Three Ligue 1 players featured as France cruised to victory against Switzerland in Group E of the World Cup in Brazil, defeating their neighbours 5-2 in Salvador.
Yohan Cabaye and Blaise Matuidi of PSG and Marseille’s Mathieu Valbuena all started for the France team looking to go top of their group after a comfortable victory over Honduras on Sunday.
Valbuena, who has been linked with a move away from Ligue 1, set up the first goal from a corner. His ball into the box found the head of Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud in the 17th minute to get France off to a quick start.
It was France’s 100th goal in World Cup finals. Giroud repaid the favour setting Valbuena up for his sixth international goal and France’s third of the night.
A quick counter attack left Giroud in acres of space before squaring the ball across the box for the Marseille winger to smash the ball into the goal from inside the six yard box. The midfielder was substituted in the 82nd minute being replaced by Antoine Griezmann.
Blaise Matuidi bagged his fifth goal for France only 66 seconds after Giroud opened the scoring.
The Swiss were caught in possession from the restart, the ball being played through to Karim Benzema before he set up Matuidi who knocked the ball just inside the near post from a tight angle.
Matuidi also played his part in the fifth French goal, wriggling his way past the Swiss midfield before finding Benzema who then played in Sissoko to cap off the rout for the French.
Yohan Cabaye was guilty of missing an easy goal after rebounding Benzema’s penalty onto the crossbar. Benzema had worked hard to earn the penalty, being brought down by former Arsenal defender Johan Djourou.
Benzema penalty was saved but the ball rebounded out to Cabaye who attempted to volley the ball in, only to see it bounce back over his head. Cabaye picked up the only yellow card of the game in the last few minutes of the game.
Remy Cabella of Montpellier, Lille’s Rio Mavuba, Stephen Ruffier of St Etienne, PSG’s Lucas Digne and Michael Landreau of Bastia were all unused substitutes. They watched on as Karim Benzema of Real Madrid stole the show, scoring his third goal of the tournament and setting up two goals.
The victory means the France are on the brink of qualifying for the next round, especially with their superior goal difference. A point against Ecuador would see them finish top of the group.
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