France reach third World Cup final after beating Belgium in semifinal

Vincent Kompany

Vincent Kompany

With Ngolo Kante, Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi and Kylian Mbappe holding the midfield and depriving the Belguim forwards the space to carry out their it intend, Romelu Lukaku was left isolated in spite of good efforts by Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Fellaini, while Moussa Dembele, Nacer Chadli and Axel Witsel just ran around. It was a deserved win by Didier Deschamp's team, which had 19 shots, 10 more than Belgium. "We play better football, in a style that suits me".

"We need to regroup and recover and see the opportunity".

"We know all these players so well".

Tuesday's semifinal in Saint Petersburg sees team mates from English champions Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur go head to head, as well as rivalries between club colleagues from Barcelona, Paris St Germain, and Monaco.

"My team will be ready for a variety of situations", he said. It is a possibility. "We adapt the way we play against our opponent and this is his credit".

Lloris was superb against Roberto Martinez's men and one piece of brilliance from the Spurs star in particular is likely to be remembered as a key moment in the game as many in the stadium and watching at home would have been forgiven for thinking that Belgium were milliseconds away from taking the lead. Portugal's Golden Generation - the one of Luis Figo et al, for whom the term was coined - fell at the very last hurdle in Euro 2004; England's, the team of Rooney, Lampard and Gerrard, couldn't make it out of the round of 16 and the group stage in 2010 and 2014 respectively; and now Belgium's has fallen to a French team that is possibly yet to reach its peak.

France usually line up with a 4-2-3-1 while Belgium deploys a 3-4-2-1 but are quite unpredictable with their approach as they lined-up with a 4-3-3 formation against Brazil.

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Goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris echoed Deschamps' sentiments on Henry and called the occasion "special".

No more so than on Tuesday as they edged Belgium in the semi-final to put themselves within one game of a second World Cup win, 20 years after their first.

"Thierry's heart will be split". You're disappointed because you lose the semi-final, and it's very hard to see the opportunity of playing another game as a positive.

Regarding this being the most talented French team that Lloris has played with, he responded that he will "only be able to say at the end of our World Cup".

"When you face a great team such as the Belgian team, you do have to adapt your play, and you have to adapt to their comfort zones".

Les Bleus are headed to the World Cup final.

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