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The last time France scored five at the Euros they won the title

| 04.07.2016

France marched into the Euro 2016 semi-finals with a 5-2 victory over Iceland in Paris, setting up a last-four clash with Germany that promises to be one of the games of the tournament.

Although this was the first time a side had scored five goals at these Championships, it was France’s second bagging that many in their Euros history.

In a particularly pleasing omen for the country, the last time it happened came in 1984, when Les Bleus last played host to the competition. Of course, they went on to claim the title that year.

If Olivier Giroud’s brace made the headlines at the Stade de France on Sunday evening, then 32 years ago it was all about Michel Platini as France ran out 5-0 winners against Belgium in the group stage.

The French captain gave his side the lead as early as the fourth minute in Nantes, collecting a rebounded Patrick Battison free-kick and slotting home from the edge of the area.

The midfielder would be hugely influential in his country’s march to glory that summer, scoring a record nine goals in the tournament, which still stands today as the most in a European Championships.

It wasn’t just Platini that was instrumental from midfield though, with Alain Giresse and Jean Tigana combining with some intricate play to set up the former for France’s second.

Giresse then turned provider for France’s third before half time, crossing to the far post for Luis Fernandez to nod home.

After the break, Platini wrestled back the spotlight, slotting a penalty with 16 minutes remaining, before rifling in a header a minute from time to complete his hat-trick and France’s rout.

Victories over Yugoslavia, Portugal (after extra-time) and Spain followed as France claimed their first ever major title. After putting Iceland to the sword at the Stade de France, Didier Deschamps’ class of 2016 will hope to follow suit.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.