France did just enough. They looked tired after the Brazil win.
I'd like them to win it but will struggle to break down Italy if they can't utilise the pace of Henry and Ribery and deal with their weaknesses.
Barthez is a liability, Malouda is ineffective and Abidal is woeful.
2207: Simple As
Don't get me wrong, Portugal are a team with some great talent, but when they tarnish it with silly soft attempts to draw fouls, then they deserve to go out. I have no idea why they do this cause they shouldn't need to with that squad.
Mundane match to be fair. The French did enough to hold on to a deserved 1-0 victory.
I'm glad the Portuguese didn't go through. They have stuttered throughout the tournament and their lack of firepower came back to haunt them in this match.
I'm also relieved because I'd rather not see a theatrical, dive at every opportunity, match between Portugal and Italy in the final.
This match will certainly not be called a classic, but what a possible end to Zidane's career! World champion in his last ever match!
Well, I don't think France deserved the win, but that's how the cookie crumbled on this one. It's always sad when World Cup matches come down to a single penalty kick or sending off, as opposed to the team playing the best football winning.
A dull game but I'm worried about France - they need to improve a gear or two because this time round Italy are the favorites in the final.
2143: Old Man Jeeves
Looks as if we are going to get a replay of the Euro 2000 final, but this time I think Italy will be the worthy winners.
If Pauleta is going to dive any more in this match, he might as well put on a snorkel and fins.
Scolari's big mistake has been in not playing Simao until too late, if at all. He is much more effective than Ronaldo who is all show with only an occasional real threat.
This is such a poor semi-final, no real quality from either team at the moment.
Golden Dive Awards Update:
Pauletta 8/10 (Portugal vs France) Loved the way he flew to the ground!
Nice first half. Lots of action, goal by Zizou, couldn't ask for more!
If you get fouled and don't go down there is no way you will get a penalty, so yes Henry coulld POSSIBLY have stood on his feet but would have been knocked too much of balance to take advantage, therefore you go down. It would be madness not to. Bottom line is it was a definite foul.
It's time the ref got out the yellow card for the persistent Portuguese fouling. He can't just keep ignoring it.
Zidane has only ever missed one penalty in his career and that was against China a few months back. The foul was a good call, replays do not tell the truth...at first sight even I thought that was a penalty.
2016: So Near, So Kranjcar
That was poor by Henry, should have gambled but he doesn't score a lot of those sort of goals.
Aaah there's the magical Zidane I was waiting for! Portugal dominating so far though!
Well, whatever they say or boo, Ronaldo looks well pacy and dangerous - I bet he's all pumped up from the negative reactions.
1955: Saint No Stopping Us Now
Here we have a game which in my mind is evenly balanced. France, though aging and not great in the group stages, have found their form through their old timers such as Zidane and Vieira, not to mention the extremely talented Henry.
Portugal on the other hand are crammed with attacking talent, but I feel as a team will find themselves lacking in this game. France have team spirit far greater than Portugal, and Portugal will have won themselves no fans from the viewing English public.
France to win it, but only because they have the best player inthe world - Henry.
Why do I have this lingering feeling that Deco is just as over-rated as Ronaldinho? I don't know, but something about his game never impressed me. He'll be anonymous tonight.
1910: The Pain
- Italy have done their bit, now its Portugal's turn.
I predicted a Portugal Italy final from the beginning:
I reckon this could be edgy and I fancy Portugal to score first but concede the vital goal towards the end of the game as the spaces open up and any one of the French forwards catches them square.
This French team is past its best. They've played just 2 good games in 2 whole years. There is no guarantee they will do the same tonight.