Jump to content
Sports Interactive Community
Hodgy

Semi Final 1: France Vs Belgium (for the right to face and lose to England in the World Cup Final)

Who will face England in the world cup final?  

49 members have voted

  1. 1. Who's going through to the final?

    • France
      28
    • Belgium
      22


Recommended Posts

Didnt Martinez say hes never been outdone in tactics its just the players who dont execute or something to that effect? Not sure what his plan was 2nd half there but that didn't feel like a world cup semi at all. Boring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
à l’instant, GunmaN1905 a dit :

And on the first test against a great opponent where things don't go your way, that team completely failed.

Props for the great game against Brazil, but Belgium got completely outplayed by France today, in a tactical sense.

Yeah, but for the last 4 or so years people constatly rated them as top5 NTs in the world without them achieving anything.

They won Copa America by beating Brazil isnt it ? :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Marc Albrighton said:

Didnt Martinez say hes never been outdone in tactics its just the players who dont execute or something to that effect?

If you’re talking about in his post match interview after the Brazil game then no, you’ve completely twisted what he said. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Vynal Seven said:

If you’re talking about in his post match interview after the Brazil game then no, you’ve completely twisted what he said. 

I haven't twisted anything, it was a question, hence the question mark. I just remember hearing something along those lines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Marc Albrighton said:

I haven't twisted anything, it was a question, hence the question mark. I just remember hearing something along those lines.

You can still twist it even in a question fwiw. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Marc Albrighton said:

Didnt Martinez say hes never been outdone in tactics its just the players who dont execute or something to that effect? Not sure what his plan was 2nd half there but that didn't feel like a world cup semi at all. Boring.

Two teams playing cagey football? Felt pretty like a big WC game to me, if anything felt more like a final.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't see the game. Doesn't sound like I missed much. Shame about Belgium :(

hopefully Croatia/England win the tournament, don't like France :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, GunmaN1905 said:

Yeah, but for the last 4 or so years people constatly rated them as top5 NTs in the world without them achieving anything.

What does that matter? It is still a golden generation as GMan explained and as for being top 5 in the world, you do realise they're finishing 4th at worst in this World Cup ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Worth mentionning that our side of the final table was pretty tough indeed

The performance is pretty huge so far

Now here is the final step with hopefully a better outcome than Euro 2016

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, JDownie said:

Didn't see the game. Doesn't sound like I missed much. Shame about Belgium :(

hopefully Croatia/England win the tournament, don't like France :D

Was a good game really. Not completely unmissable but worth a watch.

23 minutes ago, nico_france said:

Worth mentionning that our side of the final table was pretty tough indeed

The performance is pretty huge so far

Now here is the final step with hopefully a better outcome than Euro 2016

Impressive defensive performances and results. Deschamps could have created a much better side to watch...not that you'll care if you're French.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was a weird game.

The first half was actually pretty nice for a goalless 45 minutes? It looked as if Martinez's massive tactical gamble again really bamboozled France who were confused as hell with Belgium's positioning. That was ****ing cool to watch, Belgium's setup was plain crazy. 4 at the back when defending, 3 at the back when attacking, Fellaini working as left wing-back on the ball? Or was that Hazard? They'd switch, then Fellaini would become an auxiliary 2nd striker late into the box, and everyone was just all over the place creating all sorts of overloads through France's midfield. Oh, and he man-marked Pogba extremely tight too. Belgium didn't reach the final third that much but still looked largely in control, and Hazard was a joy to watch. Such a midfield overload made for a pretty slow tempo and weird atmosphere, but still fun as hell. It was SO assymetric as well, Chadli well wide on the right giving width, but people taking turns to exploit the space on the left, just all my hipster FM dreams of wacky experimental tactics come true. :D

