Germany's 2-1 defeat to
France in their friendly in Bremen may have come at just the
right time, giving the team who are one of the Euro 2012
favourites a reality check following their perfect qualifying
The Germans qualified top of their group with 10 wins from
10 games and also scored confidence-boosting victories over top
teams including Brazil, Uruguay and Netherlands in friendlies
last year as talk of their first title since 1996 grew louder.
Wednesday's defeat against France, who less than two years
ago spectacularly flopped at the World Cup in South Africa, was
a sobering experience for Joachim Low's team, highlighting the
fact that it may not be plain sailing for them in Poland and
Ukraine in June and July.
"We should complain because we could have conceded one or
two more goals," said Germany's Thomas Muller. "While we should
not read too much into this result, we were not very disciplined
"We were too open at the back, we worked too little and left
our defence without backup," said the 2010 World Cup top scorer.
Germany were missing injured captain Philipp Lahm at the
back as well as central defender Per Mertesacker.
In midfield, Bastian Schweinsteiger - nicknamed "the brain"
by Low - was also out injured, as were Mario Gotze and Lukas
It was not, however, the first time Germany had taken to the
pitch without key players and throughout the game they were on
the back foot against the speedy French, who played the sort of
quick passing and attacking game that has made Low's team one
of the most exciting to watch in the past two years.
Low said it was a deserved win for France but his team, who
have two more friendlies against Switzerland and Israel, would
bounce back in time for the Euros.
"We are obviously a bit annoyed with the result but I am
more annoyed about the way we lost," the coach told reporters.
"But we must keep in mind it was a long break since November,
there were some changes, some injuries and you can lose your
rhythm a bit.
"Once we are together for three or four weeks it will be
Central defender Mats Hummels shared his coach's view,
saying: "If all the players are back then we have an outstanding
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