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Switzerland 2 France 5: Karim Benzema fires Les Bleus to rousing victory

Switzerland 2 France 5: Karim Benzema fires Les Bleus to rousing victory

France produced a scintillating display to rout a sorry Switzerland side 5-2 and all but secure a second-round spot at the FIFA World Cup.

Having survived a physical Honduras side in their Group E opener, Didier Deschamps’ men faced a seemingly more difficult task in Salvador, but they ran roughshod in an exhilarating display that left Ottmar Hitzfeld’s men shell-shocked.

Olivier Giroud, Blaise Matuidi and Mathieu Valbuena were all on target in a breathless opening 45 minutes in which Karim Benzema missed a penalty.

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He made amends with his third goal of the tournament in the second half, before applying the assist for Moussa Sissoko to make it five.

Switzerland – who beat Ecuador 2-1 in their first pool match – were stunned by two goals in as many first-half minutes, first Giroud crashing a header past Diego Benaglio, before the goalkeeper was beaten easily by Matuidi’s shot.

Granit Xhaka had a goal ruled out for Switzerland, before Benzema – who notched a brace against Honduras – saw Benaglio save his spot-kick.

It made little difference as Valbuena capped of a wonderful counter-attack in the 40th minute to effectively end the contest by half-time.

Benzema’s close-range strike and a Sissoko effort added further gloss in the second period, before Blerim Dzemaili and Xhaka bagged late consolations.

France are now on the brink of the last 16 having taken a maximum six points, while Switzerland still have work to do in their final pool encounter with Honduras.

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