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EURO 2020 analytics: France vs Switzerland – download our report

France faced Switzerland in Bucharest in the round of 16, with both teams knowing that they would face Spain in the quarter-finals of EURO 2020 if they managed to get through. That Croatia vs Spain game earlier in the day had been an epic, but this encounter managed to exceed it in terms of the drama and quality on display. France changed systems and moved to a back three, largely due to their injury issues at left-back, with Clement Lenglet coming into the side as the third centre-back, while Adrien Rabiot played at left wing-back. Switzerland, on the other hand, were unchanged from the side that defeated Turkey 3-1 in their last group match, and they started the game in brilliant fashion, with Haris Seferovic towering over Lenglet to head in the opening goal. France were shocked, but struggled to respond immediately, and Didier Deschamps hooked Lenglet for Kingsley Coman at half-time, in an admission that he had got that decision wrong. Switzerland could have been in dreamland in the second half, however, when Zuber was felled in the penalty area by Benjamin Pavard, but it was Ricardo Rodriguez, who has had a poor recent record from the spot, who took the kick, and Hugo Lloris dived to his right to save and keep France in the match. This seemed to finally rouse France, and they clicked into gear – Paul Pogba sent Mbappe scampering through but the PSG striker bent his shot wide of the post, but in their very next attack, they managed to equalize through Karim Benzema. It was a breathtaking piece of skill from the Real Madrid forward, as he controlled a slightly wayward pass from Mbappe with his heel to turn it into a pass for himself, and then ran onto it to poke it past the onrushing Yann Sommer. France took the lead a couple of minutes later, with Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann playing a quick one-two before Griezmann lifted the ball into the box for Benzema to head home. At this point, France were resurgent and Switzerland were sagging, and 15 minutes later, Pogba seemed to cap the contest with a brilliant curling effort into the top corner from 25 yards out. However, as in the earlier match, a 3-1 lead did not prove enough – Switzerland came back, with Seferovic heading in his second goal of the night from Kevin Mbabu’s cross, and with minutes remaining, Granit Xhaka put on a sumptous pass for Mario Gavranovic, who made no mistake to bring things back to 3-3. There was still time for both sides to miss chances to win in normal time, while extra-time saw Mbappe fluff his lines when sent through once again by Pogba. Thus, we went to penalties, and it was a perfect series of kicks until it came to Mbappe, taking France’s fifth penalty – Sommer guessed correctly and palmed his effort away to implausibly send Switzerland through and cause France, one of the frontrunners for the trophy, to crash out. Check out our EURO 2020 analytics report from this match for all the key statistics, data and visualisations.

 

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