UEFA Nations League – Highlights: Areola Stars As France Draw With Germany

Title holders France never hit top shape and had third-decision manager Alphonse Areola to thank for a 0-0 draw against Germany in their opening UEFA Nations League match.

On a blustery night in Munich, Germany won back some respect with a solid attacking execution in their first game, after their disappointing World Cup exit in Russia.

The French appeared to nurture a post-World Cup aftereffect, without their standard speed and inventiveness. And, if it was not for Areola’s key saves in the second half, the scoreline would have been different.

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Strangely, the Germans began with 4 focal defenders and with Joshua Kimmich changing from right back to a holding midfield position. This was a clear move by mentor Joachim Low, who aimed to strike a superior harmony amongst assault and defense, than his team had done in Russia.

UEFA Nations League

Meanwhile, France’s manager, Didier Deschamps handled his World Cup champion team, including Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba, apart from injured goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, with Areola making his debut.

Neither one of the sides were anxious to take risky chances, with a possibility to score coming off from both teams in the 1st half; a blocked Olivier Giroud header for France and the Germany forward Timo Werner’s low shot.

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Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer did well to spare a Griezmann exertion simply past the hour. However, it was Areola who made the recoveries of the day, first punching Marco Reus’ short proximity exertion wide.

UEFA Nations League

The 25-year-old, got the chance to feature in the starting XI, in light of the fact that Lloris and second-choice Steve Mandanda were injured. He denied Mats Hummels, tipped a Thomas Muller chip over the crossbar and ceased Matthias Ginter from scoring from short proximity.

Areola’s 6 recoveries were the most by any French goalkeeper in 54 matches of any official tournament since 2012.

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