France 1-2 USA: Report, Ratings & Reaction as USWNT Edge Past Hosts to Reach Semi-Final

The USA booked their place in the Women’s World Cup semi-finals on Friday, as they beat hosts France 2-1 in Paris.

The USA took the lead inside the opening five minutes, thanks to a free kick from Megan Rapinoe. The American captain sent a dangerous low ball into the box, as her curling effort found its way through a sea of bodies and through Sarah Bouhaddi as the USWNT struck first.


After an hour of no goals and pure end-to-end, attacking football, the USWNT finally got their second just after the hour mark. Tobin Heath pulled the ball back into the box, and while it went behind Sam Mewis, Rapinoe was in the right place at the right time to tuck the ball home.

The Americans thought they had a third soon after, but Heath’s goal was ruled out for offside. France then pulled one back in the last 10 minutes, thanks to a wonderful header from Wendie Renard. However it was too little too late for the hosts, as Team USA marched on to Lyon.


FRANCE

Key Talking Point

Wendie Renard

France came into the game knowing what they had to do, but couldn’t have begun any worse as they were behind after five minutes. Nevertheless France kept up their quick attacking football, creating chance after chance and quickly latching onto any loose American ball.

Roared on by an excited Parisian crowd, France fought harder and harder, battling to get back in their game. While passing was sloppy and their shots were wayward, Renard’s deserved late goal gave them a glimmer of hope, as they battled right up until the final whistle.

France’s dream of winning their first ever World Cup has come to an end, but Les Bleues had a wonderful tournament. They proved themselves as one of the world’s best, and while they lost to the better team on the night they deserve praise for their fight and determination.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Bouhaddi (7); Majri (5), Renard (7), Mbock Bathy (5), Torrent (5); Bussaglia (6), Thiney (6), Henry (7*); Le Sommer (6), Gauvin (6), Diani (6).

Substitutes: Cascarino (6), Asseyi (N/A).


Amandine Henry

STAR PLAYER – Amandine Henry led by example, as she worked her socks off in midfield. The French captain won all her battles and completed a string of successful, crucial passes, as she ended her tournament on a big high in a very good performance in Paris.


USA

Key Talking Point

Megan Rapinoe,Julie Ertz,Crystal Dunn,Samantha Mewis,Rose Lavelle,Alex Morgan

After a far from convincing round of 16 victory, the USA were eager to affirm their grip of the game from the start. They did exactly that through Rapinoe’s free kick, as they took the game by the neck and produced a professional performance, attacking very well and worrying the French.

What was more important though was their resilient defending, as they stayed organised and in shape to keep the hosts out. Alyssa Naeher made some crucial saves throughout, while Crystal Dunn was absolutely outstanding on the left side of defence in a great defensive performance.

The USWNT go marching on after a professional performance, as they outclassed their hosts in their own backyard and deservedly earned their place in the final four. It is now well and truly the USA’s World Cup to lose, as they survived their biggest and toughest test yet in Paris.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Naeher (7); Dunn (7), Sauerbrunn (6), Dahlkemper (6), O’Hara (6); Mewis (6), Ertz (6), Lavelle (6); Rapinoe (8*), Morgan (7), Heath (6).

Substitutes: Horan (63′), Lloyd (82′), Press (N/A)


STAR PLAYER – It was an exemplary captain’s display by Megan Rapinoe, whose goals won the game and determination pulled Team USA over the finish line. Not only were her goals excellent, but her work rate and passing was superb as she produced a wonderful display.


Looking Ahead

Marion Torrent,Alex Morgan

The USA now travel down to Lyon for the semi-final, as they face England on 2 July. The USWNT are one step closer to retaining their World Cup title, as they hope to reach the final in Lyon’s Parc Olympique Lyonnais on 7 July.

Meanwhile, it marks the end of the road for France, who graciously bow out of their tournament in the capital. It has been a memorable tournament for Les Bleues, who have now reached the end of their road at the hands of the world’s finest football team.

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Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s Family Confirm Man Utd Move as Fans Continue to Wait for Official Announcement

?The family of Aaron Wan-Bissaka appear to have confirmed the right-back’s imminent move to Manchester United, leaving fans wondering why the Red Devils are yet to announce the deal.

Wan-Bissaka is set to become United’s second summer signing after Daniel James, after the club agreed a fee of £50m with Palace.

In a video posted online (via ?United Update), Wan-Bissaka’s family can be seen travelling to Old Trafford to meet the right-back, taking some photos around Old Trafford, before posing with Wan-Bissaka as he signs his new contract.

Fans had already been wondering why ?United are yet to announce the deal, questioning whether there has been any last-minute issues which have held up the transfer.

However, this latest video seems to suggest that nothing of the sort has happened, and it appears as though the move is all but official.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Whether this will speed up United’s announcement or not is anyone’s guess, although they may be forced to speed things up amid calls from fans to finally unveil Wan-Bissaka as their second summer signing.

He is expected to immediately take over as the club’s first-choice right-back, jumping ahead of both Ashley Young and Diogo Dalot in the pecking order at Old Trafford.

Sean Longstaff

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is thought to be on the lookout for a number of young signings to help rejuvenate his squad. Alongside Wan-Bissaka, United have been linked with the likes of Jadon Sancho and Sean Longstaff, with a deal for the latter thought to be a real possibility.

