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'Dembele played like a little boy!' - France winger slammed for 'pathetic' World Cup final performance

21:04 GMT+4 18/12/2022
Ousmane Dembele France 2022
Gary Neville claimed that Ousmane Dembele "played like a little boy" after the France star was taken off before half-time in the World Cup final.
  • Dembele gives away a penalty
  • Substituted on 40th minute
  • Gary Neville unimpressed

WHAT HAPPENED? The former England and Manchester United defender was not impressed with the France winger after his torrid display in the first half of the World Cup Final. Dembele was substituted in the 40th minute along with France's all-time record goalscorer, Olivier Giroud, after a nightmare showing that saw him give away the penalty that Lionel Messi converted to put Argentina 1-0 up.

WHAT THEY SAID: Neville said while covering the final for ITV Sport: "Oh it's pathetic. Dembele, I know he's a wide player but honestly, his initial challenge... you know what Di Maria is going to do, he's been doing it for 10 years. Dembele has played like a little boy."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Dembele's challenge put France on the back foot after Messi scored the penalty. Angel Di Maria also scored before the interval to give Argentina a 2-0 lead, which they held until the final ten minutes of normal time, only for Kylian Mbappe to score twice in two minutes and level proceedings.

IN A PHOTO

WHAT NEXT FOR DEMBELE? The 25-year-old Barcelona winger will no doubt be frustrated with himself given his performance. Dembele had been a key player throughout the tournament for Les Bleus, providing two assists in his previous six appearances.