After conceding a goal to the home side just before the halftime whistle, the visitors emerged from the locker room unfazed and promptly equalized within six minutes of the restart before firing a winner with a little over a quarter hour to play as GERMANY rallied past FRANCE 2-1 in Paris and, in the process, registered a first triumph against their traditional neighboring rivals to the west in more than a quarter century.
The French had been enjoying a six-game unbeaten streak in that time span, highlighted by five wins against German opposition including a 2-1 victory in Bremen almost twelve months ago. In fact, national reunification had not yet even occured in August of 1987 when France lost to West Germany 2-1 in front of 31,000 spectators at the Olympiastadion in what was then still a divided West Berlin. The last time Les Bleus lost on home soil in this sometimes heated rivalry happened when the visiting Germans beat France 3-1 before a crowd of 45,000 supporters at the Stade de Colombes in Paris in March of 1935.
It looked as if French dominance might continue at the Stade de Paris when Olympique Marseille winger MATHIEU VALBUENA headed home his fourth international goal for France in the 44th minute of the friendly with Germany. A vicious free kick from KARIM BENZEMA, the Real Madrid striker who has only scored five goals in 18 La Liga matches this season after registering 21 goals in 34 top flight contests for Los Blancos last term, beat goalkeeper RENE ADLER of Hamburg SV, the 28-year-old former Bayer Leverkusen shot-stopper who was making his 11th appearance for Deutschland, but smashed off the crossbar. MOUSSA SISSOKO of English Premier League club Newcastle United, however, managed to nod the rebound forward for the opportunistic Valbuena.
Bayern Munich striker MARIO GOMEZ, the 27-year-old who has already scored 25 goals for the senior national team of Germany, made his first appearance for his country since the disappointing loss to Italy at the semifinal hurdle of the 2012 UEFA European Championships this past summer.
But it was yet another strike from the in-form THOMAS MUELLER, the 23-year-old winger who has bagged 11 goals for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga this season, that brought Germany level in the 51st minute. Borussia Dortmund midfielder ILKAY GUENDOGAN, the 22-year-old who also started Germany’s last match of 2012 against neighboring Holland, made a strong play in the tackle and then played an outstanding ball into space for the leading scorer at the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament in South Africa. A rising shot easily found the back of the net and gave Mueller his 11th career goal for Germany.
Germany’s Real Madrid connection combined to silence the patriotic French supporters at the Stade de Paris in the 74th minute. A surgical return ball into the penalty box from the magical MESUT OEZIL for La Liga teammate SAMI KHEDIRA left France goalkeeper HUGO LLORIS of English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur of London in a very difficult position. And, a swerving finish with the outside of the right foot by Khedira made sure the netminder who transferred from Olympique Lyon for a base fee of 10.0 million Euros this past August had absolutely no chance whatsoever.
FRANCK RIBERY of traditional German powerhouse Bayern Munich had one last big chance inside the area for the home side but recalled Germany goalkeeper RENE ADLER of SV Hamburg, who previous appearance for the Nationalelf was in a goalless draw with Sweden back in November of 2010, made a fine save to halt the fabulous French winger.
France World Cup winger FRANCK RIBERY (7) of record German champion Bayern Munich, the talented 29-year who has scored 47 goals in the Bundesliga for the Bavarians since a 25.0 million Euro transfer from Olympique Marseille in June of 2007, runs away from professional club teammate and Germany captain PHILIPP LAHM (16) during the exciting international friendly at the Stade de Paris in “La Ville-Lumiere”.
goal — Hugo LLORIS (Tottenham Hotspur – Eng/ 44 caps)
defense — Bacary SAGNA (FC Arsenal – Eng / 33 caps, 0 go), Abdil RAMI (FC Valencia – Spa / 25 caps, 1 go), Mamadou SAKHO (Paris St. Germain / 12 caps, 0 go), Patrice EVRA (Manchester United – Eng / 48 caps, 0 go)
midfield — Yohan CABAYE (Newcastle United – Eng / 20 caps, 1 go), Blaise MATUIDI (Paris St. Germain / 10 caps, 0 go), Moussa SISSOKO (Newcastle United – Eng / 7 caps, 0 go)
attack — Mathieu VALBUENA (Olympique Marseille / 19 caps, 4 go), Karim BENZEMA (Real Madrid – Spa / 55 caps, 15 go), Franck RIBERY (Bayern Munich – Ger / 71 caps, 11 go)
DF – Laurent KOSCIELNY (FC Arsenal – Eng / 8 caps)
for Sagna – 46th min
MF – Etienne CAPOUE (FC Toulouse / 5 caps, 1 go)
for Matuidi – 46th min
FW – Olivier GIROUD (FC Arsenal / 16 caps, 2 go)
for Sissoko – 80th min
FW – Jeremy MENEZ (Paris St. Germain / 22 caps, 2 go)
for Valbuena – 86th min
goal — Rene ADLER (SV Hamburg / 11 caps)
defense — Philipp LAHM (Bayern Munich / 96 caps, 5 go), Per MERTESACKER (FC Arsenal – Eng / 86 caps, 2 go), Mats HUMMELS (Borussia Dortmund / 24 caps, 1 go), Benedikt HOEWEDES (Schalke 04 Gelsenkirchen / 11 caps, 1 go)
def midfield — Sami KHEDIRA (Real Madrid – Spa / 37 caps, 3 go), Ilkay GUENDOGAN (Borussia Dortmund / 5 caps, 0 go)
att midfield — Thomas MUELLER (Bayern Munich / 39 caps, 11 go), Mesut OEZIL (Real Madrid – Spa / 44 caps, 14 go), Lukas PODOLSKI (FC Arsenal – Eng / 107 caps, 44 go)
striker — Mario GOMEZ (Bayern Munich / 58 caps, 25 go)
MF – Toni KROOS (Bayern Munich / 35 caps, 4 go)
for Gomez – 57th min
MF – Andre SCHUERRLE (Bayer Leverkusen / 21 caps, 7 go)
for Podolski – 68th min
MF – Lars BENDER (Bayer Leverkusen / 12 caps, 1 go)
for Mueller – 89th min