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Loew fumes, Blanc beams as Germany falls to France

Updated: 2012-03-02 07:56
( China Daily)

Loew fumes, Blanc beams as Germany falls to France

Sami Nasri of France heads the ball during the team's international friendly against Germany in Bremen on Wednesday. France won 3-2. Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters

French delight in Bremen as visitors beat hosts in a tough friendly 2-1

BREMEN, Germany - Germany boss Joachim Loew admitted he was annoyed by his team's performance in its 2-1 friendly defeat to France, while French coach Laurent Blanc hailed his side's disciplined display.

"We have been criticized for not playing as a team, but tonight we showed remarkable team spirit. This narrows things down for Euro places," said Blanc.

A first-half goal by France's Olivier Giroud, who then set up substitute Florent Malouda for the second, inflicted Germany's first defeat in 11 games since it lost by the same margin to Australia last March.

Germany's Brazil-born striker Cacau scored a late consolation for the host, but Loew admitted the French deserved the win.

"When you lose a game, you are annoyed, but I am more annoyed about the manner in which we lost," said a visibly disgruntled Loew.

"In the course of the game, France were considerably better than us.

"We never found our game, which is why it was deserved that France won.

"We were fairly solid in the first half, but we lost our rhythm in the second and the French got stronger as the game wore on."

Loew fumes, Blanc beams as Germany falls to France

Germany's head coach Joachim Loew (R) reacts while France's coach Laurent Blanc watches their international friendly soccer match in Bremen, Feb 29, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]















Germany was missing five stars in captain Philipp Lahm, his deputy Bastian Schweinsteiger, midfielders Mario Goetze and Lukas Podolski, plus defender Per Mertesacker with injury and the replacements failed to cope with the French.

Loew had repeatedly stated the result would not rattle German confidence in its quest to win a fourth European title in Poland and the Ukraine this June, but the lack of discipline in defense was a concern.

"The basis in the team is still good," he said.

"We have achieved a lot and progressed as a group, but this result shows we still have things to work on."

Bayern Munich midfielder Thomas Mueller hinted at disharmony in the ranks as the German defense was badly exposed on occasion.

"After such a performance, you can't really say a lot," he said.

"It was a bit undisciplined in the second half, we had a bit of a split team and we left the defense to get on with it."

In contrast, France was pragmatic and took its chances as its attack found plenty of space to exploit in the host's defense.

Having claimed Germany's scalp, Blanc was quick to play down over-confidence with France set to face England, co-host the Ukraine and Sweden in Group D at Euro 2012.

"By May, much can change," he said.

"I told the players to stay fit and healthy.

"Victories (are) better than building up trust and confidence.

"It is better to win in Germany than be dominated, but the impact of this result stops there."

After the debacle at the past World Cup, France is showing signs of returning to form with a trio of friendlies still to come before the Euro, and Blanc said he was as pleased with the performance as much as the result.

"I dare say both, but it was a good game of football," he said.

"I took great pleasure in watching it, it was an open game and we had studied the way Germany play.

"You can only praise their attacking play, but we had identified weaknesses defensively.

"When you win a match like that, the pleasure is increased tenfold."

France now faces Iceland, Serbia and Estonia at home in late May and early June, while Germany will be hoping for a more composed performance when it takes on Switzerland in Basel on May 26 then Israel in Leipzig on June 1.

Germany will play Portugal, Holland and Denmark in Group B at Euro 2012.

Agence France-Presse

Loew fumes, Blanc beams as Germany falls to France

Germany's Mesut Oezil reacts as he leaves the pitch after their international friendly soccer match against France in Bremen Feb 29, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]


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