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Euro 2016 Chronicles – Day 1

The much awaited Euro 2016 kicked off with a capacity crowd at Stade de France with hosts France taking on an enterprising Romanian side, who had come in to the competition with a mean defensive record.

The night kicked off the in the best possible way with artists putting on a fine display at the opening ceremony with David Guetta’s ‘This one’s for you‘ stealing the show. When the lights came back on and players emerged out of the tunnel, it was time for the real show to begin.

  • Emotions from the French Players

There aren’t many better sights in football than to watch those warriors go out on the pitch and sing their national anthems in front of thousands of fans. It almost feels like the Bugle Call before they go out for the war.

Likes of Dimitri Payet, N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann look in awe of the moment, who may have established themselves in recent seasons but were representing their country at Euro Championships for the first time.

  • Credit to Romania

Unlike the pre-match predictions, Romania actually got on the nerves of French team and pushed them to the limits in the opening exchanges. The less fancied teams may even have taken the early lead, if not for Hugo Lloris and his brilliant save on the line.

France 2 Romania 1 - Things Learned, Talking Points

  • Pogba, Kante & Payet ruling the midfield

The comfort these players had throughout the 90 minutes was unbelievable. While N’golo Kante was the bedrock in the midfield are with tackles and interceptions flying in, Pogba and Payet were majestic with their touch, flicks and dribbles. It was almost a show of class and abilities from the French midfielders.

  • You beauty Dimitri Payet

I may have used all my superlatives in last 12 months to describe this man’s abilities on the ball and it was yet another masterclass from the West Ham maestro. Payet ran the show throughout the night and when his team needed him, he came up with a thunderous last-minute winning goal for France. It may and rather should go down as one of the goals of Euro 2016.

  • Didier Deschamps was lucky to get the win

Taking off Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba did not make any sense to me as those two players can be the match winners for France. In the end, France may have got the win but it wasn’t because of the tactical change Deschamps made, rather it was an individual brilliance from Payet.

Going forward in the competition, we may want to keep an eye on how France progress further and what are the kind of tactical changes French manager makes. I have a funny feeling, it may end up being his selection or tactical error which could end up costing France their Euro 2016 dreams.