World Cup quarterfinal 1: France thrives on the counter-attack, but when Germany, a goal up, defended deep in the final half hour, it was unable to forge a way through.
This was a dull game for the most part. The teams collectively mustered only eight shots on target (according to Four Four Two), while the contest was decided by a goal from a set piece.
France thrives on the counter-attack, but when Germany, a goal up, defended deep in the final half hour, it was unable to forge a way through.
Mats Hummels was excellent in the centre of defence; the goal was a superb bonus.
Joachim Low moved Philipp Lahm to right-back as Germany switched to a 4-2-3-1. In reality, Miroslav Klose dropped deep while Thomas Muller and Mesut Ozil — who switched places fluidly — drifted into space ahead.
Muller played almost as a second striker at times.
Lahm was excellent in the first half, giving Germany width it had lacked before.
Mathieu Valbuena shone for France, constantly making runs in behind the defence while Paul Pogba and Yohan Cabaye sought to find him.
France kept this up, even 10 minutes into the second half, but it bore no concrete results.
Didier Deschamps waited 72 minutes to make his first change; it was perhaps too late.