Raphael Varane in action for France

Varane through as United trio are knocked out

Saturday 10 December 2022 18:37

Manchester United centre-back Raphael Varane is into the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup following France's 2-1 win over England.

A resolute display at the back from our Frenchman saw England struggle to score from open play, with their only goal of the game coming from the penalty spot. 

Goals from Aurelien Tchouameni and Olivier Giroud were enough to see Les Bleus through, despite Harry Kane's second-half penalty. 

Unfortunately it marks the end of the road for our English trio in Qatar - Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire - who narrowly miss out on a place in the last four. 

Maguire reacts and Mbappe celebrates after France's opening goal.

The scintillating quarter-final clash between France and England lived up to expectations, as an end-to-end encounter ensued from the off. 

Didier Deschamps's side enjoyed the first effort on goal, with Giroud's header saved comfortably by Jordan Pickford. 

French fans would only have to wait 17 minutes for their first goal of the game, though, with Tchouameni's sublime strike from long range nestling into the bottom corner to give the defending world champions the lead. 

Shaw came close to hitting back almost instantly for the Three Lions, but his free-kick was gathered calmly by Hugo Lloris. 

England came out into the second half flying, and just five minutes in were gifted a route back into the game from the penalty spot. Quick one-two play down the right saw Bukayo Saka dribble into the box, where he was taken down by Tchouameni, leaving the referee no choice but to award a spot-kick. 

Three Lions captain Kane stepped up, face to face with his Tottenham team-mate Hugo Lloris, and he scored emphatically, sending France's keeper the wrong way and shifting the momentum in his team's favour. 

Maguire came close to heading his nation ahead after latching onto a Jordan Henderson free-kick, but his header narrowly skimmed the post and went wide. 

Less than 10 minutes from the end, Giroud restored France's lead. His nation's all-time leading scorer, he came agonisingly close to putting them ahead initially, but for an excellent save from Pickford. Minutes later, however, the Milan striker was on the end of a ball into the box to head home. 

Reds duo bow out with Portugal


Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot's national team have been eliminated from the World Cup.

Southgate made a handful of changes towards the end of the 90, in search of an equalising goal, and it looked as though that moment had come when Mason Mount was bundled over in the box by Theo Hernandez, resulting in England's second penalty of the game. 

On this occasion, though, Kane's kick flew over the bar. 

Rashford was introduced late on, and stepped up to take a free-kick on the edge of the area in what was ultimately the final act of the game - his effort very nearly found the top corner of the goal, with Lloris left stranded. 

Raphael Varane is into the semi-finals with France, thanks to a winning goal by Olivier Giroud.

It wasn't to be for England, but Varane and France are now one win away from a second consecutive World Cup final. 

Les Bleus will face the tournament's surprise package, Morocco, in the semi-finals on Wednesday 14 December with kick-off at 19:00 GMT.