Against Switzerland, France made a tactical adjustment, starting Olivier Giroud at forward to play alongside Karim Benzema, who at times shifted into a wider role on the left. Meanwhile, Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann moved to the bench to start the game.
Suffice to say, the moves worked out swimmingly.
France absolutely demolished the Swiss, winning 5-2, and Giroud had a cracker of a match, earning a goal and an assist. He impressive performance was equaled by Mathieu Valbuena, and Twitter was abuzz after the match in response to their showings on Friday.
Giroud opened the scoring for the French, finishing a corner with a monstrous header. Take a look for yourselves, via SportsCenter on Twitter:
"The French have been merciless." Olivier Giroud opened the scoring with this lovely header. VIDEO: http://t.co/CDVdGYz43Y— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 20, 2014
Blaise Matuidi would score 66 seconds later, and the route was on.
Things were truly put away in the 40th minute, when Valbuena was the lucky recipient of an easy tap-in after a beautifully worked counter-attack. Giroud played the role of playmaker this time around, setting up his teammate. It's far better seen than read about, and ESPN FC passed along the video:
WATCH: One of the best counterattacks you will see at this World Cup as Valbuena nets France's 3rd goal http://t.co/FsJh8r6Hjj— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 20, 2014
Giroud's goal in particular, however, was quite the moment for French football, as OptaJoe tweeted:
Nothing like a slice of history to make a goal all the more special. And nothing like a great chant after a goal, either, as the French fans honored Giroud with a bit of song, per ESPN:
“Hey Jude” sung as “Hey Giroud” by elated French fans. https://t.co/vwFbPvRMYu— ESPN (@espn) June 20, 2014
Sure, they got that one from the Arsenal supporters, but who's counting?
Speaking of Arsenal, Giroud's goal for country resembled more than a few of his goals for club, as Squawka Football noted:
But the goal wasn't the only takeaway from his performance, however—folks on Twitter were just a bit obsessed with his hair, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports among them:
Olivier Giroud's hair in slow motion will mesmerize you for days. https://t.co/8pPLYwRerx— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 20, 2014
That's volume, folks.
But this was more than just an interesting hair day for Giroud; it was an all-around performance. Dan Levy of Bleacher Report summed up his day:
Well Giroud really has had an impact on this match, eh?— Dan Levy (@DanLevyThinks) June 20, 2014
That Valbuena fellow was pretty darn good too, however. Matteo Bonetti of beIN Sports was among those impressed:
Little Valbuena - such a tricky little player at Marseille. Now showing his skill on world stage. #FRA— Matteo Bonetti (@TheCalcioGuy) June 20, 2014
Of course, he was also among those who emphasized the "little" part of Valbuena's game. Leander Schaerlaeckens of Fox Sports was thinking about taking Valbuena along with him on his travels.
I think I might be able to fit Valbuena into my carry-on to Manaus.— Leandinho (@LeanderOnFOX) June 20, 2014
And then there was the following from Bleacher Report UK, which is really beyond description:
And that's the Internet in a nutshell, folks.
But man alive, were France impressive against Switzerland. Yes, the Swiss played really poor defense, but the French were relentless. The pounced on the counter, they always seemed to play the right pass, they were true class throughout.
After that showing, you can bet there isn't a team in this World Cup that would relish playing them. Giroud, Valbuena and Karim Benzema played the role of heroes in this match, but there wasn't a poor performance from the starting 11.
The French served notice on Friday that they are not a team to be taken lightly. And Giroud also served notice that his hair is not to be taken lightly.
Anyway you slice it, the French are looking Head and Shoulders above the rest.