Switzerland vs. France: Final score 2-5, Les Bleus crush sorry Swiss

France moves to within touching distance of the knockout stages after a 5-2 demolition of their neighbors, Switzerland.

SB Nation's 2014 World Cup Bracket'

France demolished Switzerland, 5-2, in Salvador to move to the top of Group E and within touching distance of the World Cup knockout stages. Didier Deschamps' side completely swept their neighbors aside with a phenomenal performance, and they could well have scored even more.

Les Bleus were in the ascendency right from the first whistle, and they'd already given Switzerland a scare or two before they broke the deadlock in the 17th minute. Olivier Giroud got up to meet a Mathieu Valbuena corner, with the fingertips of Swiss goalkeeper Diego Benaglio powerless to stop the ball hitting the back of the net.

Things quickly went from bad to worse for La Nati when Valon Behrami gave the ball away sloppily in midfield less than a minute later. Karim Benzema quickly fed the onrushing Blaise Matuidi through on goal, and his low drive crept inside the near post, leaving Benaglio looking rather red in the face.

Switzerland looked at risk of crumbling completely, though fortunately began to create a few chances of their own. Granit Xhaka momentarily thought he'd clawed one back on a set-piece only to see the offside flag raised, before Xherdan Shaqiri scuffed their best chance wide of Hugo Lloris' post after the French keeper had parried Admir Mehmedi's powerful effort weakly away.

The Swiss should have been punished from the penalty spot just past the half-hour, after Johan Djourou tripped Benzema up in the box. However, the striker's ensuing penalty was saved by Benaglio, before Yohan Cabaye smashed the rebound against the woodwork with an open goal gaping. But La Nati's luck ran out five minutes before halftime when France did add their third, Valbuena tapping in Giroud's low cross after a blistering counter. 3-0 up at the break, Les Bleus were cruising.

Despite Switzerland improving after the restart, they were initially unable to find a goal to get themselves back into the match. They first went close through a long-range Blerim Džemaili effort that flashed past Lloris' post, before the French keeper dived to stop Mehmedi prodding a deep cross in at the far post.

France were on hand to rub salt into La Nati's wounds with just over 20 minutes remaining, when they netted their fourth goal. Swiss defender Philippe Senderos wafted a loose leg at Paul Pogba's deep cross, which conveniently landed right at the feet of Benzema to slot home.

Things got even more embarrassing when Moussa Sissoko added a fifth within as many minutes, driving Benzema's pass inside Benaglio's far post from the edge of the box. Only a couple of outstanding saves from Benaglio prevented Switzerland from conceding a couple more, as his defense continued to melt away in the face of French pressure.

Switzerland did manage to score themselves when Džemaili netted a low free-kick in the final 10 minutes, and Xhaka stroked a spectacular second past Lloris five minutes later, though the late flurry was probably the result of late French complacency as much as Swiss attacking craft. Suffice to say, Hitzfeld's side needs dramatic defensive improvement in its final group game if it's to make the knockout stages.

Switzerland: Benaglio; Rodríguez, von Bergen (Senderos 9'), Djourou, Lichtsteiner; Inler, Behrami (Džemaili 46'); Mehmedi, Xhaka, Shaqiri; Seferović (Drmić 69').

Goals: Džemaili (81'), Xhaka (87').

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

Goals: Giroud (17'), Matuidi (18'), Valbuena (40'), Benzema (68'), Sissoko (73').

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