Fantastic France smash Switzerland for five

Switzerland 2 France 5

Fantastic France smash Switzerland for five

Having already seen off Honduras in their opening game, three first-half goals blew away Ottmar Hitzfeld’s side to all but secure their spot in the knockout rounds.

Karim Benzema, fresh from his brace in the victory over Honduras, curled a fifth-minute effort just wide of Diego Benaglio’s goal as he came in off the left side following Didier Deschamps’ decision to play Olivier Giroud through the middle.

Switzerland were forced into an early defensive change as Philippe Senderos replaced Steve von Bergen, who was left groggy and bloody as a stray Giroud boot caught him in the face.

His central-defensive partner Johan Djourou did well to clear a low cross away from the lurking Benzema but France took the lead from the resulting corner.

Mathieu Valbuena’s outswinging set-piece was met by Giroud, whose header was too strong for Benaglio to keep out as the Wolfsburg goalkeeper could only get a despairing hand to his effort.

The lead was doubled just 13 seconds after the kick-off as Valon Behrami gifted possession to Benzema, who broke free and slid a pass into Blaise Matuidi whose low shot was good enough to beat Benaglio at his near post.

France should have then gone three goals ahead after Djourou was penalised for tripping Benzema in the box, but the Real Madrid forward’s poor penalty was easily pushed away by Benaglio and Yohan Cabaye amazingly volleyed the rebound against the crossbar.

But Deschamps’ side did go three ahead before half-time as Giroud broke clear down the left and delivered a perfect cross for Valbuena to tap home at the far post.

Deschamps made two changes, with Giroud and Mamadou Sakho replaced by Paul Pogba and Laurent Koscielny as he looked to utilise his squad with the match won.

Pogba had an immediate impact as he lifted a perfect pass through to Benzema who finally got on the scoresheet, finishing coolly as Senderos failed to clear.

Patrice Evra broke into the box but could only clip an effort high and wide before Moussa Sissoko slotted home a fifth moments later.

Benaglio then denied Valbuena with his legs and kept the score down to five by pushing away an acrobatic Benzema strike.

Switzerland’s first consolation came with 10 minutes remaining courtesy of a long-range free-kick as Dzemaili drilled a low effort through the legs of Benzema in a flimsy French wall and out of the reach of Hugo Lloris.

Xhaka added a second as he latched on to Gokhan Inler’s pass to thrash a volley past Spurs keeper Lloris.

Benzema thought he had added a spectacular sixth but the referee had already blown for full-time.

SWITZERLAND: Benaglio, Lichtsteiner, Djourou, von Bergen (Senderos 9), Rodriguez, Behrami (Dzemaili 46), Inler, Shaqiri, Xhaka, Mehmedi, Seferovic (Drmic 69).

FRANCE: Lloris, Debuchy, Varane, Sakho (Koscielny 66), Evra, Sissoko, Cabaye, Matuidi, Valbuena (Griezmann 82), Giroud (Pogba 63), Benzema.

Ref: Bjorn Kuipers (Holland).

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