France cruise in goal-fest!


Didier Deschamps’ men were 3-0 up at the break through Olivier Giroud, Blaise Matuidi and Mathieu Valbuena, before Karim Benzema and Moussa Sissoko made sure of the points in the second half.


The Swiss scored two late – and impressive – consolation goals through Blerim Dzemaili and Granit Xhaka, but this day belonged to Les Bleus, who truly laid down a marker to be considered serious title contenders.

France dominated from the offset, and came close to getting the opener on six minutes when Karim Benzema fashioned some space on the edge of the area, but his curling effort just missed the far corner.

The Swiss were dealt a blow after just 10 minutes when Steve von Bergen was forced off after taking a boot in the face from Giroud.

But it was to get worse for Ottmar Hitzfeld’s men …

Giroud opened the scoring on 17 minutes with a powerful header from a corner-kick, and just 66 seconds later Matuidi made it 2-0, finishing from a title angle after a poor back-pass presented the ball to Benzema.

The Real Madrid man had a shot saved and Giroud blasted over before Johan Djourou clumsily bought down the Arsenal striker in the area. Benzema stepped up but his effort was saved, with Yohann Cabaye hitting the crossbar with the follow-up.

There was to be another goal before the break though. France broke quickly from a defensive corner, with Giroud speeding down the left and squaring to Valbuena, who made no mistake from close range.

Switzerland started the second half well, with Haris Seferovic twice shooting wide, while Benzema’s shot was deflected over the bar at the other end.

Dzemaili was even closer shortly afterwards, while Admir Mehmedi’s poor touch when unmarked in the area cost him a certain goal.

And it proved costly as Benzema got his third of the tournament on 68 minutes, slotting home from Paul Pogba pass, though Philippe Senderos should shoulder a lot of the blame.

Five minutes later and the French had five, with Benzema again influential – his well-weighted pass playing in Moussa Sissoko to blast in from a tight angle.

Swiss goalie Diego Benaglio then pulled off a triple save to deny Valbuena, Pogba and Benzema in quick succession before they finally got on the scoresheet on 81 minutes.

Dzemaili lined up a free-kick 30 yards from goal and fired in a low shot which went straight through the wall and nestled in the bottom corner.

They added a second soon afterwards – a beautiful move culminating in Gokhan Inler’s flicked pass being volleyed home first-time by Xhaka.

There was still time for late drama when Benzema fired a curling effort into the top corner, but the referee had blown the fulltime whistle a second before.

The strike was chalked off, but it hardly diminished a superb performance by Les Bleus.

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