Despite an impressive first-half showing in Paris, Germany's Bundesliga-strong contingent fell to a 2-1 defeat against Benjamin Pavard's France in the UEFA Nations League.
Following September’s 0-0 draw with the French in Munich and the 3-0 loss to the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Saturday, Germany had to win at the home of the world champions to have any chance of qualifying for the four-team finals. Against the Dutch, Mark Uth became the 100th Germany player to make his debut under Joachim Löw, but the coach opted to replace the current Schalke man with former Royal Blues favourite Leroy Sane, who started Saturday’s match on the bench. RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner kept his place in attack, while Joshua Kimmich continued to anchor the midfield. In defence, Niklas Süle started in place of Bayern teammate Jerome Boateng, who left the squad due to a calf injury.
France came into the game on the back of a 2-2 draw with Iceland, in which they needed two late goals to salvage a draw. That result may have served as a wake-up call for Didier Deschamps’ side, who were in a strong position to qualify for the finals having beaten the Dutch 2-1 back in September. Pavard played the full 90 minutes against Iceland, and started at right-back again after Raphael Varane passed a late fitness test. Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain - who came off the bench to score the leveller against Iceland - replaced the injured Florian Thauvin, while Olivier Giroud partnered Antoine Griezmann up front. Only one player on the team - PSG centre-back Presnel Kimpembe - did not start the World Cup final against Croatia.
Watch: What makes Benjamin Pavard so good?
France: Lloris (c) - Pavard, Varane, Kimpembe, Hernandez - Pogba, Kante (Nzonzi 90'+4) – Mbappe (Dembele 86'), Griezmann (Ndombele 90'+1), Matuidi - Giroud
Unused subs: Areola, Mandanda, Zouma, Digne, Sidibe, Sakho, Lemar, Payet
Absentees: Umtiti (knee), Thauvin (foot)
Head coach: Didier Deschamps
Germany: Neuer (c) – Ginter (Brandt 83'), Süle, Hummels – Kehrer, Kimmich, Kroos, Schulz – Werner, Gnabry (Müller 88'), Sane (Draxler 75')
Unused subs: Leno, ter Stegen, Hector, Rudy, Can, Tah, Uth
Absentees: Boateng (calf), Goretzka (muscular), Petersen (shoulder), Havertz, Reus (both knee), Rüdiger (groin)
Head coach: Joachim Löw
- Pavard has made 41 Bundesliga appearances to date. He was one of only four Bundesliga players not to miss a single second of league football in 2017/18.Bayern's Corentin Tolisso, currently sidelined with a serious knee injury, made five appearances for France at the 2018 World Cup.Werner has scored eight times in 21 senior internationals, but is without a goal in his last seven.Germany’s defeat to the Netherlands was their heaviest defeat since 2007.Löw's side have won just three of 11 matches in 2018. They have now lost consecutive competitive matches for the first time since 2000.France are unbeaten in their last five matches against Germany (W3, D2) and have gone 15 games without defeat overall.