Wednesday 22 October 2014

Giroud header opens floodgates as France signal intent

Published 21/06/2014 | 02:30

France striker Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal in their World Cup Group E win over Switzerland in Salvador. Photo: FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
France striker Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal in their World Cup Group E win over Switzerland in Salvador. Photo: FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Olivier Giroud gives France the lead with a powerful header from a corner in their World Cup Group E game against Switzerland in Salvador. Photo: AP Photo/Sergei Grits
Olivier Giroud gives France the lead with a powerful header from a corner in their World Cup Group E game against Switzerland in Salvador. Photo: AP Photo/Sergei Grits
Moussa Sissoko celebrates after scoring France's fifth goal in their World Cup Group E game against Switzerland in Salvado. Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images
Moussa Sissoko celebrates after scoring France's fifth goal in their World Cup Group E game against Switzerland in Salvado. Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

France continued their impressive start as another imperious display saw them comfortably beat Switzerland in Salvador to take control of Group E.

Switzerland 2 France 5

Three first-half goals blew away Ottmar Hitzfeld's side to all but secure their spot in the knockout rounds. The recalled Olivier Giroud opened the scoring with a well-taken header before Blaise Matuidi slotted home a second almost immediately following the restart.

Karim Benzema then missed a penalty before Mathieu Valbuena knocked home a third, with Benzema and Moussa Sissoko adding the gloss in the second half.

With 10 minutes remaining, Blerim Dzemaili hammered in a free-kick for the Swiss before Granit Xhaka's fine effort came as further consolation.

Valbuena's 17th-minute corner was met by Giroud, whose header was too strong for Diego Benaglio, and France were up and running

The lead was doubled just 13 seconds after the kick-off as Benzema slid a pass into Matuidi to finish. France should have then gone three goals ahead after Djourou was penalised for tripping Benzema in the box, but the Real Madrid forward's poor penalty was easily pushed away by Benaglio.

Deschamps' side did go three up before half-time as Giroud broke clear down the left and delivered a cross for Valbuena to tap home.

Deschamps made two changes in the second half, with Giroud and Mamadou Sakho replaced by Paul Pogba. Pogba had an immediate impact as he slid through to Benzema who finishing coolly as Senderos failed to clear. Sissoko added a fifth in the 73rd minute.

Switzerland's consolations were far too little far too late.

Irish Independent

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