But then both the match and Belgium went wrong in the 2nd half. It looked like Deschamps brainwashed the French players just right at half-time and no longer did they look unprepared for what Belgium were doing - they started defending well. Then, boom, goal almost out of nowhere. France could now sit back and enjoy their deadly counters, and the Belgians... lost control. A seemingly brilliant plan stopped working, the subs forcing yet another tactical directions just seemed to confuse players now, and the fluidity was gone from their game, the context of play also playing into France's hands of course. It was like early on Martinez looked like a tactical genius for doing so much switching-and-changing-and-chopping, and all the downsides of doing so presented itself later on in the very same match - players did not know what to do on the pitch anymore. At the end Belgium were still passing it around forever, then, oops, what now, better give it to Mertens to cross to the big man - that was their only plan for the final 20 mins after all. And France's ridiculously annoying timewasting prevented much damage. They could and should've scored the 2nd, too, which annoyed me since I had a pretty decent bet on 2-0 for France!

I'm pretty disappointed now that this competition's most fun side is out. There's a refreshing element about England, but even then they're very far from as creative as the Belgians were (Eden Hazard on his own deserved this cup), and both the Croatians and the French are not quite flowing that much this tournament, just little glimpses of their talented players here and there but not the gelled collective identity you'd expect from potential world champions such as the 2 previous ones, Germany'14 and Spain'10.

You'd expect France to win now, sure England and Croatia have a chance and they can still very well nick it, but assuming the French do it, I'm not sure they'll be remembered very fondly. This is a team of lots of sensational players: Griezmann, Mbappé, Pogba, Kanté, Varane, even Lloris deserves a mention for the great saves he's pulled, both fullbacks Hernandez and Pavard whilst not big names have been great. But I'm struggling to think of many champion teams this dull. Maybe only really Italy in 2006? At least they had Pirlo magic. Brazil 1994 were kind of like this too, but did have Romario-Bebeto on top of a dull side, Mbappé and Griezmann whilst great have not been at that level.

And who is bidding for best player award from the French? Mbappé? He had wonderfully inspired moments in this game, but I'll risk saying Hazard had a better tournament, even if he dropped in the semi-finals? Modric putting a bid for it as well if the Croatians reach the final? Can't quite see anyone from England in the running, maybe Kane but come on he's been scoring but not played THAT well as the others here?

Edited by noikeee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think Hazard dropped tonight, best player on the park by a distance for me. Looks like he's gonna be the best player in the world when Ronaldo and Messi dip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Baptista_8 said:

I don't think Hazard dropped tonight, best player on the park by a distance for me. Looks like he's gonna be the best player in the world when Ronaldo and Messi dip.

I meant his team dropped out of the cup. He was great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, noikeee said:

I meant his team dropped out of the cup. He was great.

Oh :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MoTM was Varane for me. What an absolute defender he has become. Constantly just heading out all the crosses out of his box where Fellaini and Lukaku was lurking all night.

I can't believe Matuidi in a 4-3-3 asymmetrical is working for Deschamps. While it is working, is Deschamps not able to play France in where Giroud isn't the key element? It's like Deschamps can only make France play well if it revolved around Giroud. I mean it sure isn't the worst plan, but it's wasting the talent on the bench.

Also, why was Chadli on corners? Surely someone like Hazard or De Bruyne would've been better suited because holy hell was his corners bad. All the potential aerial targets wasted.

France never looked like they were incredible all tournament but is in another tournament final. In honesty, the didn't need to be incredible, just needed what's required to win. Since this isn't the "It's coming home" thread, I can defo say this is France's cup to lose now whoever their opponent in the final is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So much talent and flair in that French squad restricted by that boring **** Deschamps, they’re doing just enough to get there but it’s so tedious. Football loses today, Belgium would have promised a far more entertaining final and from an England perspective, who wants to play a team that plays like that.

I can’t quite believe he has got to the final whilst playing Matuidi and Tolisso out wide as well as Lucas and Pavard at full back, such a hipster.

Giroud especially has annoyed me, he is utter crap this WC. He ruins the majority of their attacks but gets away with it on the basis that he’s been ‘making the player around him look better’, I don’t buy it, he shouldn’t be starting in the final. I still appreciate Giroud but stop making me watch him in this side, it’s hideous.

The no Hazard FK call was very funny, referee trying too hard.

