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WATCH: Giroud & Dembele substituted before half-time after France's disastrous World Cup final start

18:50 GMT+3 18/12/2022
Giroud Dembele Argentina France
Olivier Giroud and Ousmane Dembele were hooked by France before half-time as they were substituted at 2-0 down in the 2022 World Cup final.
  • Les Bleus fell behind early
  • Messi & Di Maria on target
  • Deschamps forced into changes

WHAT HAPPENED: The reigning champions fell behind early on against Argentina, with Lionel Messi converting from the penalty spot before Angel Di Maria doubled the Albiceleste’s lead. Didier Deschamps was forced to take decisive action, with winger Dembele and lone frontman Giroud – who had been struggling with illness prior to the game – replaced by Marcus Thuram and Randal Kolo Muani.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Dembele conceded the penalty that allowed Messi to break the deadlock, as he tangled with Di Maria inside the box, while Giroud struggled to get any sights of goal as France toiled for long periods against South American opposition.

WHAT NEXT? France needed to find attacking inspiration from somewhere as they became the first side not to register a single shot on target in the first-half of a World Cup final.