Argentina v France: 2022 World Cup final – live | World Cup 2022


Key events

51 mins: Kolo Muani works hard to take the ball away from Otamendi and sends Mbappe into space in the bottom right. He wins a corner. Where is Giroud? Oh.

49 mins: Di Maria wants the man of the match award and almost registers another assist with a raked cross from the left. De Paul arrives from the opposite side and strikes for the first time directly on Lloris. He captured that well. A tiny bit left or right, and Lloris would have had some work to do.

47 mins: … so it was almost a horror start to the second half for France. Another goal and that’s probably all. They seem lacking in energy. If they don’t find anything, expect a lot of talk about the bug that supposedly made its way to the team this week.

46 mins: Messi runs into an ominously faded French backline. He slides a ball down the left channel for Alvarez, who cuts inside and considers shooting from range. Instead, he feeds Fernandez down the right. A cross is claimed by Lloris, with Mac Allister not too far to connect.

Lionel Messi is going on a trip again.
Lionel Messi is going on a trip again. Photography: Bernadett Szabo/Reuters

Argentina start the second half. No other changes. Didier Deschamps has been here before, in a way: his side are playing like Brazil did when their France team led 2-0 at the break en route to glory in 1998. nothing for granted, though: they were two up front in 1986, only for West Germany to hit them with a quick double kick to level things. They still won that final, of course, but you can bet your last shiny bronze penny wouldn’t make them want to go through the ringer like that today.

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HALF-TIME: Argentina 2-0 France

No more than Argentina deserves. They are 45 minutes plus stoppage time from their third World Cup. Lionel Messi is 45 minutes plus football stoppages.

Lionel Messi and Argentina were totally dominant in the first half.
Lionel Messi and Argentina were totally dominant in the first half. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

45mins +8: Griezmann swings the free kick from a deep position on the right. He can’t find Varane at the furthest batting. Goal kick, and finally from a French point of view, it will be the end of the first half.

45 mins +7: Fernandez is booked for a cynical rattle in an in-flight Kolo Muani.

45 mins +5: Griezmann, so influential in France’s run to the final, saw very little of the ball. He is easily beaten in midfield by Fernandez, who bloots on the pitch. The first half in microcosm: Argentina were wonderfully intense; France completely flaccid.

45 mins +4: France have seen more ball since the double change. Argentina sitting back, maybe, so they can figure out what’s what.

45 mins +2: Thuram is busy on the left and disturbs the Argentinian back line. His promising work was undone when he fired Hernandez, who brushed De Paul with his cleats. Free kick, and the rare French pressure is released.

45 mins: There will be Seven extra minutes in the first half.

43 mins: Say what you like about Deschamps, it’s a brave call in a World Cup final, okay. At least he won’t leave Qatar wondering. Mbappe is now top for France.

Didier Deschamps makes a double substitution before half-time. He really has to do something.
Didier Deschamps makes a double substitution before half-time. He really has to do something. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

41 minutes: Well, what about that? Didier Deschamps does not wait for half-time to change things. Next are Dembele, who has been out today from the start, and Giroud, who has reportedly been struggling with a knee problem. In their place: Thuram and Kolo Muani.

Olivier Giroud is replaced.
Olivier Giroud is replaced. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

40 mins: France can hardly touch it. They would need to hear the halftime whistle. “Messi is going to win the Golden Boot for pens, just like Megan Rapinoe did in 2019,” writes Tracy Mohr. “She has better hair though.”

38 mins: Messi is this nearly tearing up acres of space in the bottom right. France are extremely lucky that Upamecano understands the danger, shows up and stands firm to relieve his man of the ball.

37 mins: This score does not flatter Argentina at all. This somehow flatters France. The French simply did not come! Argentina are playing as if they feel the World Cup is their destiny. Di Maria is already in tears.

