France v Romania Match Analysis

It's finally here! Euro 2016! 4 weeks of tournament football and to kick it all off, the hosts France challenging Romania at the mighty Stade de France. Before the game we were treated to a rather bizarre opening ceremony that made me even more excited for the kick off because it was a real drag. The opening ceremony was followed by the anthems with the those of a French allegiance treating us to an imperious rendition of La Marseillaise that really sent shivers down the spine.

The first half got off to a surprising start with the minnows Romania causing the French some problems at the back culminating in Hugo Lloris being forced to save instinctively from a Romanian corner. Romania should have been in front but the heroics of the French captain kept the score at 0-0. France really struggled to make an impact on the game with the attacking trio of Payet, Griezeman and Giroud looking disjointed. The French were unable to get in behind the stubborn defence of Romania who only conceded two goals in the qualification campaign. The best clear cut chance of the half came when Antoine Greizeman sped away from the Romanian defenders but made a hash of the chance choosing to head the ball rather than strike it at goal with his right foot. The standout performance of the first half was the performance of Ngolo Kante. The Leicester midfielder was full of energy and as we've seen so often for his club his interceptions and ball winning is vital to his teams in the transitional phases, turning defence into attack.

The influence of Dimitri Payet grew at the start of the second half. The West Ham star was able to find Olivier Giroud who headed into the empty net after Romanian keeper Cipran Taturasanu made a hash of the punch and missed the ball completely. The Giroud goal sparked Romania into life with the Romanians putting considerable pressure on the French goal. Their pressure was rewarded when Patrice Evra made an idiotic tackle on Stanciu leaving the referee with no choice but to point to the penalty spot. Bogdan Stancu made no mistake and cooly slotted home from the spot to make it 1-1. The upset was on the cards until a moment of sheer majestic brilliance from Dimitri Payet, finding the top corner from long range. The hero left the field in tears after he was substituted, clearly struck by the emotion of the occasion.

Romania certainly showed that they're not there to make up the numbers. They were competitive throughout the game and pressed France well at times. They look a well coached unit and have the ability to threaten the opponents defence's. As for France, they will have to improve to achieve something in this competition but they have unbelievable quality in the squad with numerous options at their disposal to change their approach. They showed tonight that they have a selection of players to choose from to come off the bench and make an impact.

Focus on Manchester United
Anthony Martial started the game on the bench and was introduced in the 77th minute by Didier Deschampes. It was difficult for Martial to influence the game at such a late stage but he showed his usual turn of pace on a few occasions. Hopefully he will get more opportunities in the games to come because he is a special talent and should be starting ahead of Olivier Giroud. Morgan Scheniderlin was an unused substitute in the game after he was called up to replace the injured Lassarna Diarra.



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