Edited by ArsenalFan7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, ArsenalFan7 said:

So much talent and flair in that French squad restricted by that boring **** Deschamps, they’re doing just enough to get there but it’s so tedious. Football loses today, Belgium would have promised a far more entertaining final and from an England perspective, who wants to play a team that plays like that.

Giroud especially has annoyed me, he is utter crap this WC. He ruins the majority of their attacks but gets away with it on the basis that he’s been ‘making the player around him look better’, I don’t buy it, he shouldn’t be starting in the final. I still appreciate Giroud but stop making me watch him in this side, it’s hideous.

The no Hazard FK call was very funny, referee trying too hard.

He gets away with it because the manager wants that from him. I have no idea why because it is proper **** but hey ho. All managers do things differently, it's why the sport is so great on every level. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They started the cup with Dembelé instead of Giroud in a mobile front trio and it was rubbish, it improved once Giroud came onto the team.

Giroud was absolute **** tonight though. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, noikeee said:

They started the cup with Dembelé instead of Giroud in a mobile front trio and it was rubbish, it improved once Giroud came onto the team.

Giroud was absolute **** tonight though. :D

Deschamps can't seem to have a different tactic to "hoof it up to Oli". With all the players France has, he builds the team around Giroud. It could be worse, at least they're in a World Cup final.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a bad feeling that it would be France vs England in the final and now it's on England to prove me right tonight. At least if it's not coming home it's coming just next door though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, skybluedave said:

Are we gonna play Belgium again? :D Has that happened at a WC before? 2 teams facing eachother twice?

 

9 hours ago, PMLF said:

Yes, happened a few times, in 1994 Brazil drew with Sweden in the group stage, then beat them in the semis.

In 2002 Brazil beat Turkey in the group stage and in the semis.

Also, Hungary and West Germany in 1954 and Brazil/Czechoslovakia in 1962.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, adhikapp said:

 

Also, why was Chadli on corners? Surely someone like Hazard or De Bruyne would've been better suited because holy hell was his corners bad. All the potential aerial targets wasted.

 

Yea, crazy to see Chadli was on corners while KdB kicks such good corners. But I think Martinez played on safe here, keeping KdB out of the box for the second ball recuperation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting match last night. Even thought I think France deserved their win, what a pathetic way of defending out the game immediately after the goal. That was thoroughly toe-curling to watch at some moments. France is capable of doing so much more. But Deschamps seemingly knows the weaknesses of the team and wants a result over anything. Even though they played very defensive after the 1-0, it was impressive to see how they neutralised Belgium completely. I can't remember one really big chance of Belgiums who also seemed not as sharp as they were in previous matches. Nice to watch? No. Effective? Yes. If France would have been a little bit more focused during their counters we could at least have seen one or two good goals coming. Umtiti and Varane where immense in the back though :applause:

7 hours ago, adhikapp said:

MoTM was Varane for me. What an absolute defender he has become. Constantly just heading out all the crosses out of his box where Fellaini and Lukaku was lurking all night.

Yes, completely agree. Player of the tournament for me so far, he has been amazing. 

6 hours ago, noikeee said:

They started the cup with Dembelé instead of Giroud in a mobile front trio and it was rubbish, it improved once Giroud came onto the team.

Giroud was absolute **** tonight though. :D

I agree, but Giroud's role isn't so much about being the star and getting a lot of goals. His role is to make sure other players can have a better game. So far this is working pretty well for France. He is always keeping one or defenders busy which creates room for Mbappé and Griezmann. If you put someone else there France is immediately completely incapable of creating any danger through the air. 

Edited by Cedrik

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As much as you can complain that France were too defensive (I don't believe there's such a thing), Belgium completely ran out of ideas at half-time and had no way back after the goal. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The game really started off at full pelt, thought it'd be a corker but kind of slowed down a bit, maybe when everyone realised 'damn, this is the semi, a lot at stake here'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Cedrik said:

Interesting match last night. Even thought I think France deserved their win, what a pathetic way of defending out the game immediately after the goal. That was thoroughly toe-curling to watch at some moments. France is capable of doing so much more. But Deschamps seemingly knows the weaknesses of the team and wants a result over anything. Even though they played very defensive after the 1-0, it was impressive to see how they neutralised Belgium completely. I can't remember one really big chance of Belgiums who also seemed not as sharp as they were in previous matches. Nice to watch? No. Effective? Yes. If France would have been a little bit more focused during their counters we could at least have seen one or two good goals coming. Umtiti and Varane where immense in the back though :applause:

Yes, completely agree. Player of the tournament for me so far, he has been amazing. 

