Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Michael Owen slams ‘idiotic’ Ousmane Dembele for challenge on Angel Di Maria | Football

Michael Owen slammed Ousmane Dembele for the ‘idiotic’ challenge that led ot Argentina’s early penalty in the World Cup final.

The reigning champions started in sluggish fashion with Lionel Messi dicatating the tempo and Julian Alvarez pressing relentlessly from the front.

Di Maria had already spurned one glorious early chance before he tricked his way into the penalty area in the 23rd minute having easily outfoxed Barcelona winger Dembele.

The 25-year-old panicked and although he only made minimal contact with Di Maria, it was enough to send the winger sprawling and convince referee Szymon Marciniak to point to the spot.

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‘Putting aside his idiotic challenge for the penalty, Dembele has given it away virtually every time he’s touched it’ Tweeted former England star Owen, ‘Argentina playing very well here.’

Lionel Messi tucked away the penalty with aplomb and the favorite to land the Golden Ball was inolved against 10 minutes before the break, sparking a brilliant counter attack, finished off by Di Maria.

Reacting to the one-sided contest playing out before him, Didier Deschamps responded by making a double substitution with the hapless Dembele and experienced forward Olivier Giroud making way.

Randal Kolo Muani and Marcus Thuram immediately injected more energy into France’s play but BBC pundit Jermaine Jenas was left feeling sorry for Deschamps who was forced to make seismic changes so early in the match.

He said: ‘don’t blame Didier Deschamps at all. He is looking at the same thing we are looking it. They are obviously struggling with something as a group and were carrying one too many players in my opinion.

‘It’s a tough call because Giroud had given him so much in the tournament but he has had to make the call before half-time. It means Mbappe will go through the middle.’

 

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