‘We were lucky’ – former Chelsea and France hero Olivier Giroud reacts after knocking England out of World Cup


France star Olivier Giroud says he can sympathise with England after his header knocked Gareth Southgate’s side out of the 2022 World Cup. The former Arsenal and Chelsea striker secured Les Bleus’ 2-1 win on Saturday to send his country through to the semi-finals in Qatar.

= France played well, with Didier Deschamps’ game plan working perfectly, but few wouldn’t disagree that England were the better team over the 90 minutes. Giroud appeared to agree with this sentiment somewhat, suggesting that on another day the result may well have gone the Three Lions’ way.

‘Maybe they deserved more but at the end of the day it’s small details that make the difference at this level,’ the 36-year-old told ITV.

It remind me a bit of the game against Belgium [at the 2018 World Cup semi-final] where we were 1-0 up and we had to defend, to show a lot of slidairy, generousity.

‘We’ve shown it again today. At the end, we were very efficient in their box. It’s football you know small margins.’

The game was however marred by numerous poor refereeing decisions, with France’s opening goal from Aurelien Tchouameni not ruled out despite a clear foul on Bukayo Saka in the build-up. The awarding of England’s second penalty, which Harry Kane missed, was also a ridiculous moment, with the referee only giving it after consulting VAR, despite having a clear view of Mason Mount being barged to the ground by Theo Hernandez. Giroud wasn’t so sure however, adding:

‘I was telling the ref it was a tough decision to give the penalty. ‘This kind of foul you see it every single game. The striker didn’t expect the defender behind him but I get that every single game and felt it was a bit harsh! ‘I didn’t say anything to Harry, I was just talking to the ref but you can’t undo anything. He took the decision and then we were lucky that he didn’t put it in the back of the net.’

France move onto the semi-finals where they’ll play Morocco on Wednesday, as they bid to become the first team for 60 years to win back to back World Cups.

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