Football

Watch: France Beat Germany Despite Paul Pogba Arsing Around

Watch: France Beat Germany Despite Paul Pogba Arsing Around

During this run of UEFA Nations League games one of the more intriguing stories has been the continuing struggles of Germany, who were soundly beaten 3-0 at the weekend by the Netherlands. Its been a miserable 2018 for Joachim Low's side so far who had lost six of their last ten games going into tonight's meeting with their World Cup winning successors France.

There has been speculation about Low's future as manager in light their poor form and it seemed as though a trip to Paris was coming at exactly the wrong time. But in the opening half things turned in their favor, largely thanks to some dodgy refereeing and some dodgy play by a certain Paul Pogba.

Few players have polarized opinion more than Paul Pogba in recent seasons, as his Manchester United career has been mixed on the field and largely turbulent off it, with his troubles with Jose Mourinho having been well documented. Yet in a French shirt at least he seemed to have silenced most of his critics with a strong display in Russia during the summer.

Here the ill-discipline Pogba has at times been accused of proved costly for France as he carelessly lost possession in midfield early in the first half. From the ensuing break-away Serge Gnabry fed Leroy SanΓ© who's cross was blocked for what at first appeared to be a corner. But to most people's surprise the referee pointed to the spot for what the replay showed to be an extremely harsh handball, with the ball having caught Presnel Kimpembe's armpit as he slid in.

The spot-kick was converted by Toni Kroos despite Hugo Lloris getting a touch, and Germany threatened to extend their lead throughout the first half while looking dangerous on the counter attack with the pace of SanΓ© and Gnabry.

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After half-time though France came back into the game and Pogba somewhat redeemed himself with his involvement in the build-up to Antoine Griezmann's well taken equaliser.

Griezmann was on the mark again after another harsh penalty award before the end to give France the win and pile the pressure on Joachim Low, as the Germans face the humiliating prospect of relegation to Group B.

Despite the result Paul Pogba looked off the pace for large periods of the game and one would assume that he won't be winning Graeme Souness over any time soon with performances like this.

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Emmet Bradshaw

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