Anonymous Messi earns a 6 as Argentina crash out of the World Cup

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Lionel Messi's World Cup dream will have to be put on hold again.

Lionel Messi was powerless to prevent Argentina crashing out of the World Cup on Saturday after a 4-3 loss to France in their round of 16 clash.

Some of his teammates came to the fore instead, but it wasn’t enough to get their side into the quarter-finals.

Here’s how the players rated:

ARGENTINA

Franco Armani 5 – He should have done better with Mbappe’s first goal, which put France back on top and allowed them to keep the momentum going. A shaky performance all round.

Gabriel Mercado 6 – Knew nothing about his goal – indeed, he was trying to get his foot out of the way of Messi’s shot. Was put under the cosh by France’s speedy attack.

Marcos Rojo 3 – Couldn’t handle Mbappe’s pace, giving away a cheap penalty and struggling constantly. Was duly taken off at half-time.

Nicolas Otamendi 5 – Looked a far cry from the defender whose passing has made him a Pep Guardiola favourite at Manchester City. This was a thuggish performance – and a poor one.

Nicolas Tagliafico 5 – Among the many players made to look a step too slow by Mbappe, as the young Frenchman proved too much for his Argentine counterpart.

Enzo Perez 5 – Helped maintain possession but offered little thrust for Argentina. Looked a little unsure of himself.

Javier Mascherano 5 – A typically robust display in midfield, as Mascherano would pop up everywhere to try and get Argentina going. His age showed in a few mistimed tackles and was perhaps lucky to stay on the field.

Ever Banega 7 – Argentina’s best player on the day, as he tried as often as he could to find the perfect pass to unleash his attackers. It was his pass that found Di Maria in space to gloriously level the scores at 1-1.

Cristian Pavon 6 – Was an ever-willing runner on Argentina’s right side, but his crossing was wasteful.

Lionel Messi 6 – It says something about Messi’s quality that a below-par display from him still sees the Barcelona man get two assists. But he was well contained by France’s defence.

Angel Di Maria 7 – Scored an utter screamer to get Argentina back in the game, a much-needed goal as French had threatened to run away with the tie.

SUBSTITUTES

Federico Fazio 6 – Came on at the start of the second half for Rojo, but although he wasn’t as reckless, he didn’t fare much better against Mbappe and the rest of France’s attack.

Sergio Aguero 7 – Was largely anonymous after coming on from the bench, but scored a late header to give Argentina hope of an unlikely comeback.

Maximiliano Meza 6 – Came on for Pavon and played in much the same vein, not doing much to help his side be any more incisive.

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Kylian Mbappe is our Hero of the Day after his brilliant brace sees France reach the World Cup quarter-finals

Matt Jones 30/06/2018
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Brought to you by Dior Sauvage

France finally sparked into life at the World Cup and booked a quarter-final berth as Kylian Mbappe’s brace saw them beat Argentina 4-3.

Antoine Griezmann fired them in front from the penalty spot early on before Angel Di Maria’s brilliant long-range effort drew La Albiceleste level.

Argentina then took the lead when Gabriel Mercado deflected in Lionel Messi’s effort, but Les Bleus stormed back in front via Benjamin Pavard’s contender for goal of the tournament and Mbappe’s driven first.

The Paris Saint-Germain star then finished a fine team move to make it 4-2, with Sergio Aguero’s late header proving in vain.

Here, we analyse the performance of France’s flamboyant striker Mbappe, who truly stamped his mark on the 2018 World Cup.

STATISTICS

01 07 hero of day mbappe

30-SECOND REPORT

France had flattered to deceive so far, but it was almost as if the whistle to get the last 16 under way was the catalyst for Didier Deschamps’ giants to rise from their slumber. Mbappe was certainly wide awake from the start, tearing Argentina’s porous defence to shreds throughout.

His blistering pace forced Marcos Rojo to concede an early penalty while his second-half brace settled the contest. France have finally turned up and it’s their youngest player leading the way.

GOT RIGHT

Movement – He was constantly alert whenever France were in possession, looking to stretch an Argentine defence who have looked alarmingly suspicious. His run for the Griezmann penalty looked unstoppable, indeed only a foul from Rojo could end it. His run and touch to get onto the end of Pogba’s sublime pass which then led to a free-kick shortly after was a joy to behold.

Making a difference – Arguably the finest young talent on the planet, but we’d been waiting for him to really arrive at the World Cup. We’re waiting no longer as he put France back in the lead at 3-2 and then finished Argentina off.

GOT WRONG

Passing – It’s difficult to criticise a man who’s essentially won his team the match, but look beyond the obvious and there’s still much Mbappe can improve on. His passing accuracy is the glaringly obvious one, having put up a woeful figure of 70.8 per cent.

Only striker Olivier Giroud and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris were worse of the starting XI. And while his finishing was of the highest order and his speed posed insurmountable problems, he’ll need to fine tune the accuracy of his passes for the last eight.

VERDICT

His Olympian speed tempted Rojo into a rugby tackle which resulted in the opener after only 13 minutes. His sublime touch and skill then saw him find space in a crowded box to fire France back in front as both player and team turned it on after finding themselves 2-1 down. Mbappe was then on the end of a sumptuous team move, side-footing in stylishly to put the cherry on top of a stunning move that started with Lloris.

RATING: 9/10

All statistics are compiled using whoscored.com

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Kylian Mbappe stars with brace as France beat Argentina in 4-3 thriller to reach World Cup quarter-finals

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France finally sparked into life at the World Cup and booked a quarter-final berth as Kylian Mbappe’s brace saw them beat Argentina 4-3.

Antoine Griezmann fired them in front from the penalty spot early on before Angel Di Maria’s brilliant long-range effort drew La Albiceleste level.

Argentina then took the lead when Gabriel Mercado deflected in Lionel Messi’s effort, but Les Bleus stormed back in front via Benjamin Pavard’s contender for goal of the tournament and Mbappe’s driven first.

The Paris Saint-Germain star then finished a fine team move to make it 4-2, with Sergio Aguero’s late header proving in vain.

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