Euro 2016 hosts France played their first match since the World Cup finals last night, as Loic Remy’s goal was enough to beat the reigning European champions Spain 1-0 in Paris.
Of course this is a vastly different Spanish team these days, but the defeat wasn’t the best way to start the rebuilding process following their disastrous experiences in Brazil.
Here’s what we learned from the game:
Jose Mourinho’s Transfer Window Keeps Getting Better
It’s easy to think of Chelsea’s signing of Remy as something of an afterthought. He was available, he was fairly cheap by elite club standards and so why not?
In snapping up the frontman though, Jose Mourinho has brought in a lively, hungry forward who will demonstrate penalty box prowess the like of which Fernando Torres had seemed incapable of in a blue shirt.
With finishes like this, how long before he’s battling Diego Costa for a place in the team?
The ‘New Spain’ Will Take Time To Gel
Vicente Del Bosque was at pains to find some positives from the defeat, but the fact remains that his Spain side only registered one shot on target.
Only four players who began the fatal 2-0 loss to Chile in the Maracana in June began this one, and with that result seemingly knocking the wind out of Spanish football, it might be a while before it is recovered.
Paul Pogba Continues To Rise And Rise
Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba turned in a masterful display here, and one which belied his 21 years.
Tall and powerful, he knocked several Spanish players out of their stride with almost effortless ease, and he looks to be the very future of midfield play.
READ: 5 Things We Learned From Germany 2-4 Argentina
There’s No Such Thing As A Friendly For France
As the hosts of the Euros, France will of course be restricted to friendly matches between now and when the tournament kicks off in 2016, and so matches such as this will be vital to their preparation.
Placed in the frankly bizarre Group I which means that they’ll take on all the teams within home and away, only without any of their results mattering, means that the French will also face Portugal, Denmark, Serbia, Armenia and Albania before the tournament begins, and by the looks of this all of them will be taken seriously.
Atletico Madrid 1 Barcelona 0
New Atletico signing Antoine Griezmann struck an early blow for the Spanish champions… right into the face of Barca’s Sergio Busquets. Ow.
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