Mats Hummels scored an own-goal and France beat Germany 1-0 Tuesday at Euro 2020. The experienced defender was attempting to stop Lucas Hernandez’s cross from reaching France forward Kylian Mbappe when he diverted the ball into his own net in the 20th minute. A
n own goal from Mats Hummels was enough for France to seal a tight win over Germany in their opening game of Euro 2020 in Munich.
Hummels could not rearrange his feet as he turned a Lucas Hernandez cross past Manuel Neuer 20 minutes into the Group F clash.
Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema had goals ruled out for offside after the break, but it mattered little in the end as world champions France took three precious points at the Allianz Arena.
Portugal beating Hungary 3-0 earlier on in the other Group F game leaves the French and Portuguese sitting pretty in the ‘group of death as the Hungarians and Germans now face a tough task to qualify for the knockout stages.
Both teams had chances to score. İlkay Gundogan wasted Germany’s best opportunity of the first half when he couldn’t direct his shot on target.
In his final tournament as Germany manager, Joachim Low deployed his side in a 3-4-3 – though France looked more comfortable in a 4-3-3.
Paul Pogba stretched Germany’s backline 20 minutes in as he found Hernandez with a ball over the top on the left; the full-back volleyed back across goal, and Hummels could only clumsily turn the ball past Manuel Neuer.
Germany grew into the game with Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry seeing half-chances flash wide, but France went into the interval a goal up – and they were perhaps unlucky not to go in a man up as well as Antonio Rudiger and Pogba were involved in a bizarre confrontation during which the German defender appeared to bite the midfielder on the shoulder.
Low’s men came out swinging and put the French defence under pressure, with Gnabry wasting a presentable chance by firing over from a cross when unmarked.
Mbappe thought he had added a brilliant second after twisting and turning in from the left flank to finish across Neuer, but a delayed offside flag denied him a tremendous goal.
The France star then made Hummels look all of his 32 years as Mbappe easily made up 20 yards in one of the most one-sided footraces in football history, only for the centre-back to make a brilliantly desperate last-ditch sliding challenge inside his own box.
Still, the nature of the players’ battle spoke to the fact that as Germany face a rebuild with World Cup legends like Hummels set to bow out soon, Mbappe and France are very much the team of here and now.
Low sent on Tino Werner and Leroy Sane late on to try and find an equaliser, but France went closest to the next goal as Benzema’s close-range finish was ruled out by VAR for another Mbappe offside.
The result leaves Germany facing a must-win game against Portugal on Saturday, while France would all but confirm a spot in the last 16 if they beat Hungary at the weekend.