Fast-starting Germany show signs of improvement with encouraging win over France

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Fast-starting Germany show signs of improvement with encouraging win over France

Kai Havertz celebrates with Jamal Musiala after scoring Germany's second goal
Kai Havertz celebrates with Jamal Musiala after scoring Germany's second goalAFP
Florian Wirtz scored the quickest goal in Germany’s history as Julian Nagelsmann’s side picked up a surprise 2-0 victory over 2022 FIFA World Cup finalists France at the Groupama Stadium.

On a day of historic goals, Austria’s Christoph Baumgartner netted the quickest goal in official international history, scoring after just six seconds against Slovakia to break Lukas Podolski’s previous best from 2013.

Germany almost reclaimed their record through Wirtz, who controlled Toni Kroos’ pass before firing an effort in off the bar from outside the area.

The hosts were unsurprisingly shell-shocked by their opponents’ blistering start, and took their time to establish a foothold in the encounter.

Once they did though, they repeatedly threatened Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s goal. The first real opportunity for Les Bleus came via captain and talisman Kylian Mbappe, who fired a volley wide from a position where you would expect a player of his quality to do better.

After Adrien Rabiot headed over from close range, Mbappe attempted to beat Ter Stegen with a cheeky lob in the 25th minute, but the Barcelona goalkeeper stood firm to keep the effort out.

That was ultimately the final real opening of the first half, but it didn’t take Nagelsmann’s men long to double their advantage after the interval. While they weren't quite as quick out of the blocks on this occasion, just a little more than three minutes had passed by the time Kai Havertz tapped home Jamal Musiala’s cut-back.

Shots from Aurelien Tchouameni and Ousmane Dembele were not far from halving the deficit, but unlike the first period, Germany were in cruise control and had it not been for a brilliant Brice Samba save, debutant Maximilian Mittelstadt would have had his maiden international goal to boot.

Mittelstadt’s Stuttgart teammate Deniz Undav, also picking up his maiden Germany cap, was thwarted by the shot-stopper soon afterwards.

Samba's exploits kept the scoreline respectable for France, who suffered just their second loss in 10 games since the World Cup final - both of which have come against Germany.

Nagelsmann's men ended a run of three games without a win as they look to build momentum heading into this summer's UEFA European Championships on home soil.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Florian Wirtz (Germany)

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