. Giroud rises at the back post, but can only divert the delivery way wide of the target.
France are continuing to have a very fluid forward line, with Giroud spending more time on the left hand side than Benzema. When Evra pushes upfield, the Arsenal man is able to squeeze infield and challenge for aerial balls, giving Les Bleus additional aerial presence.
Just over ten minutes until the half-time break and Switzerland will consider themselves lucky to still be in with an opportunity to take some points from this fixture. Benzema's penalty should have buried Hitzfeld's men, but a save from Benaglio means that the goalkeeper atoned for earlier questionable errors.
Missed Penalty Karim Benzema
Penalty save Diego Benaglio
SAVED! FRANCE HIT THE WOODWORK! Benaglio denies Benzema's penalty brilliantly, before Cabaye fires the rebound onto the crossbar! Les Bleus can't believe their luck, they should be out of sight by now!
PENALTY TO FRANCE! Djourou is complaining but the referee has pointed to the spot! Benzema turns his man and gets a small amount of contact on the ankle from the Swiss defender, which is deemed worthy of an opportunity for France from 12 yards.
INCHES WIDE FOR SHAQIRI! The Bayern man drives past Varane and fires a left-footed effort across goal, but Lloris might have just got an important touch! It whistles past the post and the Swiss midfielder has his head in his hands!
Switzerland can take from heart from having the ball in the back of the net, but France are still in control. Giroud unleashes a dipping left-footed effort from 25 yards, but the ball balloons high and wide.
OFFSIDE! Xhaka has the ball in the back of the net, but it has been ruled out for offside! A Swiss free-kick is cleared by Giroud, before the loose ball is hooked back into the penalty area. Xhaka fires home with a scuffed half volley, but the linesman's flag is rightly raised!
BENZEMA GOES CLOSE! France break upfield incisively once again, with Benzema receiving possession 30 yards from goal. The Real Madrid man turns smartly and drives through the heart of the Swiss defence, but his eventual poked effort isn't powerful enough to beat an extended Benaglio.
Seferovic is looking extremely isolated at the head of the Swiss attack, as he has both Sakho and Varane free to track himself wherever he goes. France are in control, with Rodriguez and Lichtsteiner pegged back due to Switzerland being simply unable to retain the ball in dangerous areas.
There's a party atmosphere in Salvador, as France continue to look extremely confident. A long ball up to Giroud is flicked on by the goalscorer, but Benaglio is quick off his line to claim the loose pass. Perhaps the first example of convincing goalkeeping we've seen from him this evening.
A double salvo for France has left Switzerland reeling! Their usual defensive stability has dissipated entirely, with two goals in 20 seconds for Les Bleus leaving Hitzfeld's men with plenty to do. France deliver a free-kick effort into Benzema, but the forward is caught offside - his headed effort floats high and wide anyway.
Assist Karim Benzema
Goal Blaise Matuidi
GOOOOOOOOOOOAL! IT'S TWO FOR FRANCE! LES BLEUS SCORE TWO IN TWENTY SECONDS! France break upfield immediately, with Matuidi on hand to steer a Benzema through ball into the path of the PSG midfielder, whose effort zips beyond Benaglio at his near post!
Goal Olivier Giroud
Assist Mathieu Valbuena
GOOOOOOOAL! OLIVIER GIROUD GIVES LES BLEUS THE LEAD! The Arsenal forward rises highest to head home a corner delivery, with his attempt just too hot to handle for Benaglio! The Swiss keeper can only palm Giroud's header into the top corner, leaving Rodriguez helpless on the goal-line.
Giroud tries to invite Debuchy down the right flank with a stabbed pass, but puts too much weight on it. The French forward three is very fluid, with the likes of Benzema and Giroud exchanging readily. Djourou make a very important sliding interception to deny Benzema the opportunity to poke home a finish from six yards.
France work their way down the left hand side, with Giroud picking out Benzema on the edge of the box. The Real Madrid man is tackled by Senderos, before Switzerland launch a counter attack. Mehmedi aims for Seferovic with an early long ball, but the Real Sociedad striker is let down by poor distribution.
Mehmedi is scythed down by Debuchy, with the Newcastle defender getting none of the ball, but the referee is required to make his own decision as the linesman bizarrely didn't flag. This game is still to come alive.
