Loew fumes, Blanc beams as Germany fall to France

Updated: 01 March 2012 08:23 IST

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

Loew fumes, Blanc beams as Germany fall to France
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Bremen:

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

"We have been criticised 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 they lost by the same margin to Australia last March.

Germany's Brazil-born striker Cacau scored a late consolation for the hosts, 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."

Germany were 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 their quest to win a fourth European title in Poland and the Ukraine this June, but the lack of discipline in defence 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 defence 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 defence to get on with it."

In contrast, France were pragmatic and took their chances as their attack found plenty of space to exploit in the hosts' defence.

Having claimed Germany's scalp, Blanc was quick to play down over-confidence with France set to face England, co-hosts 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 is 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 last World Cup, France are 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 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 face Iceland, Serbia and Estonia at home in late May and early June, while Germany will be hoping for a more composed performance when they take 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.

Topics : Football Germany Franck Ribery Bayern Munchen France Tennis Olivier Giroud
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