Euro 2024 – Netherlands 0-0 France: Offside penalty controversially denies Xavi Simons as Kylian Mbappé misses goalless draw | football news

The offside controversy took center stage during Kylian Mbappé’s absence in the Netherlands and France’s 0-0 draw in Group D in Leipzig.

Xavi Simons thought he had given the Netherlands the lead at the end of the match, but the flag was raised claiming that Denzel Dumfries had influenced the play. Anthony Taylor ruled him out and video assistant referee Stuart Attwell confirmed the decision.

The decision was highly debatable as the ball headed towards the bottom corner and goalkeeper Mike Maignan was apparently not prepared to dive. But the English officials ruled it out as this highly anticipated match ended with the first goalless draw of the tournament.

Didier Deschamps’ team had been on top in a match that could not otherwise be ignited without Mbappé, who remained on the bench after his broken nose. Antoine Griezmann had the best chances but couldn’t find the shot.

The draw means the Netherlands remain top of Group D, ahead of France on goal difference. Poland, which was defeated by Austria 3-1 earlier in the day, becomes the first nation eliminated from Euro 2024 as a result of this result.

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Holland’s Xavi Simons, unseen, scores the controversial disallowed goal

Holland's Xavi Simons, left, scores a goal that was disallowed for offside
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Denzel Dumfries (22) was ruled to have interfered with goalkeeper Mike Maignan.

What do the Laws say?

According to the IFAB Laws of the Game:

A player who is in an offside position at the time the ball is played or touched* by a teammate will only be penalized when intervening in active play by:

interfere with the game by playing or touching a ball passed or touched by a teammate or

interfering with an opponent by:

prevent an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of sight or

challenge an opponent for the ball or

clearly attempt to play a ball that is close when this action hits an opponent or

Performing an obvious action that clearly impacts an opponent’s ability to play the ball.

*The first point of contact of the ‘play’ or ‘touch’ of the ball must be used.

Analysis: Saliba shines | More to come from France

Two games for France and, thanks to that very debatable offside against Holland, two clean sheets for the tournament favorites. Arsenal’s William Saliba has been a major factor in this, oozing class in the center of the French defence.

An ideal foil for the physical Dayot Upamecano, those much-publicized comments from Deschamps alluding to weaknesses in Saliba’s game only become more disconcerting after each performance. There can’t be many better defenders in European football.

The underlying figures better reflect France’s control than the Simons moment. Against Austria, they recorded a total expected goals of 2.13 compared to 0.76 for their rivals. Here, his total was 1.42 compared to his opponents’ measly 0.33.

At the other end, the goals will surely start flowing soon. Even without Mbappé, they created chances. Griezmann should have scored at least one goal, but on two occasions he failed to finish from close range. One goal in two games doesn’t tell the whole story.

Either side of Saliba and Upamecano, the full-backs are rock solid and N’Golo Kante is as impressive as ever in midfield. The forwards have not yet shot but the options in attack are many. Expect Mbappé to have his day when the stakes are high.

It might seem a generous interpretation after four points from two games, the same as England. But this side seems happier in his skin. Saliba has won over Deschamps. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the rest of France followed suit in mid-July in Berlin.

Statistics: History of the match

So far in Group D…

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