Paul Pogba celebrating France's win over Belgium.

Pogba and France through to the World Cup final

Tuesday 10 July 2018 21:15

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba will contest the World Cup final on Sunday - potentially against four Reds team-mates in the England squad - after France secured a 1-0 win over Marouane Fellaini and Romelu Lukaku’s Belgium in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

After a goalless first half in which both nations missed good opportunities, namely through Toby Alderweireld and Benjamin Pavard, the deadlock was eventually broken on 51 minutes when Samuel Umtiti got in front of Fellaini to powerfully head past towering goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. 

Pogba started the match once again as part of France’s highly effective midfield trio that also consisted of N'Golo Kante and Blaise Matuidi. That hard-working triumvirate was especially impressive after the opening goal, with Paul showing his strength on more than one occasion.

Lukaku went into the match with four tournament goals to his name and a mesmerising performance against Brazil in the previous round, yet the powerhouse striker saw little of the ball and was helpless when a Kevin De Bruyne cross flew agonisingly past him on 88 minutes.

France probably should have doubled their advantage in added time when Bayern Munich’s Corentin Tolisso was played in on goal, but his effort was well saved by the solid Chelsea stopper Courtois.

Fellaini and Lukaku will now prepare for the competition’s third-place play-off on Saturday, while Pogba is looking forward to what is clearly the biggest match of his career: the World Cup final. 

Rio Ferdinand speaking on the BBC…

“Set pieces have decided many games in this tournament and the importance was shown again today. Kylian Mbappe was great, but Pogba showed today why he went for so much money. His discipline, which he has been called out for before, seems to have come into play, there is an understanding about his game and a maturity. It was not just today, but throughout this tournament. He has grown and grown and grown. He emerged out of this game as the top midfielder on the pitch.”
Might this France side go on to win the World Cup on Sunday?