Euro 2016 Table: Group Results, Highlights and Reaction From Day 1


West Ham forward Dimitri Payet scored a breathtaking goal in the dying minutes of the Group A match to secure a 2-1 victory for France over Romania in the opening game of Euro 2016 at Stade de France in Saint-Denis on Friday night.

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Euro 2016 TABLE: GROUP A


Euro 2016: Goals, Highlights From Group A

There was only one game played on Friday between France and Romania. Check the goals and highlights (if you’ve missed already) of the match here.

Major Talking points

A much-needed result for France: The host nation are one of the favourites of Euro 2016 and they needed a solid start and a positive result (back France at 6/1 to reach the final of Euro 16) to set the tone for the rest of the tournament. The victory will ease their nerve and will give them a lot of confidence going forward.

Well organised Romania: They entered the tournament with a reputation of being a well-organised defensive side and it was clearly evident in the way they set up on Friday night. France enjoyed a lot of possession but Romania were more than happy to sit back and defend. In the end, all their hard works were undone by a goalkeeping error and a moment of magic from Dimitri Payet.

Thoughts on Olivier Giroud: The Arsenal striker may have got his name on the scoresheet (thanks to the horrible mistake from the Romanian goalkeeper) and justified his selection, but he also missed several gilt-edged chances. While his hold up play is crucial for the likes of Payet and Griezmann to exert authority on the pitch, one cannot help but feel, Anthony Martial would have been ideal in this French attacking set-up than Giroud.

France vulnerable at the back: Defence remains France’s major weak link heading into the tournament. They looked vulnerable at times and were lucky to have conceded just once. Romanian striker Bogdan Stancu missed two golden opportunities before putting one through a penalty that was rather foolishly conceded by none other than their skipper Patrice Evra. The centre-backs – Adil Rami and Laurent Koscielny – looked uncomfortable throughout the match, with a poor referring decision allowed the Arsenal defender getting away from conceding a penalty.

Magical Payet saved France from facing blue: Payet has virtually run the show for France. Placed primarily on the left-hand side, he roamed all over the pitch pulling strings from behind. He looked more dangerous operating from the centre, and it promoted Deschamps to take his star midfielder Pogba off to ensure Payet dictates the pace and tempo of the game. He created eight-goal scoring chances and ended up with a goal and assist to his name. In short, he was simply outstanding.

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