Mbappe fires France to World Cup quarters

first_imgEmbattled Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli had promised an “aggressive, attacking” approach from his side.But his fears over the superior speed of the French strikers were quickly proven right when Mbappe sprinted from his own half until he was hauled down by Marcos Rojo.Antoine Griezmann coolly converted the 13th minute penalty.But Mbappe’s PSG teammate Angel Di Maria levelled with a 41st minute long-range stunner and the South Americans were back in what was proving a superb match.Argentina took a 2-1 lead minutes after the restart when Gabriel Mercado clipped Messi’s low curling shot past Hugo Lloris, but that was Messi’s only real contribution in the match.Defender Benjamin Pavard’s stunning half-volley levelled for France on 57 minutes and as Argentina lost hope, Mbappe struck in the 64th and 68th minute to seal France’s place in the last eight.The last time France lost a World Cup game after taking the lead was in 1982, against Poland.Argentine had calls for first-half penalties too when the ball skimmed Samuel Umtiti’s arm, then when Messi tumbled as he was played into the area, were waved away.France had looked in control, but the stakes changed dramatically minutes before the interval.Cristian Pavon, on the left flank, found Di Maria unmarked 25 yards out from goal and he unleashed a thunderbolt that flew past a diving Lloris and into the top right-hand corner.Di Maria, one of several Albiceleste players criticised for underperfoming in their group games, made amends by setting up Argentina’s second.Billed as Messi’s chance to reignite stuttering Argentina’s hopes, the thrilling last 16 clash in Kazan instead saw 19-year-old Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe grab the limelight as he became the youngest player since Pele in 1958 to score two goals in a World Cup match.He twisted and turned on the left side of the area to win a free kick, after Pavard’s tug, and when Banega’s free kick was cleared by Pogba it fell to Messi.His curled shot looked innocuous, but Mercado stuck a foot out to wrong-footed Lloris.Minutes later, Les Bleus were level, Pavard matching Di Maria’s effort with a superbly-struck half-volley with the outside of his right boot that spun past Argentina ‘keeper Franco Armani after Blaise Matuidi’s wayward cross found the Stuttgart defender.Despite a late consolation for Argentinan when Sergio Aguero headed Messi’s superb long cross past Lloris in stoppage time, Mbappe had already well and truly stolen the show.When Matuidi’s shot was blocked just after the hour, Mbappe was on hand to restore France’s lead with a low shot past Armani.Four minutes later the teenager ran on to Olivier Giroud’s perfect pass on a France counter to drive it low past Armani and spark mass celebrations on the French bench.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Kyllian Mbappe celebrates one of his two goals during the World Cup Round of 16 match against Argentina on June 30, 2018. PHOTO/FIFAKAZAN, Russia, Jun 30 – Teenage star Kylian Mbappe struck twice and earned another goal as France finally found their attacking edge to beat Lionel Messi’s Argentina 4-3 and move into the quarter-finals of the World Cup on Saturday.Billed as Messi’s chance to reignite stuttering Argentina’s hopes, the thrilling last 16 clash in Kazan instead saw 19-year-old Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe grab the limelight as he became the youngest player since Pele in 1958 to score two goals in a World Cup match.last_img read more

Emery believes Gunners will gain from Ozil’s Germany exile

first_img0Shares0000Mesut Ozil (second right) scores Arsenal’s second goal in a 2-1 win away to Newcastle in the English Premier League on Saturday © AFP / Lindsey PARNABYNEWCASTLE, United Kingdom, Sep 15 – Unai Emery is confident that Arsenal can be the major beneficiaries from Mesut Ozil’s acrimonious retirement from international football.The 29-year-old announced in June that he would no longer represent his country following Germany’s disappointing World Cup campaign in Russia, where they were knocked out in the group stage. Ozil claimed he was made a scapegoat for the high-profile failure, and cited “racism and disrespect” over his Turkish roots as a major factor in his decision to bring the curtain down on a career at the highest level which included 92 games, 23 goals and a 2014 World Cup winners’ medal.After initially failing to impress new Arsenal manager Emery, Ozil has answered the Spaniard’s public call to impose himself more on games, backing up an influential display in the victory at Cardiff by scoring his first Premier League goal since December to help secure a third consecutive victory, a 2-1 win at struggling Newcastle on Saturday.Ozil looked refreshed at St James’ Park after being given time off during the recent international break, playing a prominent role in a deserved success which saw Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka open the scoring for the Gunners.“Of course it’s a new way for Mesut (after his international retirement), and we want him to show his quality in his performance each day in training and in each match,” said Arsenal coach Emery.“We want to see the best of him and today he worked very well, took his goal nicely and he continues to work to help the team,” added Emery, given the daunting task of succeeding Arsene Wenger as Arsenal manager following the Frenchman’s near 22 years in charge of the London club.– ‘Need to improve’ –Arsenal coach Unai Emery shouts instructions from the touchline at St James’ Park on Saturday © AFP / Lindsey PARNABYAfter leading Arsenal to their first back-to-back away wins in the top flight for 16 months, Emery stressed the importance of finding a consistency of results on the road as he looks to lead the Gunners back towards a top-four finish after a two-season absence from the Champions League.“We need to improve for ourself and for the challenge,” said Emery. “It is challenging away from home, and we need to be competitive.“We are happy to win away and we need to continue that, because we need to improve and be more competitive. Today the team showed us important things.”Ciaran Clark pulled a goal back in stoppage time for Newcastle, but it wasn’t enough to prevent them going down to a defeat to match those they had already suffered by the same scoreline against Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Manchester City earlier this season.Newcastle remain in the bottom three with a single point, their joint-worst start to a Premier League campaign after five games.But Magpies manager Rafa Benitez remained confident his side could climb away from danger in their attempt to repeat last season’s impressive 10th-place finish.“It’s a difficult time because you have to win games, but I’m not concerned because I know my team and I know that we can do well,” said Benitez.“We’ve run all the top sides we’ve played close so far this season. Arsenal had two shots on target and they scored two goals,” the Spaniard added.“The fans can see the bigger picture. To lose by a narrow margin against the top sides is something we could expect, but having said that we’re not happy about it.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more