Pogba shines in France win but faces Covid-19 protocol breach

Paul Pogba helped France get off to the perfect Euro 2020 start against Germany but faces a nervous wait after potential breaching Covid protocols.

The midfielder was named man of the match as the French saw off their opponents 1-0 in Munich.

Mats Hummels put through his own net in what was a tightly contested affair.

Kylian Mbappe was a constant threat and thought he’d scored only for the offside flag to deny him before he was again pinned in the build up to a Karim Benzema strike, that too was ruled out.

Pogba was part of an energetic midfield trio that provided solid cover for the France back four.

After the game the Manchester United star went into the crowd to hand his shirt to a fan.

Paul Pogba may have breached Covid protocols

Bein Sports though report that in doing so he may have breached UEFA’s Covid rules and could now face a punishment.

Raphael Varane, the Real Madrid defender, also handed his shirt over to fans after the game.

Nevertheless Pogba was in a bullish mood after the win, saying: “We all made effort, this win is for everyone, not only those who were on the pitch. Everyone was talking before the Euros, favourites or not favourites, group of death… we are focused on what has to be done on the pitch.”

With Portugal beating Hungary 3-0 earlier on in the other Group F game, it already leaves Germany with plenty of work to do to qualify for the knockout stages.

France started much the more assured team and deservedly went ahead. Paul Pogba stretched Germany’s defence as he found Hernandez with a ball over the top on the left, the full-back volleyed the ball back across goal and Hummels could only clumsily shin it past his own goalkeeper.

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Les Blues got off to a winning start
Les Blues got off to a winning start

Germany grew into the game, with Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry seeing half-chances flash wide, but France went into the interval a goal up.

The parachutist was not the only odd incident caught on camera as Antonio Rudiger appeared to bite Pogba on the shoulder blade late in the first half. The France midfielder complained to the referee but nothing was done about it.

Germany were much improved in the second half and put the France defence under pressure, with Gnabry wasting a presentable chance by firing over from a cross when unmarked.

Mbappe thought he had scored a brilliant second goal after twisting and turning down the left side of the penalty area to finish across Neuer and in off the far post, only for a delayed offside flag to deny him a tremendous goal.

For all of Germany’s pressure, Hugo Lloris was never really tested and France went closest to the next goal as Benzema’s tap-in was ruled out by VAR for another Mbappe offside.

Substitute Leroy Sane wastefully fired over the crossbar from a free-kick on the edge of the area as the hosts saw their last chance pass them by.

The result leaves Germany facing a huge game against Portugal on Saturday, while France will look to all-but seal their place in the last-16 with victory against Hungary in Budapest.

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