I agree, but Giroud's role isn't so much about being the star and getting a lot of goals. His role is to make sure other players can have a better game. So far this is working pretty well for France. He is always keeping one or defenders busy which creates room for Mbappé and Griezmann. If you put someone else there France is immediately completely incapable of creating any danger through the air. 

That's an easy get out though. He hasn't done anywhere near enough even in terms of bringing other players into the game. He's adding nothing other than a body right now.

I wouldn't say it's working well given France's success has been down to solo runs by Mbappe (with no help from Giroud) combined with top class defending. 

1 hour ago, ham_aka_stam said:

As much as you can complain that France were too defensive (I don't believe there's such a thing), Belgium completely ran out of ideas at half-time and had no way back after the goal. 

When you're such a talented side there's 100% such a thing. Agree Belgium ran out of ideas far too early though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, EnterUsernameHere said:

When you're such a talented side there's 100% such a thing. Agree Belgium ran out of ideas far too early though.

It just comes back to this idea that "talent" is creativity and attacking.  They won the game, and did so whilst creating chances and looking threatening on the break, so by definition didn't play "too defensively".  They set up not to concede, which is just as valid a tactic as setting up to score one more than the opponent IMO.  Different strokes etc.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought Kante was MOTM last night, just like pretty much every other match he plays in 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Barry Cartman said:

I thought Kante was MOTM last night, just like pretty much every other match he plays in 

I'm torn between Kante and Hazard. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, ham_aka_stam said:

It just comes back to this idea that "talent" is creativity and attacking.  They won the game, and did so whilst creating chances and looking threatening on the break, so by definition didn't play "too defensively".  They set up not to concede, which is just as valid a tactic as setting up to score one more than the opponent IMO.  Different strokes etc.  

Still don't agree. They aren't the underdogs and to me there's no excuse for a team with their attack to be so restrictive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But equally if a team with a good attack went guns blazing and lost 3-2 for example, people'd say they were irresponsible at the back and should have kept tighter so that their goals counted more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, ham_aka_stam said:

But equally if a team with a good attack went guns blazing and lost 3-2 for example, people'd say they were irresponsible at the back and should have kept tighter so that their goals counted more.

Yeah true and I was meaning to add that defending well is a talent too. 

France have taken it too far to the other side though, when you see such a quality squad so deep so early in a game it's a real shame. They haven't got their balance right*

*from an entertainment point of view, not results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Extremely surprised to see the comments from Hazard/Courtois and people in here agreeing with them. 

Belgium didn't do anywhere near enough to win that game last night, they were outplayed by a side who got their tactics right. Courtois if anything made as many key saves as Lloris did - it's not like France didn't create anything and were anti-football. And even so, they defended incredibly well which is just as much a part of the game and can certainly be entertaining to watch from that perspective. Anyone who didn't find Varane's performance last night fascinating to watch are missing out of a good chunk of what football is about. 

Personally find it's a bit over the top to say France are 'anti-football'/should be ashamed etc. Especially having watched Newcastle last season :D 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wasn't anti-football but France made sure they were always in balance, not allowing quick breaks from Belgium.

When they got the goal (from a set piece) the game kinda died, Belgium out of ideas and France didn't need ideas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Neil Brock said:

Extremely surprised to see the comments from Hazard/Courtois and people in here agreeing with them. 

Belgium didn't do anywhere near enough to win that game last night, they were outplayed by a side who got their tactics right. Courtois if anything made as many key saves as Lloris did - it's not like France didn't create anything and were anti-football. And even so, they defended incredibly well which is just as much a part of the game and can certainly be entertaining to watch from that perspective. Anyone who didn't find Varane's performance last night fascinating to watch are missing out of a good chunk of what football is about. 

