“It was a frustrating match”.
“I predicted that France were going to beat Belgium and I am happy they did well and are through to the final”, Nwosu told Goal.
France, well-organised and always a threat on the counter-attack through the lively Kylian Mbappe, were watertight at the back and restricted the Belgians to just a handful of chances. I’m proud of my players.
Frankly, it was a talented team playing boring football.
All three were superb against Brazil in the quarter-final.
Such is the fickleness of a low-scoring sport like football that a coach goes from being a mastermind in one game to being human and fallible in the next.
The lost left Chelsea star Hazard with a somewhat bitter taste in his mouth at full-time.
Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, meanwhile, said that France’s tactics made the game “frustrating”. And then Samuel Umtiti scored – slipping his marker to meet Griezmann’s corner – and France drew back once more, content to contain and control. Last time they played world cup final in Berlin against Italy 2006, which is remembered for Zinedine Zidane’s infamous headbutt.
Roberto Martinez went with Marouane Fellaini, Axel Witsel and Mousa Dembele in the midfield.
“I didn’t see France running away with the game”.
Belgium had won all five matches in Russian Federation coming into their meeting with the French, and had scored 14 goals in the process.
Instead of a trip to Moscow, Belgium will return to St. Petersburg on Saturday for the third-place match no team wants to play.
“Our dressing room is sad”. We could easily have come to this stage and frozen.
“If you are going to have to lose such a match, which is bearable, it is the manner in which our players lost, pushing for everything, trying everything until the final whistle”. Too many players performed below their usual levels.
Just 25, Raphael Varane is a rock in the French defence, with a young man’s speed but the big-game maturity from having won multiple trophies with Real Madrid.
France have reached the World Cup final, but they did so in a negative fashion. France were much stronger defensively, so Martinez’s team struggled to break them down.
Kevin De Bruyne later added fuel to the fire.
Belgium was so close to their maiden world cup final that they could hardly believe, they are out.
“I think [Belgium coach Roberto] Martinez had made a decision to put [Marouane] Fellaini on him so Fellaini was only anxious about Pogba, so of course he had less freedom on the ball”. “This is common ammonia, which is moistened in cotton wool and breathed in”, said Bezuglov to Sport.ru.
“It’s a pure pleasure to see these players grow”, Deschamps said, “and never give up”.
It was the worst possible time for the most prolific attack of Russian Federation 2018 to lose their touch in front of goal, their threat blunted by a defensive wall expertly constructed by Didier Deschamps.
France started the tournament in Russian Federation slowly, struggling for goals in the group stages but hit their stride in an impressive 4-3 victory against Lionel Messi’s Argentina in the first knockout round.