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Classic France-Germany clashes

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Marseille, France | AFP |

France beat Germany in the Euro 2016 semi-final on Thursday for their first win over their neighbours at a major tournament since 1958. Here are the classic France v Germany matches:

France 2 Germany 0European Championship semi-final, July 7, 2016Two years after losing to Germany in the quarter-finals of the World Cup, France gained revenge as they booked their spot in the Euro 2016 final.



France weathered a first-half storm in Marseille as Germany dominated possession, but Antoine Griezmann fired the hosts ahead just before the interval from the penalty spot after Bastian Schweinsteiger handled.

Atletico Madrid striker Griezmann added France’s second goal on 72 minutes, tucking home a loose ball after Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer failed to properly deal with Paul Pogba’s cross.

France 0 Germany 1World Cup quarter-final, July 4, 2014

Over 74,000 fans packed the Maracana Stadium in Rio De Janeiro to see France and Germany meet for the fourth time at a World Cup and the Germans walked away victorious.

After just 13 minutes, centre-back Mats Hummels got ahead of his marker Raphael Varane to meet Toni Kroos’s free-kick and head past France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

France striker Karim Benzema spurned a late chance to level and take the match into extra-time when he shot straight at Germany ‘keeper Neuer.

France’s third consecutive World Cup defeat to Germany left many of their debutant players, including Griezmann, in tears.

Germany’s win laid the foundations for a triumphant campaign that saw Joachim Loew’s men hammer Brazil 7-1 in the semis before beating Argentina 1-0 in extra time in the final.

France 0 West Germany 2World Cup semi-final, June 25, 1986Four years after the infamous Schumacher-Battiston incident, relations between two European giants had barely thawed.

Any pre-match nerves were kicked into touch after just nine minutes when Andreas Brehme gave the Germans an early lead in Guadalajara.

The combined talents of Michel Platini, Jean Tigana, Luiz Fernandez and Alain Giresse failed to conjure a leveller and West Germany, with Harald Schumacher still in goal, were left rejoicing when Rudi Voeller hit their second in the final minute of regulation time.

Germany’s celebrations did not last as Italy won the Madrid final 3-1.

West Germany 3 France 3 (West Germany win 5-4 on penalties)World Cup semi-final, July 8, 1982

Considered one of the all-time World Cup classics, West Germany’s semi-final win over France in 1982 will forever be overshadowed by goalkeeper Harald Schumacher’s mid-air charge on Patrick Battiston, leaving the French defender with broken teeth and broken ribs.

He briefly slipped into a coma and teammate Michel Platini said he feared Battiston had died on the pitch because he had no pulse.

Schumacher, who has always said he was going for the ball, went unpunished because Dutch referee Charles Corver stated he did not see the incident.

The violence eclipsed a classic match between the European foes, Platini levelling from the penalty spot only minutes after Pierre Littbarski had given the Germans a 17th minute lead.

The game went to extra-time, where France took a 3-1 lead thanks to Marius Tresor and Alain Giresse, only for Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Klaus Fischer to pull the match level 3-3.

At the penalty shootout, Maxime Bossis’s missed spot-kick handed a 5-4 win to West Germany, who went on to lose the final to Argentina 3-2.

“It is a scar that will remain forever,” said France’s midfield linchpin Giresse.

Post-competition, a French newspaper poll asked which German was the least popular in France: Schumacher beat Adolf Hitler into second.

France 6 West Germany 3World Cup 3rd place match, June 28, 1958

A comprehensive 6-3 win over West Germany to claim a consolation third-place finish in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden remains France’s only competitive victory over the Germans.

With four goals in the nine-goal thriller, Just Fontaine emerged as a hero for Les Bleus after a performance that also saw Raymond Kopa hit a penalty and Yvon Douis hit the net in the 50th minute.

Fontaine’s 13 goals at the 1958 finals remains a record for a single World Cup tournament.

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