PURPOSE! Argentina 2-0 France (Di Maria 36)

Talk about justifying your selection! Mac Allister, in his own half, finds Messi to the right of the center circle. Messi plays a ball into the corner and down the right for Alavez, who instantly frees Mac Allister along the wing. France is all over the shop in the middle. Mac Allister sends a low pass to Di Maria, coming from the other flank. He enters the box and, from the left corner of the penalty area, whistles a shot through Lloris and down the right! What a sensational team goal!

Di Maria party
Just look at his face! Photograph: Ronald Wittek/EPA
Angel Di Maria lifts the ball over Hugo Lloris as he completes a wonderful team move to give Argentina full control.
Angel Di Maria lifts the ball over Hugo Lloris as he completes a wonderful team move to give Argentina full control. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
Angel Di Maria scores a fine second for Argentina.
Angel Di Maria scores a fine second for Argentina. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

35 mins: Mbappe almost gets the better of Molina on the left but can’t win a run into the box.

34 mins: France have yet to score an attempted goal. Argentina is in charge.

32 mins: Mac Allister takes a long range shot that goes out for a throw. Full marks for ambition.

31 mins: Argentina seem to be in full control at the moment. France is strangely shapeless.

France simply hasn't come yet.
France simply hasn’t come yet. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

29 mins: Messi dribbles down the right at high speed. Thoughts of what Messi did to Croatia’s Josko Gvardiol must cross Hernandez’s mind, but the defender remains firm, limiting the damage from a corner. The free kick is fired towards the near post, where Giroud does hard defensive work to clear.

27 mins: Griezmann rolls the ball into the mixer. It’s half cleared. Hernandez and Fernandez battle for the ball in the air and both fall in a crumpled heap. Free-kick for Argentina – Hernandez was a bit late, although the collision seemed accidental – and thankfully both players are back up and running soon enough.

26 mins: France is looking to bounce back quickly. Giroud fights his way into the inside right channel and is controlled by Romero. A free kick just to the right of the goal, 30 meters away. Griezmann stands on it.

25 mins: There was plenty of wild celebration in the stands when Messi arrogantly – in a good way – kicked that penalty home. It’s fair to say that Argentina enjoy the lion’s share of support in the stadium.

24 mins: The penalty may have been a bit soft, but the lead is no more than Argentina deserves.

PURPOSE! Argentina 1-0 France (Messi 23 pen)

Messi walks to the spot. He gives the eyes to Lloris. Lloris blinks first. Messi rolls the ball down the right, after sending the keeper the other way. The stadium explodes!

Lionel Messi is jumped by his teammates after putting Argentina ahead.
Lionel Messi is jumped by his teammates after putting Argentina ahead. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters
Lionel Messi sends Lloris the wrong way and Argentina leads.
Lionel Messi sends Lloris the wrong way and Argentina leads. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
Lionel Messi puts it away. Argentina leads and it is fully deserved.
Lionel Messi puts it away. Argentina leads and it is fully deserved. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

22 mins: VAR checks, but there is no obvious error. Messi to step up.

Penalty for Argentina!

21 mins: The ball flips around the edge of France’s surface. Alvarez pings it smartly towards Di Maria on the left. Di Maria dribbles past Dembele and enters the box. He descends. He was looking for it, but there is a small contact from Dembele, who had put his arm on his opponent from behind. The referee designates the place. Sadness!

Angel Di Maria falls under the sweetest of Ousmane Dembele's sweet challenges. Sadness.
Angel Di Maria falls under the sweetest of Ousmane Dembele’s sweet challenges. Sadness. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

19 mins: Griezmann whips the free kick to the far post. Giroud fires a header over the bar from six yards out, but only after climbing over Di Maria to get to the ball. Free kick.

Giroud goes high to have a chance for France.
Giroud goes high to have a chance for France. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

18 mins: Hernandez drops a shoulder to catch up on the left. He’s heading for the signing when he’s roughly slammed by De Paul. A free kick just wide of the Argentinian area. “Probably a wise decision by Lloris to ditch his Dutch-looking orange kit for a yellow one,” writes Peter Oh. “No need to unnecessarily irritate the already amplified opposition.”


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