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It was an unexpected start to 2024 for both France and Germany in Lyon on Saturday with the visitors claiming a 2-0 victory at Groupama Stadium for their second friendly win over the French in the space of six months. Back in September, a 2-1 success for the Germans looked like an anomaly for Les Bleus who were otherwise unbeaten in 2023 but this latest Mannschaft triumph hints at something a little more for both sides just months out from UEFA Euro 2024.

Florian Wirtz and Kai Havertz did the damage for Julian Nagelsmann's side with the Bayer Leverkusen man's stunning goal his country's fastest after just seven seconds which signaled the return of Toni Kroos to international action with the assist. For France, it was a poor start to both halves which killed them with both goals extremely early but despite their avoidable nature it was a sluggish start to a year which has promised potential international glory with the Euros and Olympics.

This summer's pair of hosts -- the Euros will be in Germany and the Olympics will be in Paris -- now have plenty to consider when moving forward given that the Germans are supposedly outsiders on home soil while the French are seen by many as the favorites along with England. Although one result is not enough to totally rethink pre-tournament expectations for both sides, the two performances and wins for Nagelsmann's side suggest that they could be entering this summer in a slightly false position.

One thing that is beyond doubt, though, is that Germany were hugely improved for key man Kroos' return to international duty while France suffered badly without talisman Antoine Griezmann who was missing his first game in 84 consecutive outings as Deschamps oversaw his 150th game in charge. In just seconds, the Real Madrid schemer had teed up Wirtz with a move direct from the training field and the Atletico Madrid star's absence was clear as the home side lacked their usual glue not far from Griezmann's native Macon.

Griezmann scored in the 2-1 loss in Germany back in September but he was nowhere to be found here with Kylian Mbappe and his teammates unable to muster an equalizer against this less chaotic version of Die Mannschaft under Nagelsmann. It might not be enough to get Deschamps panicking just yet but he will be wary his team must improve and looked desperately lost without his trusted lieutenant Griezmann who is also being eyed by Thierry Henry for double duty at the Olympics this summer.

"If we need a slap in order for things to go more smoothly afterwards, then I am not too worried," said the French tactician trying to find some positives from the result. "I said pregame that difficulty is always a good thing. We actually had quite a few so this should serve us well."

It was a rotated XI which could be reversed against Chile in Marseille before the end of the current internationals but it was a good indicator ahead of what should be a testing Euro with the Netherlands and Austria already in the same group.

Deschamps is not one to panic nor will Nagelsmann be too carried away by this result but it does offer interesting perspective just a few months away from this summer's big European tournament given France's status as strong favorites and Germany's as underdog hosts. Only the actual performances once the action gets underway will tell but this hints at an exciting competition which could spring surprises despite many being convinced that this will be either a French or an English success.