England’s World Cup dream was brought to an end by reigning world champions Franceon Saturday evening.
And our Man of the Match is …
Olivier Giroud (France)
The narrative in the aftermath of this match was almost a tale of two moments from France’s Aurélien Tchouaméni – one brilliant, and one not so brilliant.
For many, the narrative will be a tale of two Harry Kane penalties – one brilliant, and one not so brilliant.
But really, it was a tale of two strikers – one who has already made some history in Qatar, and one who came agonisingly close to doing so.
The penalty Kane scored was his 53rd goal for England and it meant he equalled Wayne Rooney’s all-time goalscoring record for the Three Lions.
But when presented with the chance to break that record with a second penalty, Kane missed.
And it meant the match was decided by Olivier Giroud – a man who knows all about being the greatest goalscorer in his nation’s history.
Much of the build-up to this match centred around how England would cope with Kylian Mbappé, and in the end the Paris Saint-Germain striker had one of his quieter evenings.
Keeping Mbappé quiet was not enough for Gareth Southgate’s side however, and they couldn’t prevent Antoine Griezmann from notching up two assists which meant he overtook Thierry Henry and Zinedine Zidane in that particular metric.
And England couldn’t stop Giroud from scoring a typically Giroud goal either, as he just managed to get the edge on Harry Maguire to head home at the near post.
The AC Milan hitman had missed a chance to score just moments earlier, and England’s biggest crime on the night was giving him another sniff of goal so soon after.
Giroud didn’t score a single goal as Franceromped to World Cup glory in Russia in 2018, but four years later the 36-year-old is already on four at this tournament.
And if they go on to retain their crown, Giroud’s winner against England will be remembered as one of the most important goals in Les Bleus’ illustrious history