Germany Start Post-Flick Era With Win Over France

13th September 2023

The result was France's first defeat since losing the 2022 World Cup finals against Argentina in December.

Leroy Sane. PHOTO| AFP
Leroy Sane. PHOTO| AFP
  • Hansi Flick was fired on Sunday after a torrid run with the German national team.
  • Flick's sacking triggered Rudi Voeller's return to the dugout for the first time since 2005.
  • Goals from Bayern Munich teammates Thomas Mueller and Leroy Sane helped Germany to a first win since March. 

Germany's post-Hansi Flick era got off to a perfect start as they recorded a 2-1 friendly win over France in Dortmund on Tuesday night.

Flick's sacking on Sunday triggered Rudi Voeller's return to the dugout for the first time since 2005 and the interim coach brought Bayern Munich forward Thomas Mueller back into the starting line-up in a move that paid off early, Mueller scoring four minutes in.

Mueller's Bayern team-mate Leroy Sane scored with three minutes remaining to double his side's lead.

Sane gave away a penalty just a minute later which France captain Antoine Griezmann converted but Germany held on for a 2-1 win - just their second victory in seven games since the Qatar World Cup.

"Our early goal was good for us," Muller said at the final whistle.

"We knew we'd have a lot to do. It wasn't easy for us with this bad run, and the departure of Hansi Flick at the end of the week was a crazy situation."

"It was balm for the soul. It was a curious and difficult few days, so it's all the nicer that we were able to end it with a win. That was what we needed," keeper Marc Andre Ter Stegen said.

Fresh from Thursday's 2-0 Euro qualifier victory over Ireland, France's fifth straight win since losing the 2022 World Cup final on penalties to Argentina, coach Didier Deschamps made six changes including benching star striker Kylian Mbappe.

Deschamps' counterpart and old friend Voeller - the two won the Champions League with Marseille in 1993 - made just three changes to Flick's final line-up, including returning Mueller to centre-forward for the first time since Qatar.

The home crowd at Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park rallied behind their embattled side.

The fans did not need to wait long to celebrate, Mueller rewarding Voeller's faith by opening the scoring four minutes in, chesting down a spinning Benjamin Henrichs cross and blasting in from close range. For his first goal since June 2022.

With three minutes to go, Sane ran onto a perfect through ball from Kai Havertz, and slotted in his second goal in two games.

Sane quickly turned villain, bringing down Eduardo Camavinga just one minute later, Griezmann converting the penalty for a fifth goal in Germany-France fixtures, the most of any player.

© Agence France-Presse