Argentina beat France on penalties after a thrilling 3-3 draw last Sunday, but plenty of people – largely in France – are unhappy at what went on and would like the match to be replayed
Lionel Messi may have lifted the trophy, Argentina may have taken it back home to their people, and Emi Martinez may still be winding French people up, but last Sunday’s World Cup final should be replayed according to a popular petition.
As of Friday morning almost 200,000 people had signed a petition on the… you guessed it… French website MesOpinions calling for the match which took place last Sunday to be started from scratch.
The South Americans roared into a 2-0 lead in the Qatar capital, with Messi notching from the spot after Ousmane Dembele was judged to have pulled down Angel Di Maria.
It was Di Maria who then doubled the lead after a fine, flowing counter attack when he finished off a pass from Alex Mac Allister.
France were a poor imitation of themselves in the first half, with coach Didier Deschamps opting to bring off both Dembele and Olivier Giroud four minutes before half-time and replace them with attackers Marcus Thuram and Randal Kolo Muani.
The pair did at least inspire some improvement in the French, but it wasn’t until 10 minutes from time that France got themselves back into the game when Thuram was fouled by Nicolas Otemendi in the box, with Kylian Mbappe scoring from the spot.
Mbappe then thrillingly, remarkably – well, you know by now – fired France level with fierce, taking the game into a frantic period of extra-time.
Messi thought he’d won it there with his close range shot, only for Mbappe to complete his hat-trick from the penalty spot and take us into a shootout, where Gonzalo Montiel won it for Argentina after Martinez had saved from Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni had fired wide.
So, why do a couple of hundred thousand people in France want the game to be replayed?
Well, a) because they lost, and b) because of, according to the petition, apparent issues with both of Argentina’s first two goals.
Despite referee Szymon Marciniak garnering widespread praise for his performance, it is argued that it wasn’t a foul by Dembele on Di Maria for the opening penalty. The contact was certainly minimal, but it did cause the winger to topple in the box.
It is then argued that Mbappe was fouled in the build-up to the brilliant counter-attack before Di Maria’s goal, with some fans seeing Cristian Romero as the culprit.