France thumped neighbours Switzerland 5-2 at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador to secure an impressive second consecutive FIFA World Cup win to take total control of Group E. Les Bleus’ coach Didier Deschamps opted to make two changes from the side that beat Honduras in their opener, and both Olivier Giroud and Moussa Sissoko proved the tactician right.
The Arsenal man opened the scoring before Blaise Matuidi swiftly doubled the French lead and then Giroud turned provider for Mathieu Valbuena before half-time. Karim Benzema missed a first-half penalty but made up for it in the second 45 with a well-taken finish and Sissoko added further gloss to the scoreline.
Switzerland did get two consolation goals; one a driven free-kick from Blerim Dzemaili and the other a sumptuous strike from Granit Xhaka. However, it was not enough for Ottmar Hitzfeld’s men, and France celebrate winning their two opening matches at a World Cup for the first time since 1998.
1998 - #FRA have won their first 2 group games at the World Cup for the 1st time since 1998. Relief.— OptaJean (@OptaJean) June 20, 2014
Deschamps was delighted with his players, but will be trying to keep their feet on the ground after such a strong performance.
"It was a great day for us. After 75 minutes, it was 5-0," he told the media shortly after the final whistle (h/t ESPN FC). "We put a lot of pressure in the midfield and our attacks were very good, which was not good for the Swiss."
"There is an enormous satisfaction with the result, but we have to continue. This was the objective. We have already scored eight goals and there is no doubt that we have been very efficient. We are competitive. We were able to show this today and it was a good test for us. Despite the result, it was not an easy game."
Here are six things we learned from Les Tricolores’ drubbing of the Swiss.