12 things we loved from day 27: Umtiti, Mbappe, Southgate, rubber chickens…
France made it through to the 2018 World Cup final at the expense of Belgium on Tuesday evening, with tension building ahead of the second semi-final between England and Croatia.
Kylian Mbappe stole all the headlines with his display, but it was Samuel Umtiti’s header which sent France into Sunday’s showpiece, Les Bleus putting in a competent defensive display to defeat Belgium 1-0.
Meanwhile, the entire nation is on tenterhooks ahead of England’s first World Cup semi-final in 28 years, and we’ve taken a look at some of the best bits on and off the pitch from the 27th day of this football feast in Russia.
This kid is on fire, and this was outrageous.
A real machine. One of the best players in the world.
N’Golo Kanté is a joke btw.
Joined Leicester for 5m in 2015, won the Premier League and made his France debut in 2016, got to the Euro 2016 Final, joined Chelsea, won the Premier League in 2017 and the FA Cup in 2018, and now he’s in a World Cup final.
All in just three years. pic.twitter.com/YF1ujJPphx
— joshua jones (@joshuapsjones) July 10, 2018
We’ll admit it, we chuckled when he did this.
Samuel Umtiti is done with celebration. pic.twitter.com/UqRHcHslf1
— Langezihle Makhanya (@LangeMakhanya) July 10, 2018
As well as all the flair players on show, two of the Premier League’s top goalkeepers were at their best last night.
It ultimately counted for nothing, but Courtois also made a couple of smart stops late on too to keep the score down.
Afterwards, it’s fair to say Courtois wasn’t in particularly humble mood.
“France was not the best team,” he said. “They just tried to defend. France played like Panama. They did this during all the tournament, against Uruguay, they scored from a set piece, it’s a shame to see that”
— beIN SPORTS (@beinsports_FR) July 10, 2018
Kevin De Bruyne
What a stunning pass this was. Well, nearly.
Ah, the old Sunday morning trick.
Ok, so we’re not sure whether to get giddy or to spend all day on the toilet.
For the staff & fans, we’ll give everything tomorrow 🏴 pic.twitter.com/UtA28N72UH
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) July 10, 2018
Oh, Jack, stop it you…
— Jack Butland (@JackButland_One) July 10, 2018
Biggest game for 28 years, the country is absolutely cacking itself, and the England squad are chucking a rubber chicken around in training.
The secret to England's success. Training with a rubber chicken 😂🤔 pic.twitter.com/4HmiEShx7w
— Football Daily (@footballdailyuk) July 10, 2018
"Sport has the power to unite people, football is the biggest sport and the World Cup is the biggest opportunity to do that."
Well said, Gareth Southgate. 👏 pic.twitter.com/pwPOnqB5Ga
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) July 10, 2018