France 3-1 Italy
France have had their revenge. A blistering performance served to exorcise some of the frustration, if not all of the disappointment, that lingered from defeat by Italy in the World Cup final 59 days previously.
This was a stunning victory, Les Bleus propelled by the pace and menace of Franck Ribéry and Thierry Henry, allied to the goals of the forgotten man Sidney Govou. Italy, battered and bemused, were spared the worst but were still ripped to shreds.
The outpouring of joy on the final whistle, a din to match a breathtaking occasion, reflected a nation's belated satisfaction. La revanche had been on the locals' minds and by the end it was on their lips. The rasped homage echoing around this arena was for "Zizou". Zinédine Zidane will have enjoyed watching from afar even if Marco Materazzi, the man whose remark prompted the playmaker's infamous butt in Berlin, was still suspended.
Zidane was everywhere last night. His name was emblazoned across the fans' shirts, his image flickering down from the big screens above both goals. France rose to the occasion, easing their way to victory with a goal after 70 seconds, volleyed magnificently by Govou at the far post from William Gallas's cross. That set the tone for the evening. "It wasn't a perfect performance," said the coach Raymond Domenech. "That would have seen us score with every attack and not concede, but we beat the best in the world, the world champions. That is satisfying."
Source: The Guardian