France 5, Iceland 2: Les Bleus' Win Sets Up Euro 2016 Semifinal with Germany

Antoine Griezmann
Antoine Griezmann at the Stade des Lumieres, June 26. Griezmann starred in France's 5-2 Euro 2016 victory over Iceland. Lars Baron/Getty

A resounding 5-2 victory over Iceland, the surprise package of the tournament, ensured host nation France heads into the last four of Euro 2016.

Germany await Didier Deschamps' side in the semifinal at the Stade Velodrome in Marseilles on Thursday. And though the scoreline suggested a simple route for France, Deschamps' side was exemplary to prevent being embarrassed by a country with the same population as Leicester.

Antoine Griezmann was among a handful of French players who impressed in Saint Denis, as Barcelona new-boy Samuel Umtiti made his debut in place of the suspended Adil Rami.

Here, Newsweek looks at what stood out as the hosts marched into the semifinals:

Deschamps Selections

With Leicester's N'Golo Kante suspended, Deschamps had a decision to make in central midfield.

He opted for the more attacking options of Blaise Matuidi and Paul Pogba to sit behind Dimitri Payet — and he was vindicated. Deschamps believed the duo would spend more time attacking rather than defending, and in the 11th minute this paid off.

Matuidi, with acres of space on the ball, played a sumptuous pass that cut through the Iceland defense. The run of Olivier Giroud was timed to perfection, as he went on to lash the ball through the legs of Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson.

Samuel Umtiti: Barcelona's New Man

Camp Nou's latest addition will need to get used to occasions such as this if he is to survive in Catalonia.

Barcelona parted with €25 million (£21/$27 million) for his services earlier this week. Although not largely tested by a tired looking Iceland attack, Umtiti needed to be disciplined to prevent France suffering the same embarrassment England had six days earlier.

In the 24th minute, with the hosts leading by two, Umtiti prevented Jon Bodvarsson from scoring an identical goal to the equalizer against Roy Hodgson's team. A long throw-in was nodded on and, but for the 22-year-old's last-ditch challenge, Iceland would have halved the host's lead.

Solid, imposing, barking orders at senior colleagues, Barcelona seems to have got a French rearguard for the future.

Griezmann proves class

In France's second game of group A, against Albania, Griezmann found himself watching from the substitutes' bench, having been dropped by Deschamps.

He came on for Kingsley Coman midway through the second half to score the winner — and he hasn't looked back since.

In the Stade de France against Iceland, where Griezmann will hope to play next Sunday in the final, the Atletico Madrid striker was the outstanding man of the first half. He provided the ball for France's second and third, scored by Paul Pogba and Dimitri Payer respectively, before netting the fourth.

Griezmann looked to be on fast-forward as he zipped through the Iceland defense before oozing composure as he chipped over the oncoming Halldorsson.

Payet rightly kissed his left boot as France held a resounding lead. Griezmann could well be on course for the golden boot by next Sunday, as well.

Undying Icelandic Spirit

Heading into halftime at 4-0 down, Iceland would have been forgiven for feeling well beaten. It was, but there was a pride that refused them to give up.

They chased every ball, every tiring pass the French played, and stuck to the troubling tactics that got Iceland to an unthinkable European Championships.

Despite being well beaten, Lars Lagerback's team scored twice and head home to what will undoubtedly be a hero's welcome in Reykjavik.