The first ten minutes have passed without any real incident, save for the injury to Von Bergen. France are starting to see more of the ball, with Seferovic very isolated up top for the Swiss.
Steve von Bergen
Senderos warms up, as it is quickly apparent that Von Bergen won't be able to continue. He's got a bloody eye, meaning that there's no quick fix for this particular ailment. His replacement has had plenty of club football this season for Valencia, so he should be an adequate replacement.
Von Bergen goes down and requests treatment, after clashing in an aerial battle with Giroud. Hitzfeld complains to the fourth official, but there didn't appear to be anything untoward from the French striker in that tackle. It's a case of a high foot from the Arsenal man, but an accidental one.
BENZEMA TRIES HIS LUCK! The two-goal man versus Honduras nearly strikes again, as the Real Madrid forward cuts onto his right foot and fires at goal from the edge of the box. Benaglio is happy to let the curling effort head high and wide of the top right corner.
Switzerland enjoy some earlier possession but are unable to make any inroads into the organised French ranks. The supporters inside the stadium aren't appreciating a rather sluggish start. Debuchy and Cabaye try to deliver crosses early on the right, but Rodriguez and Djourou deny them.
No chances for either side in the opening minutes, with both looking fairly solid due to numbers in midfield. Sissoko has presumably been deployed in place of Pogba due to Deschamps desiring some extra athleticism and pressing in the middle third, as Les Bleus try not to underestimate their opposition.
We're underway in the first half, with excellent weather conditions which are perfect for this clash. Both sides are confident and ended their previous fixtures on highs, meaning that we should be enjoying a tightly contested affair this evening. Switzerland are donning their customary red, while France are in their white away strip.
Both teams are out on the field in Salvador, meaning that after the respective national anthems we'll be able to get down to business. Switzerland are a solid side in their own right, but Hitzfeld's men might just take some inspiration from Costa Rica's victory over Italy earlier today. Three points are on the agenda for both, given that it is likely the runner-up shall face Argentina.
We have just over a quarter of an hour before kick-off, so be sure to stick around for all of the action as Group E's favourites clash. Switzerland are renowned for their defensive stability, while France have continued to gain momentum over the past month. Les Bleus will be confident, but the Swiss know that they have more than a chance of enjoying an upset this evening.
France substitutes: Cabella, Griezmann, Mavuba, Mangala, Sagna, Ruffier, Digne, Pogba, Remy, Koscielny, Schneiderlin, Landreau.
France starting line-up (4-3-3): Lloris; Debuchy, Varane, Sakho, Evra; Sissoko, Cabaye, Matuidi; Valbuena, Giroud, Benzema.
Switzerland substitutes: Ziegler, Senderos, Lang, Barnetta, Sommer, Stocker, Dzemaili, Fernandes, Gavranovic, Drmic, Burki, Schar.
Switzerland starting line-up (4-3-3): Benaglio; Lichtsteiner, Djourou, Von Bergen, Rodriguez; Behrami, Xhaka, Inler; Shaqiri, Seferovic, Mehmedi.
TEAM NEWS: Ottmar Hitzfeld keeps faith in his substitutes, as Haris Seferovic and Admir Mehmedi start after goalscoring performances against Ecuador. Ricardo Rodriguez starts at left-back after his two assists last time out, with the defence and midfield showing continuity. Any Swiss personnel on the bench know that their contributions will be valued.
TEAM NEWS: France re-install Olivier Giroud as their number nine, with Antoine Griezmann dropping to the bench, while Moussa Sissoko is preferred to Paul Pogba in central midfield. Otherwise it's business as usual for Deschamps' men, with Karim Benzema presumably drifting out to the left hand side and Mathieu Valbuena being given a free role in attacking midfield.
I'm Simon Harrison and I will be keeping you updated with all of the action from Salvador, as Les Bleus face potentially their toughest fixture of the group stages. There are a couple of changes from both coaches, who appear ready to ring the changes if certain substitutes perform well. These two look set to compete for top spot.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of France's Group E clash against Switzerland, with both sides heading into this contest in winning fashion. Didier Deschamps' men convincingly defeated the ten men of Honduras, while the Swiss relied on a stoppage time winner against Ecuador - courtesy of substitute Haris Seferovic.
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