The first set of the two semi-finals was set to deliver some fireworks. We were not disappointed. Samuel Umtiti’s second-half header was enough to send France to the World Cup final. However, Kylian Mbappe will be on the front pages once again after delivering another exciting performance from the young lad.
Samuel Umtiti Header Sends France Crazy
Belgium looked the most threatening team in the first 45 minutes. France needed one opportunity to take the lead in St Petersburg. Set-pieces have been the golden ticket for goals this tournament and once again was in use for France’s opener. Griezmann delivered a dangerous corner and Umtiti guided the ball past Thibaut Courtois. Marouane Fellaini should be disappointed after letting his man get in front of him. But the Belgium keeper had no chance of keeping the French defender’s header out. The Barcelona man also provided a rock solid defence as Belgium’s front three struggled to break down Les Bleus’ wall.
Kylian Mbappe Shines Again
Even though the 19-year-old failed to add to his tally, he will once again steal the headlines from Umtiti after another exciting performance. The PSG attacker made no impact in the first half for France but came to life in the second 45 minutes. Jan Vertonghen, playing as an inverted left-back, showed the pace of young Frenchman with the ball at his feet. But one moment of magic was when Mbappe performed a roulette on the edge of the box which found Oliver Giroud but failed to score.
His name will now be in the newspaper along with Cristiano Ronaldo with Madrid now looking for the next Galactico. Kylian Mbappe is one of the few names being linked as his move to PSG may still not happen due to Financial Fair Play. Based on the performance tonight, he has the potential to be the best and could be the perfect replacement for CR7.
Belgium Golden Generation Ending
This was Belgium’s best chance at World Cup glory before certain players hang up their boots. The likes of Vicent Kompany, Jan Vertoghen and Mousa Dembele will all unlikely be in Qatar in four years. However, the attack will not change with Eden Hazard set to become even better along with Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku. So the attack is not ending, and with a few promising midfielders coming through, such as Youri Tielemans, Belgium will still be one to keep your eye on. Is the golden generation really ending? Well, the leaders will be gone and a few gaps in defence but they will still have one of the best attacks in world football.