Football Features

10 shocking stats from Switzerland’s superb penalty shootout win over France at Euro 2020

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 23:40, 28 June 2021

In a staggering night of football, Switzerland beat World champions France 5-4 on penalties after a breathtaking 3-3 draw at Euro 2020.

The game was absolutely bananas as Didier Deschamps’ attempts to compensate for his lack of a left-back by playing a 3-4-1-2 shape that his players were not familiar with predictably backfired. The defenders didn’t know where to stand, the midfielders were unsure how far they could push up, and with the defensive anchor being the awfully out-of-form Clement Lenglet disaster seemed imminent.

And that is exactly what happened, and we were treated to an incredible, breathtaking game chock full of incredible stats. Here are a list of 10 of the most wild ones:

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1. Shot-shy France

France did not manage a single shot on target against Switzerland in the first-half as they were stifled by a superb Swiss side and their own baffling formation.

2. Griezmann isolated

Antoine Griezmann was working his socks off and doing lots of good work in the build-up phase but he didn’t touch the ball inside the Swiss box once in the first half.

3. Rock solid Xhaka

Granit Xhaka was so composed and confident against the French midfield, showing no fear as he played brilliant pass after pass, only misplacing a single pass during that incredible first-half and going on to rack up phenomenal passing stats at the end of the night as he was awarded man of the match in Switzerland’s sublime and stunning upset.

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4. Hugo Boss

In the second-half the Swiss had France on the brink when Steven Zuber won a penalty. Ricardo Rodriguez stepped up by the French captain made an incredible save! Hugo Lloris saved his first spot kick in French colours for nine years.

5. King Karim’s brilliant brace

When France were down and needed a hero, who else but Karim Benzema stepped up to save them? His two goals, the first of which was out of this world magnificent, made him just the third player to score a brace for France at the Euros. And also drew him level with Zinedine Zidane on 31 French goals.

Seriously, Benzema’s first goal was magical. The way the striker was able to conjure an absolutely miraculous touch to bring the ball under his spell despite it being two yards behind him (seriously you have to see this touch) and then jab it home just oozed the kind of class you expect from Benzema, ever the aesthete. His second goal, a standard back-post header, just confirmed he was in the zone.

6. Pogba finally represents for Man Utd

No Manchester United player had managed to score at Euro 2020, despite Bruno Fernandes trying his damndest against Belgium. They were just unfortunate. Paul Pogba finally broke that dam when he slammed home what looked like game-sealing gloryshot to cap his incredible performance.

7. Death From Above

Haris Seferovic won just two aerial duels against France. However they were two massively important aerial duels as the Swiss striker hammered home two headers, one in each half, to really put a hurt on the French defence.

8. Pogba The Impassable

Despite what many say about Paul Pogba being a defensive liability (and the television coverage focusing on him being dispossessed for Switzerland’s equaliser was churlish in the extreme given how well he played overall) he’s actually quite solid at times. He was brilliant tonight and went the entire 120 minutes without being dribbled by once. Adding that defensive power to his usual offensive output, including creating several glorious chances with lethal passes, especially for Kylian Mbappé.

A masterclass from a midfielder who didn’t deserve to lose.

9. Wayward Mbappé

Against Switzerland Kylian Mbappé’s movement was nice, and he did pick up his first-ever assist at a major tournament for France tonight, but his action in front of goal was miserable. In fact it has been so all tournament.

No one has taken more shots than he has without scoring at Euro 2020, and only Alvaro Morata has missed more big chances than the French wonderkid, and that doesn’t include his missed penalty in tonight’s shootout that eliminated France.

10. The Swiss win a shootout at last!

At the 2006 World Cup, Switzerland lost a penalty shootout 0-3 to Ukraine. Then 10 years later at Euro 2016 the Swiss were involved in yet another shootout, this time against Poland, and they lost 5-4 with Granit Xhaka missing the key spot-kick.

Tonight, however, the Swiss finally won a shootout and this time they did so against the World champions! This has led them to reach their first-ever Euros quarter-finals and their first-ever quarter-finals in any major tournament since they hosted the 1954 World Cup.

A genuinely, magical and memorable moment.