Personally find it's a bit over the top to say France are 'anti-football'/should be ashamed etc. Especially having watched Newcastle last season :D 

Smacks of absolute sour grapes. Belgium had no plan once KdB was taken out of passing through the middle.

France actually created the better chances too.

Belgium played pretty but largely ineffective football. Like a classic FM player

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't think France were particularly negative after they'd scored, especially since Belgium had more possession from the start.

Might be a bit of a surprise France didn't try to control possession considering they're marginally the bigger team on paper and Belgium had Nacer Chadli playing at fullback, but the tactic worked and resulted in more chances for them than the Belgium. Game was much, much more watchable than France in the group stages too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

France playing like your typical team that usually wins it.

They look far from impressive when they're attacking through possession considering they talent, they're deadly on counters and set pieces and look unbeatable at the back.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Vynal Seven said:

ajw. In his defence though I don’t think he said that Kante isn’t good enough, just that Kante wouldn’t fit Arsenal’s style. Considering Kante had just won back to back league titles you’d have to say ajw had a point. 

Also didn't want Higuain, Aguero, Vardy and Mahrez, but was overjoyed when they signed Welbeck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, themadsheep2001 said:

Smacks of absolute sour grapes. Belgium had no plan once KdB was taken out of passing through the middle.

France actually created the better chances too.

Belgium played pretty but largely ineffective football. Like a classic FM player

Harsh (the sour grapes part). Rightly or wrongly they've been critical of what they've saw as poor football in the past, even when their own Chelsea/Belgium teams have done it.

Agree on the rest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Cedrik said:

Interesting match last night. Even thought I think France deserved their win, what a pathetic way of defending out the game immediately after the goal. That was thoroughly toe-curling to watch at some moments. France is capable of doing so much more. But Deschamps seemingly knows the weaknesses of the team and wants a result over anything. Even though they played very defensive after the 1-0, it was impressive to see how they neutralised Belgium completely. I can't remember one really big chance of Belgiums who also seemed not as sharp as they were in previous matches. Nice to watch? No. Effective? Yes. If France would have been a little bit more focused during their counters we could at least have seen one or two good goals coming. Umtiti and Varane where immense in the back though :applause:

Yes, completely agree. Player of the tournament for me so far, he has been amazing. 

I agree, but Giroud's role isn't so much about being the star and getting a lot of goals. His role is to make sure other players can have a better game. So far this is working pretty well for France. He is always keeping one or defenders busy which creates room for Mbappé and Griezmann. If you put someone else there France is immediately completely incapable of creating any danger through the air. 

Olivier Giroud = l'Heskey de la France

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

France this WC is reminiscent of a Mourinho side with all the creativity and attacking talent sapped out by the manager. From a neutral perspective, it’s the annoyance of wanting to see more because there’s so much more to give from this French side.

Their defence is undeniably impressive but throughout, they’ve been stagnant on the attack. I’d be curious to see what it would be like with a different figure to Giroud up top, it does seem to me as though he’s simply too slow to keep up with Mbappe and Griezmann this WC, not helped by having Matuidi to his left.

Can’t deny France deserved the win but Belgium’s outlook is the football I enjoy, would have much preferred them in the final given they promise a more open game. It is what it is, France’s to lose now.

I suppose it’s more an issue with my preference of football than any real issue for France, they get the job done after all.

Edited by ArsenalFan7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Belgium also defended their way out of the game against Brazil. I too enjoyed the Belgians a lot, but also they show elements of defensive play with the emphasis on their counter. Actually I can't think of any top side that was constantly on the attack this WC, perhaps Germany and Spain, but we all know how that ended. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really gutting loss, in the first half it looked like we were going to do it. 3 times we came very close to scoring but either Lloris or a bit of bad luck were in the way. Second half we just couldn't find a way through anymore and against this defense you know it's going to be tough. France defend superbly and haven't stolen the win, they had their chances to score as well.

Hazard though, what a special player. When he's on a mission he's just phenomenal. He has put his name firmly at the top of Belgian football history this tournament.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...