Two things Gareth Southgate got wrong as England fall on their sword to France

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    England are out of the 2022 World Cup at the hands of France after a frustration evening at the Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday evening.

    France took the lead through Aurelien Tchouameni, while the English were fuming about a foul on Bukayo Saka in the build-up to the goal. And English fans' fury was further drawn when Harry Kane was denied a penalty just minutes later.

    However, England grew into the game in the second period, but it was a tale of two penalties: one scored and missed. And Daily Star Sport is looking at what Gareth Southgate got right and what he got wrong as England's quest to bring football home.

    Dealing with the threat of Kylian Mbappe

    Southgate took the decision to start the pace of Kyle Walker against France's superstar Kylian Mbappe.

    On paper, it seemed a simple decision, Walker is the only man that can handle the speed that Mbappe possesses – and he has previously squared off with him at club level. And Walker proved again he was up to the task on Saturday.

    Mbappe's constant threat was nullified by Walker, with Antoine Griezmann emerging as the heartbeat as the French side – rather than PSG's main man.

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    Failing to deal with Antoine Griezmann

    As England focused on the sizeable threat of Mbappe – they forgot about Griezmann.

    The French played to the beat of the Atletico Madrid star in the first half, and he was key in winning the ball high up to kickstart France's attacks. England struggled to deal with the diminutive No.10, who ducked and weaved around challenges in the centre of the park.

    Southgate failed to adapt to the threat of Griezmann, however, some English players felt aggrieved at the number of fouls he was racking up across the 90 minutes.

    Opting for Bukayo Saka

    Any doubts that Bukayo Saka isn't world-class were quickly squashed on Saturday evening, and the Arsenal starlet had France on strings every time he received the ball.

    Saka was electric in the second half, and he looked dangerous whenever he received the ball. Southgate has a mountain of attacking for the Three Lions, and after a couple of quiet performances, Southgate would have been forgiven for dropping Saka.

    Saka was at the heart of England's equaliser as he forced Aurelien Tchouameni into making a rash challenge.

    Failure to capitalise from set pieces

    England had a number of set-pieces across the 90 minutes, but the Three Lions failed to make anything happen.

    Harry Maguire's header that clipped the post from a free-kick midway into France's halfway was the only chance of note from a set piece. Instead, England's delivery was poor across the clash, with too many balls sailing over the heads of the Three Lions.

    While France's winner might not have been a set piece, it came from air, with Maguire letting Giroud run the wrong side of him.


    • Penalty heartbreak for Harry Kane as England star blasts spot-kick over bar

    • Harry Kane rifles home penalty to go level with Rooney as top England goalscorer

    • Tchouameni scores worldie – but England fans think it shouldn't have counted

    • World Cup
    • England Football Team

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