There was an average audience of 18 million people watching the game on TV in France on Saturday night, which is huge compared to the usual viewing figures.
I would say only about two million of those knew who Bukayo Saka was before the weekend, the ones who watch the Premier League or remember glimpses of him at Euro 2020.
But, wow, he really impressed everyone in France and we are still wondering why Gareth Southgate took him off. Saka was a nightmare for Theo Hernandez all night. Maybe he was a bit tired and he had been kicked a lot, but he was the main threat, so we could not understand that substitution.
To be honest, England were the better team on the night. France were good for the first 17 minutes until their goal, but after that England took control until Olivier Giroud scored his goal, and then after that the final minutes were very difficult for France to survive.
Saka was terrific, Giroud was a ghost for 78 minutes. It was difficult. Kylian Mbappe was quite controlled by Kyle Walker, but never by Walker alone. When Walker was alone against Mbappe it was one thing, but when there were two or three players around Mbappe then, of course, he had to do something different.
But well, maybe France are the new Germany! We know what it takes to win and that played a huge part in the outcome of the game.
Hugo Lloris, Raphael Varane, Antoine Griezmann, Giroud… they all know what it takes and were the leaders of the team. It was different for the young players, Dayot Upamecano, Hernandez, even Aurelien Tchouameni, who had some hard times.
But this is the third time in four major tournaments that we have reached the semi-finals — Euro 2016, the 2018 World Cup and now. That played a part.
As for Harry Kane’s missed penalty, it was a mind game between two friends. We thought maybe it was a mistake to ask Kane to take the second penalty, and maybe England should have changed the taker. It added extra tension between the taker and the goalkeeper. 메이저사이트
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That duel between Lloris and Kane was the key of the game. Lloris said that for the first penalty, Kane knew that he knew he would shoot to his right, so Lloris went left. Then for the second one, Lloris went to the right, so Kane had to add more power to his shot.
We have to say the Brazilian referee, Wilton Sampaio, was poor. He was not very hard on France, so I can understand why England were unhappy.
The only good referee in the four quarter-finals was the English guy, Michael Oliver, so I hope he will be given the final.
And for all the talk in England about whether Southgate should stay in charge, we have seen the advantage of stability in France with Didier Deschamps.
Southgate lost, but he did not fail.
England have played some of the best football we have seen at this World Cup and I am not sure that a foreign coach could do a better job than him.