Ousmane Dembele’s performance in France’s loss to Argentina in the World Cup final may be remembered as one of the worst ever.
On Sunday, France, led by Didier Deschamps, was defeated in a thrilling match at the Lusail Stadium as Lionel Messi secured international football’s most prestigious prize in his final World Cup appearance.
Argentina prevented France from finding their groove in the first half and managed to break through their defense multiple times.
Twenty-three minutes into the game, Argentina was awarded a penalty after Dembele pushed Angel Di Maria to the ground as he entered France’s penalty area.
Messi scored a penalty kick by fooling Hugo Lloris and giving Argentina the lead. Despite looking upset, Dembele tried to help France recover in the game.
Prior to this match, Messi had performed well in the tournament, assisting in two of his six games. However, Dembele’s efforts to attack Argentina did not go well and he had no positive influence on the offense. France was unable to get a touch in the Argentina box or shoot on target.
Dembele’s personal performance was even worse. He lost all five of his duels with opposing players, lost possession seven times, and was dribbled past twice. He also committed the foul that resulted in the penalty kick.
In the 36th minute, Angel Di Maria scored a second goal for Argentina, completing a well-executed team play.
Five minutes later, the manager of the French team, Deschamps, made the decision to replace Dembele and Olivier Giroud with Randal Kolo Muani and Marcus Thuram.
The 25-year-old Dembele received no support or encouragement from his manager as he walked off the field.
Fans who witnessed Dembele’s performance online have expressed disappointment with his performance.
Ten minutes before the end of the game, France received a penalty of their own after Nicolas Otamendi brought down Kolo Muani, causing the referee to award a penalty kick. Kylian Mbappe took the kick and scored, reducing the deficit by half.
One minute later, a surprise occurred when Kingsley Coman stole the ball from Messi and France advanced up the field. Mbappe scored again with a powerful first-time volley that Emiliano Martinez was unable to stop.
In extra time, Argentina regained the lead with a goal from Messi, but Mbappe scored his third goal with a second penalty kick, completing his hat-trick.
In the end, Argentina won the penalty shootout 4-2, securing their first World Cup victory since 1986.