A strong performance from les Bleus saw them record a shock victory in Germany, though they had to ride their luck at times during the first period
A sweeping move down the visitors’ right saw Mathieu Debuchy slide a neat low pass across the box for Olivier Giroud to convert on his first start, but the hosts were unfortunate not to draw level before the break as they created the better chances.
This was not the case in the second period, when Joachim Low’s side became ragged and deservedly conceded again, with another Debuchy cross being turned in by Florent Malouda. Cacau made the score more respectable for the hosts in stoppage time with a simple finish.
From the outset it was clear that this was a match that was going to be played a high tempo in an open manner, and though it was Germany which bossed possession, it was les Bleus who offered the first threat, with Tim Weise saving well from a Yohan Cabaye header.
France opened the scoring at the midway point of the first half. Mathieu Valbuena’s well-weighted pass released Debuchy down the right, and he easily cut inside Dennis Aogo to set up Giroud for a first-time finish.
Thereafter, the home side contrived to miss a string of chances, though it found Hugo Lloris in good form. The Olympique Lyonnais goalkeeper superbly saved when Miroslav Klose was through, and he also denied Holger Badstuber from close range.
Germany’s pace was posing issues for the guests, and before the first period was up Mesut Ozil created another chance for Klose that the striker rather fluffed, before the Real Madrid man skimmed a fine drive just wide.
Low’s side showed little of this swashbuckling attacking attitude after the break and instead lost its shape, allowing France to counter into big holes and manufacture numerous chances. Giroud headed over the top when free in the center moments before a thumping Debuchy drive needed punched clear by Weise.
Ultimately, the visitors would take one of these, and again it was Debuchy who was the catalyst, making a lung-bursting run down the right before crossing for substitute Malouda to bundle over the line.
Germany offered a belated response through Cacau, who turned in a cross from the right, but it came too late to change the outcome.
Although not considered one of the favorites for Euro 2012, Blanc’s men successfully showed in Germany that they are not opponents to be taken lightly as they extended their unbeaten run to 18 matches.
The hosts, however, were in a patchwork state, and will boast many more of their top stars by the time the summer’s main event kicks off in June.