So it’s France that go through to the quarter finals as Spain’s World Cup took on more familar form last night. They started well but faded as the game went on and you have to say that France were the better side even if they did play defensively for most of the game.
It was 1-1 with 10 minutes to go when Thierry Henry collided with Carles Puyol and fell to the ground clutching his face. From the resulting free kick Patrick Vieira put the French ahead. There’s been lots of debate about Henry’s actions and that kind of thing is not something you normally associate with him. I suppose that’s what there’s been so much debate. We expect better from him and that’s why people are talking about it and ignoring the countless other players who do it all the time. It will be interesting to see if he has anything to say about it.
He has had run-ins in recent times with Puyol and his certainly won’t feel like he has anything to apologise to Aragones for but for most of us it wasn’t nice to see the Arsenal captain resort to that. To be fair he didn’t roll around for long, it was just the face clutching which was not right. It is out of character for the man though and that needs to be pointed out. A one off indiscretion, we hope.
Zidane sealed the game late on and after the final whistle the French danced up and down a little prematurely in my opinion. They’re only into the 1/4s where we’ll see a replay of the 98 final against Brazil.
I thought Cesc did well for Spain who offered little or nothing of an attacking threat. He will have learnt a lot from the World Cup experience and he was visibly upset at the end of the game. Ribery scored a good goal for France, Torres was pretty much anonymous throughout apart from a dive in the box which should have seen him booked. Reyes didn’t get a game at all.
Not much else happening. An agent in Spain yesterday rubbished claims that Arsene Wenger has already signed a deal to become the new Real Madrid manager, but I think we all knew that already.
Anyway, have to run. More tomorrow.