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11th Dec 2022

Adrien Rabiot riles up England supporters with comments on Harry Kane penalty

Patrick McCarry

‘We won’t linger on that’

While referee Wilton Sampaio gained plenty of English detractors, on Saturday night, he was none too popular in France. Sky Sports awarded the Brazilian ref a 1/10 rating, he got 4/10 from L’Equipe and Adrien Rabiot called his decisions “borderline”.

The Juventus midfielder started for France as they defeated England 2-1 to set up a World Cup semi-final against Morocco. Following the game, much of the talk was about how well England had played, in defeat, and the penalties that were given and not given.

England were denied a first half penalty when VAR did not have a water-tight angle to talk Sampaio out of his decision to award a free for a foul on Harry Kane, right on the line for the French box.

In the second half, England wanted another spot-kick when Bukayo Saka went down in the box, but they did get two penalties. The second penalty came when VAR sent the referee to look at replays on a TV screen, after he had initially waved play on.

Adrien Rabiot on Harry Kane penalty

While Theo Hernandez may have disagreed with the penalty call, it looked as though the right decision was eventually made.

As it transpired, Harry Kane missed his second chance to equalise after he blazed his kick over the bar. Following France’s 2-1 win, Adrien Rabiot gave his take on the referee and that second penalty. Many England supporters would disagree with his sentiments. He said:

“First of all, I’m not sure that it’s really a foul. We’ve seen hundreds of actions like that that aren’t given.”

“I thought the refereeing was a bit borderline at times tonight, but we won’t linger on that,” Rabiot added. “Of course, when he missed, we were happy, it was justice because there was no penalty. But sometimes you also need that bit of luck, of success. We had it tonight, everything came together. We are really proud to reach the semi-final in this way.”

Rabiot stressed that France will give Morocco, their last four opponents, all the respect they are due after their unlikely and uplifting World Cup journey.

France boss Didier Deschamps, meanwhile, admitted the reigning world champions benefitted from some luck in their win over England.

“I regret the fact that we gave them a penalty and then gave them another penalty that they missed, but credit to my team as well,” he said.

“We also showed some very good things and we can still be dangerous… In these very important games it always comes down to very small details and luckily tonight it went our way and we did what we could to make sure that we went all the way and won the game. You need a bit of luck sometimes.”

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