International round-up: Germany shocked by Blanc's boys

 

France, who England face in their first group game in Euro 2012 in Donetsk on 11 June, demonstrated how far they have progressed under coach Laurent Blanc by beating Germany 2-1 in Bremen last night.

The Germans are joint favourites to triumph in Poland and Ukraine along with world champions Spain but were lacking the injured Bastian Schweinsteiger and captain Philipp Lahm and were shocked by France, who have now gone 18 games unbeaten. The visitors grabbed the lead after 21 minutes when Olivier Giroud connected with a Mathieu Valbuena pass to beat keeper Tim Wiese.

Chelsea's Florent Malouda fired in from close range midway through the second half before Germany substitute Cacau cut the deficit in stoppage time.

"We knew that Germany were very strong offensively but we had studied a few weaknesses in the defence," Blanc said. The Germany coach Joachim Löw agreed. "We had too big gaps in defence," he admitted.

Of England's other group opponents, Ukraine won 3-2 in Israel, Oleg Gusev with a penalty, Yevhen Konoplyanka and Andrei Yarmolenko scoring for Oleg Blokhin's side who remain undefeated since September.

Sweden also won away, outclassing Croatia to win 3-1 in Zagreb with Zlatan Ibrahimovic outstanding. Ibrahimovic gave the Swedes the lead with a penalty in the 13th minute, but Croatia equalised through a Jonas Olsson own goal on the stroke of half-time. Sunderland's Sebastian Larsson restored Sweden's lead immediately after the restart when he was set up by Ibrahimovic and the Milan striker also laid on Larsson's second in the 68th minute.

Italy slumped to a 1-0 defeat at home to the United States, Fulham's Clint Dempsey getting the winner 10 minutes into the second half. Two goals in the last three minutes gave Lionel Messi yet another hat-trick as Argentina beat Switzerland 3-1, while Spain thrashed Venezuela 5-0, Valencia's Roberto Soldado also scoring three.

Sport
footballHe started just four months ago
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Travel
Streets ahead: Venice
travelWhat's trending on your wishlist?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect