Home / Euro 2016 / Portugal vs France a few quick thoughts – actually a lot

Portugal vs France a few quick thoughts – actually a lot

Portugal-vs-France-Prediction-and-Tips

  • It was all set for France to win in front of their own fans last night and only Portugal had other ideas in mind 
  • They themselves know what’s it like to lose a major tournament final as hosts when they lost the 2004 final to shock winners Greece
  • But last night Cristiano Ronaldo finally managed to evoke the ghosts of Lisbon 2004 even if he played a particularly small part in last nights proceedings
  • That was due to the fact that he was clattered by Dimitri Payet in the first few minutes
  • It was clumsy more than malicious but it left the Real Madrid superstar hobbling around the pitch
  • He was bought off for a lengthy spell of treatment without even 10 minutes being on the clock
  • A valiant return to the pitch saw him hobble around and then crumple to the floor
  • For Ronaldo his role in the on pitch activities was over
  • That and he had to suffer being attacked by moths in front of a global achieve
  • Even with him not on the pitch the focus and the story of the night was all about Ronaldo
  • Could his teammates lead Portugal to victory without their talisman on the pitch
  • Like most major finals it was a cagey affair
  • France’s hero Anyone Griezmann had an early effort loop over the bar as both sides felt each other out in the opening exchanges
  • France’s side was unchanged from the last two matches which meant both Samuel Umtiti and Moussa Sissoko kept their places in the starting lineup
  • It must be said that Sissoko was phenomenal for France
  • He certainly overshadowed Paul Pogba
  • Pogba weighed down by the expectations and the talk of a £100m move to Manchester United failed to impose himself on the game
  • Whereas Sissoko was lively throughout, Newcastle fans would have been thinking if that was the same man who turned out at St James Park last season
  • Pepe was drafted back in for Portugal after his thigh injury and like him or loathe him he was phenomenal last night
  • Cristiano Rinaldo’s club teammate simply didn’t put a foot wrong all night
  • The first 45 minutes didn’t bring much in all honesty the cageyness of a final was showing
  • France were lacking the spring in their step from the last two matches were big game nerves getting the better of them?
  • Unfortunately the second half was only slightly better than the first
  • This final now missing it’s biggest star was now missing the all important thing a goal
  • And for the majority of the fans in attendance it was a French goal that was required
  • Antoine Griezmann missed a quilt edged header from six yards
  • In the form he has been in during this tournament you would have bet your house on him getting his 7th goal of the tournament but his effort flashed past the post
  • Oliver Giroud made way for Pierre- Alan Gignac. The Arsenal player failing to live up to the big game occasion
  • But it would be the Mexican based Gignac who would have the best chance of the game in the last minute of the off
  • After neat footwork in the area he cut inside with the goal at his mercy
  • He could only scuff his shot off Rui Patricio’s post and the subsequent rebound bounced away from Griezmann who was looking to follow up at the far post
  • Agony for France
  • Was that the moment in which victory was to elude them
  • The two teams couldn’t be split in 90 minutes and now they would go to Extra Time
  • It must be said that at this point Portugal found a new lease of life and were now much more the aggressors
  • They were prepared to sit back in normal time but they could sense that France were on the ropes, they just had to find the knockout punch
  • The first 15 minute period failed to find a goal as the tie looked like it was edging towards penalties
  • France now looked nervy
  • Portugal were presented with a free kick on the edge of the area with 12 minutes left
  • Borussia Dortmund’s new signing Raphael Guerreiro stepped up and saw his effort rattle the frame of the goal
  • The prospect of penalties was now looming ever closer
  • But Portugal had an unlikely ace up their sleeve
  • Swansea flop Eder had come on as a substitute and with 11 minutes to go he picked up the ball in a relatively safe position
  • He then ran at a weary Laurent Koscielny, first beating him and then shrugging off any efforts to halt his run
  • He then let fly from fully 25 yards and saw his shot fizz past the ailing Hugo Lloris
  • Portugal had their hero and were now minutes away from a first ever international tournament victory
  • A goal worthy of winning any major final
  • It was now desperation for France but they were reduced to half chances and half hearted penalty appeals
  • The focus had now shifted to Portugal’s touchlibe where Ronaldo wasn’t just kicking every ball he was the de facto manager
  • You could see how much victory would mean to him even if he did have to sit out the majority of the game
  • Those few minutes turned into an agonising wait but once Mark Clattenburg signalled for full time the Real Madrid star would have to wait no longer
  • He had finally joined the pantheon of greatest ever footballers by adding a major international tournament win to his trophy haul
  • Something that Lionel Messi has failed to do
  • Heartbreak for France and a huge opportunity missed
  • The country really needed this win arguably more than the team but it just was not to be
  • For Portugal as winners it does raise question over having 24 teams in the tournament and how a winner of the competition can finish 3rd in their group and still go on to claim success
  • The purists may not have appreciated the victory last night but you certainly wouldn’t have got any complaints from Portugal fans
  • Were Portugal the best team in the tournament?
  • The evidence of winning just one game in 90 minutes says it all really
  • But they didn’t worry about winning pretty they just won and that is what you need in tournament Football like this
  • Portugal the winners of a competition that had great memories but was not particularly memorable
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