The Red Devils are also ?confident of securing a deal for Sporting CP star Bruno Fernandes, with the rest of their ?Premier League rivals dropping out of the race for his signature.

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Cesar Azpilicueta Hints Eden Hazard Turned Down English Rivals During His Stay at Chelsea

?Belgian superstar Eden Hazard turned down huge offers from a number of Premier League clubs before his move from Chelsea to Real Madrid, according to his former Blues teammate Cesar Azpilicueta.

Hazard moved to the Spanish giants just weeks after lifting the Europa League trophy with Chelsea for a fee of £130m including add-ons, and a healthy wage of £400,000 a week.

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The 28-year-old leaves the Blues after seven years, and during that time he has lifted numerous trophies with the club. Hazard has lifted the Premier League, the FA Cup, the EFL Cup as well as the Europa League on two occasions during his time in England.

Although, Hazard could have remained in England if his former teammate Azpilicueta is to be believed. ?As reported by ?The Sun, the Spaniard said: “Honestly, the times that he had to cope with the rumours.

“He always showed his desire not to sign for an English team, even if he could have better contracts. He has never been a selfish person.

“He always had this dream to play for Real Madrid and we will see what happens. But I think he has been very honest until the last day.”

Azpilicueta and Hazard both joined the Blues in 2012, with the pair becoming firm friends and after the Belgians departure the 29-year-old said: “(I’m) Very sad. Amazing person, amazing player. He has been a very important part of our team. A very good friend of mine, very close.

“We arrived here seven years ago together from France and you know if that moment comes obviously I will be very sad.”

The centre-back doesn’t hold the move against Hazard, saying he left the Blues in the right way.

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?”That’s why the fans they love him because he didn’t play with the club, he didn’t move for another contract,” he added. “He just always gives his best. He was very clear with the club and that’s why the club is also happy with him.

“Obviously it is a big opportunity for him. He has been amazing for us and I hope he still wins trophies in Real Madrid.”

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Atletico Confirm Deal to Sign Athletico Paranaense Defender Renan Lodi

?Atletico Madrid have confirmed that they have agreed a deal to sign Athletico Paranaense left-back Renan Lodi.

With Filipe Luis out of contract and Lucas Hernandez leaving for Bayern Munich, Atletico found themselves in need of a new left-back this summer, so they moved quickly to secure a deal for Lodi.

?Atletico confirmed the news on their official website, writing: “Atletico de Madrid and Athletico Paranaense have reached a preliminary agreement over the transfer of Renan Lodi to our club. The agreement is pending its final confirmation both with the Brazilian club and the player.

“Renan Lodi is a left-sided defender. He has the ability to involve himself in attack thanks to his versatility and speed, as well as his ability to strike a ball.”

The 21-year-old made 49 appearances for the Brazilian side, racking up four goals and eight assists. He has established himself as one of Brazil’s most exciting defenders, and will now head to the Wanda Metropolitano for the next phase of his career.

Renan Lodi,Milton Casco

He will likely slot straight into the first team in Madrid, given Atletico now have no senior left-backs in the squad. 

Academy star Manuel Sanchez was handed a place on the bench in Atletico’s final game of last season, with Diego Simeone lacking options in the position.

Luis had dominated the starting lineup, but failed to agree a new contract with Los Rojiblancos. As a result, he has been linked with the likes of ?Barcelona, Lyon and ?Juventus, although he is yet to reveal his next move.

Filipe Luis

Lodi will likely take his place in the team, although he has often operated as a winger in Brazil, so he may also be asked to fill in further forward.

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Adrien Rabiot’s Mother Confirms PSG Exit & Rubbishes Reports Over New Contract Offer

?Adrien Rabiot’s agent and mother, Veronique Rabiot, has denied that her son has turned down a contract extension at Paris Saint-Germain, and that she still expects the midfielder to leave the French champions this summer.

There had been recent speculation that Paris Saint-Germain’s recently appointed sporting director, Leonardo, may be trying to convince Rabiot to stay in France. However, Rabiot’s agent has moved quickly to quash the rumours.

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“There is not the slightest discussion between Leonardo and I”, she said in an interview with RTL.

“There was no offer and there will not be any,” she added, seemingly bringing an end to any chance of Rabiot remaining in Paris.

According to The Mirror, Juventus remain the favourites to secure the signature of Rabiot, with the Bianconeri willing to entice the French midfielder to Turin with a £6m-a-year contract. 

Bringing Rabiot to the club on a free transfer would represent more shrewd business on the part of Juventus, who have also brought in players such as Paul Pogba, Sami Khedira and Aaron Ramsey without spending a penny in recent years.


However, Manchester UnitedLiverpool and Barcelona are also said to be interested in making a last-minute bid for Rabiot’s services.

Veronique Rabiot is taking a cautious approach for the moment, as she waits for her son’s future to be finalised.

“It’s better to say as little as possible while nothing is done”, she said, via Football Italia, indicating that Rabiot’s next move is not sealed just yet.

Rabiot has won six titles with PSG, making 227 appearances for the team, as they have dominated French football in recent years. The 24-year-old made just 14 league appearances last season though, with manager Thomas Tuchel failing to pick him in any squad after Christmas, due to his dispute over a new contract going unresolved.

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