Belgium

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The Belgium squad after their third-place play-off win over England. Photograph: Georgi Licovski/EPA

Belgium 2 England 0 England’s remarkable World Cup adventure reached a meek conclusion as Belgium beat Gareth Southgate’s men in the third-place play(...)

England coach Gareth Southgate talks to midfielder  Fabian Delph during a  press conference ahead of the World Cup third-place playoff against Belgium in St Petersburg on Saturday. Photograph:  Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images

Three days on the sense of regret is just as raw. Gareth Southgate has done all he can to re-energise his England squad for the third-place play-off, (...)

 Kylian Mbappé against  Belgium  at Saint Petersburg Stadium. His quick feet buy him and his teammates extra space inside congested penalty areas. Photograph: Getty Images

Solid foundations begin in defence France’s tactics in the 1-0 semi-final win against Belgium did not draw universal approval. “They have played ant(...)

Didier Deschamps lifts the  Jules Rimet trophy at the Stade de France in 1998. The former France  captain could become just the third man to win the World Cup as a player and manager.  Photograph: Daniel Garcia/AFP/Getty Images

Almost 20 years to the day since France beat Brazil 3-0 in Paris to win their first and only World Cup, the man who captained a team that united a nat(...)

 Belgium’s Eden Hazard: “We can be proud of what we have achieved. As a captain, I am happy to be part of this team.” Photograph:  Anton Vaganov/Reuters

Thibaut Courtois has accused France of being an “anti-football team” following Belgium’s 1-0 World Cup semi-final loss to Les Bleus in Saint Petersbur(...)

Paul Pogba of France celebrates victory following their 2018 World Cup semi-final clash with Belgium in St Petersburg. Photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

The day took way, way too long to amble towards 7pm. And when the teams finally took to the field the St Petersburg DJ missed a trick by not serenadin(...)

Kylian Mbappe celebrates France’s 1-0 win over Belgium. Photograph: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty

When the final whistle came, the sheer joy of the celebrations came as a surprise. Kylian Mbappé was face down on the ground, Hugo Lloris racing up th(...)

Samuel Umtiti of France scores during their 2018 World Cup semi-final clash with Belgium in St Petersburg. Photo: Zurab Kurtsikidze/EPA

France 1 Belgium 0 Two decades after he captained one great French side to a world title on home soil, Didier Deschamps is on the brink of engineerin(...)

Belgium’s assistant coach Thierry Henry at Monday’s training session. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

France v Belgium Saint Petersburg Stadium, Tuesday, 7pm Live on RTÉ 2 and BBC 1 A little like neighbours who pop next door to each other in order to(...)

   Kylian Mbappe:  has really impressed at this World Cup with his pace, control and dribbling skills that combine to give France  a cutting edge in attack. Photograph: Kirill Dudravatsev/AFP/Getty

So, here we are in the semi-finals. This was the target set for Didier Deschamps by the French Federation, so he can take a bow and say the job’s done(...)

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