Football: Mueller kick-starts Germany's post-Flick era with win over France

© Wolfgang Rattay, Reuters

Veteran forward Thomas Mueller kick-started Germany's post-Hansi Flick era, scoring early to set the Euro 2024 hosts on the way to a 2-1 friendly win over France in Dortmund on Tuesday.

Flick's sacking on Sunday triggered Rudi Voeller's return to the dugout for the first time since 2005.

The interim coach brought Mueller back into the starting line-up and the move paid off early, Mueller scoring four minutes in.

Mueller's Bayern team-mate Leroy Sane scored with three minutes remaining to double his side's lead.

Sane gave away a penalty just a minute later. France captain Antoine Griezmann converted but Germany held on for a 2-1 win -- just their second victory in seven games since the Qatar World Cup.

"Our early goal was good for us," Muller said at the final whistle.

"We knew we'd have a lot to do. It wasn't easy for us with this bad run, and the departure of Hansi Flick at the end of the week was a crazy situation."

Goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen was relieved.

"It was balm for the soul. It was a curious and difficult few days, so it's all the nicer that we were able to end it with a win," he said. "That was what we needed."

Voeller said the win was "a liberation for all of us, for me, the players, and the German FA (DFB)", telling the ARD TV network "that'll simply do us good".

France manager Didier Deschamps praised Germany's "attacking danger", saying "even in such a situation, they have the quality."

Mbappe benched

Deschamps revealed after the match Mbappe had a "light injury - and we didn't want to take the risk in this game."

Sane quickly turned villain, bringing down Eduardo Camavinga just one minute later.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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