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Four observations from Germany’s well deserved 2-1 win over France

This was well worth the 4am kickoff.

Germany v France: Semi Final - UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images

What a win! The DFB Frauen bested France in a do-or-die match in the UEFA Women’s Euro semifinal. The German ladies will face England on Sunday for a battle to the crown. Here are the main takeaways.

Alexandra Popp is a beast

I’m sure everyone watching this game, or the entire tournament, would have been pleasantly surprised by Popp’s performances, and she did not disappoint today. She gave Germany the lead close to halftime with a well taken finish with the outside of her boot, and headed home a Svenja Huth cross to make it 2-1 deep in the second half. Her brace takes her up to six goals in five games, making her the current joint top scorer of the tournament. It may be notable that Popp’s presence is so strong, especially because Germany’s men’s team is seriously lacking in the striker department. Popp’s performance today was reminiscent of Miroslav Klose, taking chances when they came, whether it be with her head or her foot. Take a bow, Alex!

Lina Magull is technically gifted, but tiny

Instrumental in Popp’s first goal was Bayern Munich captain Lina Magull, who pulled a defender’s vision towards her to leave the cross uninhibited, and for Popp to come in and score. Not only that, but she was very active in both attack and midfield, orchestrating the play with some lovely touches and passes. Fans of the Frauen will know just how much Magull’s presence is felt for both club and country, and why she was given the captain’s armband for Bayern. However, her physique leaves a lot to be desired. She was seen getting bullied off the ball multiple times, and that’s not really her fault, but still, it’s one trait that isn’t as desirable as the rest in her arsenal. Anyone would be hard pressed not to go flying after a collision with Wendie Renard, though.

Germany was determined, like really determined

One thing I’ve loved seeing about Germany is how the fire that was hard to find in Jogi Löw’s tenure is now back under Hansi Flick’s command. Germany are now hungry, passionate, determined to win every ball, to score goal after goal, and to put in a good performance for the fans, for the country. This was the first time I had watched Germany’s women play in a long time, and I was happy to see that the men’s determination was not lost on the women. The ladies fought hard, pressed hard, defended hard, so much so that France was scrounging off scraps for most of the game. Yes, there was a slight lapse in concentration about midway through the second half, but that was well tempered. The only French goal was due to a very unlucky deflection, that’s how in control Germany were. As good as France fought, Germany were deserved winners tonight, and they well earned their ticket to Wembley.

Finals feel great

This was Germany’s first major final since 2017’s Confederations Cup. Between then and now, Germany’s tournament record is not exactly squeaky clean, be it men or women. However, this final gave Germany hope and confidence that it is truly a footballing powerhouse for both genders. Germany is currently the only country to have won a World Cup with both the men’s and women’s teams. That’s how powerful Germany is as a footballing nation. This team has done the country and its fans very proud, and while it would be lovely to see the team win the trophy come Sunday, it has already done a spectacular job. All they need to do now is sit back and enjoy the ride.

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