World Cup 2022: reaction to England’s exit and Morocco making last four – live | World Cup 2022


Key events

Here are Jonathan Liew’s thoughts on last night.

Ouch dept:

The story of last night, in photo form.

There’s live sport for our delectation going on right now, the Testvangelists at it again.

I’d be fairly surprised if Southgate goes. I think he husbanded his resources far more wisely than in the Euros, and England now have a team able to go up against yer Frances and try to dominate. Previously, they’d have planned to defend deep while hoping for a counter or a moment of magic. Now, though, they’ve the ability to dominate in midfield, and if Kalvin Phillips were to replace Jordan Henderson, you’d have three absolute physical brutes, which some very serious technical ability. England and Southgate will know they were good enough to win this tournament, but that they’ll be better two years from now.

On which point, I’ll tell you what I absolutely loved: Giroud’s celebration. When France won the World Cup in 2018, he not only failed to score but didn’t even record a shot on target. He won’t mind too much because he did his job for the team, but it’d be foolish to think that didn’t bother his pride, and he’s making amends this time round.

In similar vein, I agree with Maguire that the ref was poor. But you almost never lose a game because of the officials; they make mistakes and it’s up to the players to be good enough in spite of that. It wasn’t the ref who, to take a random example, allowed Giroud in front of them to score the winning goal.

I’m afraid, though, that was not a game settled on ‘small details”, because wellying a late penalty over the bar is, I’m afraid, a colossal happening.

I agree with Jacob that Saka and Rice were England’s best players, but I thought Bellingham looked a little leggy in the second half. On which point, Sterling for Saka was a very strange sub, I thought. It was, of course, possible that Sterling might’ve scored, but it was hard to see him having as much influence on the game and the player he replaced.

And here are Jacob Steinberg’s player ratings.

Here’s David Hytner’s match report from the Al Bayt Stadium.

Preamble

Every now and again – really not often – a misfortune befalls a sportsperson that has you wincing because you know they’ll be lugging it about them for the rest of their days. John Terry slipping in the 2008 Champions League final, Steven Gerrard saying this doesn’t slip then slipping before Demba Ba scored for Chelsea … and poor old Harry Kane missing a penalty when England looked in with a chance of becoming world champions.

So we’ll be spending today looking back at that and the rest of the quarter-finals, while looking forward to the semis and beyond. Send us in your thoughts, and we’ll see where we get to.