Cheat sheet: How Dimitri Payet stole the show in the opening game of Euro 2016


Dimitri Payet classily and dramatically scored in the 89th minute to secure France a late 2-1 win over Romania in the opening game of Euro 2016 at the Stade de France.

Les Bleus were minutes from dropping two valuable points after Bogdan Stancu's penalty cancelled out Olivier Giroud's header, until Payet classily curled into the top-left corner from the edge of the area to send the hosts to the top of Group A.

Here's what happened:

The game in one line

Payet pretty much dominated throughout the game while Giroud brought in the first goal of the tournament.

Key moment

There are a few but Hugo Lloris's save certainly saved France from an early shocker.

The French captain made an incredible point-blank save to deny Bogdan Stancu's effort.

Star player

Dimitri Payet.
(Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport)

Dimitri Payet. The West Ham forward, relatively recently made central to Didier Deschamps' team, consistently provided France's greatest threat with a creative and positive performance that compensated for his team-mates' sluggishness.

The 89th-minute winning goal he masterfully curled into the top left corner from the edge of the area demonstrated the quality he has produced all season.

Key stat

The proof that Payet wasn't just a one-time wonder during the game.

Moan of the game

Adil Rami.
(Frank Augstein/AP)

France's central defence of Laurent Koscielny and Adil Rami consistently appeared vulnerable.

Deschamps chose Rami, over Eliaquim Mangala, in the absence of Mamadou Sakho and Raphael Varane, but they could yet undermine France's hopes of succeeding when they have such a fine chance as hosts and in the absence of an outstanding European team.

Major tournaments are always superior when the hosts excel.

Fan of the day

Life doesn't get any better than watching a great football performance.

Best celebration

Payet's tears after knowing he scored the winning goal for France.

View from the bench

France may have begun rather unconvincingly, but the often cautious Deschamps rightly showed a willingness to give his finest players the freedom they deserve, and was rewarded by Payet's late goal.

That he was able to substitute a player of Antoine Griezmann's quality, and bring on Kingsley Coman and Anthony Martial in the pursuit of victory, showed the attacking ability he may have to rely on to overcome his vulnerable defence.

Romania's Anghel Iordanescu is working with a rather limited team, but encouragingly instructed his players to attack France when others would have been tempted to concentrate on securing a clean sheet, and it almost paid off as they unsettled their opponents.

Romania's defeat came from a lack of quality, not through their manager getting his tactics wrong.

The unexpected surprise

Karim Benzema was left out of the tournament after being suspended by the French Football Federation over an alleged sex tape blackmail scandal.

But that didn't stop him from getting involved in the game from the comforts of his sofa and posting it on Instagram.

Tweet of the day

Okay, this has got nothing to do with the game but you gotta laugh.