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World Cup 2018 - Kylian Mbappe stars as ruthless France beat Belgium to reach World Cup final

Ruthless France beat Belgium to reach World Cup final

10/07/2018 at 19:55Updated 11/07/2018 at 00:43

World Cup, Semi-Final – France 1 (Umtiti 51’) Belgium 0

France delivered a ruthless performance to reach the World Cup final with a 1-0 win over Belgium in St Petersburg.

Samuel Umtiti delivered the knockout blow with a flicked header shortly after half-time, beating Marouane Fellaini to the corner deliver.

But it was PSG star Kylian Mbappe who was the real star of the game, running Belgium ragged with his remarkable mix of pace and skill.

France will face either Croatia or England in Sunday’s final.

TALKING POINT

Is that the last throes of the golden generation? Belgium's squad have oodles of talent and big stars - was this their last chance to really impress on the biggest stages?

MAN OF THE MATCH

Kylian Mbappe (France). Another sparkling display from the young man, teasing out absolute frustration from the men attempting to mark him.

PLAYER RATINGS

France - Lloris 7, Pavard 7, Varane 8, Umtiti 8, Hernandez 7, Pogba 7, Kante 8, Mbappe 9, Griezmann 7, Matuidi 8, Giroud 7. Subs - Tolisso 7, N'Zonzi 7

Belgium - Courtois 7, Alderweireld 7, Kompany 7, Vertonghen 6, Chadli 6, Fellaini 7, Dembele 7, Witsel 7, De Bruyne 7, E Hazard 7, Lukaku 7. Subs - Batshuayi 7, Carrasco 7, Mertens 8.

KEY MOMENTS

15' CHANCE! France lose possession again, and Hazard is at an awkwardly acute angle and drags his shot wide of the far post.

22' SAVE! Another great save as Alderweireld turns on the edge of the box and hits it with his left foot, and Courtois gets his fingertips to it.

31' CLOSE! Pavard sweeps the ball in towards Giroud, just a touch behind him, and he can't quite get the connection he wants.

45'+1 CHANCE! De Bruyne gets the ball in early, Umtiti deflects it just out of the path of Lukaku, who looks thoroughly confused.

51' GOAL! Umtiti gets the goal to break the deadlock! It's a great header as he leaps alongside Fellaini and nods the corner home.

56' CHANCE! Matuidi falls backwards as his shot is blocked by Alderweireld, and it then falls to Giroud after a smartly impudent roll from Mbappe, but his shot is flicked away by Courtois.

90'+1 CLOSE! Tolisso keeps his shot low and Courtois once again comes to the rescue, tipping the ball round the post.

KEY STATS

Four of the last six goals for France in the World Cup semi-finals have come from defenders: Marius Trésor in 1982, Lilian Thuram (2) in 1998 and Samuel Umtiti in 2018.

Didier Deschamps is the first ever manager in France history to reach the final of two major tournaments (EURO 2016 and World Cup 2018).

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