Kylian Mbappé is really fast. Like, super fast.
For much of the France vs. Germany UEFA Nations League match on Tuesday, he was Les Bleus’ only offensive threat with his blinding speed. Then Antoine Griezmann showed up in the second half to propel France to a 2-1 win over Germany, putting the 2014 World Cup champions on the brink of being relegated.
Germany, coming off a 3-0 shellacking to the Netherlands on Saturday, dominated in the first half with 61 percent possession, limiting France to quick counterattacks, none of which led to goals. But those counters were opportunities for Mbappé to show off his terrifying pace.
At the 8:00 mark, Mbappé received the ball just outside his 18-yard box. Eight seconds later, he was on the opposite end of the pitch, about to dribble his way into the box to send in a dangerous cross.
Just look at this speed, man.
Because Mats Hummels, in the process of being turned inside out by Mbappé, was able to slow down the PSG winger just a bit, Germany was able to get men back to clear the cross. But Mbappé, often linking up with Giroud, was the most dangerous man in attack for France in the first half and early in the second half.
— Univision Deportes (@UnivisionSports) October 16, 2018
As the second half wore on, it was all about Antoine Griezmann.
The Atletico Madrid forward equalized in the 62nd minute by heading in an excellent cross from Lucas Hernandez.
Griezmann scored the winner in the 80th minute on a questionable penalty kick.
Blaise Matuidi went down very easily to a challenge from Hummels that looked to be fair, though Matuidi lost his balance when his foot landed on Hummels’. But France won’t complain as Griezmann buried the penalty, sending Manuel Neuer the wrong way.
The second half turnaround was in stark contrast to a first half in which Germany looked the superior side.
Die Mannschaft took the lead after a clear penalty was awarded, though Steve Nichol calling the match for ESPN for some reason didn’t understand why a hand ball resulted in a spot kick. Nevertheless, Toni Kroos snuck the ensuing shot just past Hugo Lloris for a lead in the 14th minute.
But Germany couldn't capitalize on its first-half dominance with more goals, showing how much the team is missing a clinical finisher up top.
Germany now has one point through three League A Group 1 matches in the UEFA Nations League and is staring at the real possibility of being relegated to League B. Jogi Low’s squad has to beat the Netherlands on Nov. 19 to have any chance of avoiding relegation.