Created on 06-02-2013 at 00:00 AM
The six Bayern stars in the Germany squad ended up on the winning side against Franck Ribéry’s France on Wednesday night, as a sell-out crowd in Paris saw an entertaining friendly end in a deserved 2-1 victory for the visitors. Mathieu Valbuena opened for the home side a minute from half-time, but Thomas Müller and Sami Khedira turned the game around for Joachim Löw’s side. It was the Germans’ first win against Les Bleus in 26 years.
Löw’s starting line-up featured three Bayern players. Captain Philipp Lahm played at right-back, and was tasked with marking his Munich team-mate Ribéry. Müller began on the right side of the attacking trident, with Mario Gomez at centre-forward. Toni Kroos took over from the FCB striker after 57 minutes, while Manuel Neuer and Jérôme Boateng spent the match watching from the bench.
Ribéry in stellar form
The 75,000 at Stade de France saw Müller lead the way as Germany impressed in the opening 45 minutes with high-tempo, fast-passing football, although German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande watched the visitors miss a number of promising chances. Real Madrid’s Mesut Özil, Gomez, and Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker, who hit the bar after a corner, might have done better with decent openings.
The on-fire Ribéry and Real striker Karim Benzema posed the greatest threat for France. After 44 minutes, the Madrid hitman crashed a 25-yard free-kick against the German crossbar, the diminutive Valbuena heading home the rebound from close range to hand Didier Deschamp’s team a flattering half-time lead.
Müller’s deadly finish
The advantage was not to last long, as Löw’s men emerged from the dressing room with fire in their bellies and were rewarded after 51 minutes when Müller levelled the scores. The man who leads the Bundesliga scorer point ranking held his nerve with only home keeper Hugo Lloris to beat and netted from the inside-right channel.
The Germans took a short breather now and France made chances, only for Valbuena (64) and the tireless Ribéry (68, 70) to pass up good opportunities. The third goal of the game ultimately came at the other end, Özil releasing fellow Real star Khedira with a sublime defence-splitting pass for the midfielder to tuck away the winning goal a quarter of an hour from time. France threw caution to the wind in the closing stages, but Löw’s troops held on for a famous victory.