Skip to main content

Payet provides magic for hosts: How Stats Zone saw France 2-1 Romania

Expectation can do funny things to people. Especially footballers playing in a home international tournament.

Last time France hosted the European Championships in 1984, they won all five games and lifted the trophy. The expectation of a repeat performance rests on the shoulders of the current squad.

Thanks to a piece of individual brilliance from West Ham’s Dimitri Payet - a player who just six months ago was nowhere near Didier Deschamps' plans - they got off to a flyer.

Payet pulls strings

With one goal, one assist and eight chances created (just one fewer chance than the 27 other players combined), Payet dragged France over the line. The West Ham man was a constant threat, and provided the magic the hosts desperately needed, sending the crowd wild with his spectacular 89th minute winner.

Pogba flatters to deceive

Substituted after 76minutes, Paul Pogba didn’t quite live up to his pre-tournament, world-beater billing. He had a pass completion rate of 87% and made more ball recoveries (12) than any other player, but succeeded with just one of his five take-ons, and attempted just two shots.

He may be the tournament's poster boy, but while there were a few flashes of his undoubted quality, for now he'll have to do without top billing.

Kante continues where he left off

N'Golo Kante completed more passes (80) than any other player and made five interceptions - joint top with Romania’s Vlad Chiriches. Kante being Kante.

Mixed night for Giroud

Despite scoring the first goal of Euro 2016, it was a frustrating performance overall for the Arsenal forward. He topped the shot count with four attempts, but was virtually anonymous in the first half, making just two successful passes - one of which was from the kick-off.

Romania show glimpses of promise

Many predicted a comfortable opening win for France, but no-one told Romania that - and they could quite easily have pooped the party. They would have been ahead after just four minutes through Stancu if not for an impressive, instinctive save by Hugo Lloris. Though they registered just two shots on target (one being their goal from the penalty spot), Romania caused a shaky France back four problems, mainly from set-pieces.

More features every day on • Analysis