Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Letters: La France tricheurs! -Thierry Henry brings shame on French

Thierry Henry controls the ball with his hand during the build up to France's goal in Paris
Thierry Henry controls the ball with his hand during the build up to France's goal in Paris
France captain Thierry Henry controls the ball with his hand during the build up to the controversial goal in Paris
Shay Given - 7
Kicking was calm and collected and he helped to calm his defenders with some judicious advice on occasion. Had to travel a long distance to cut out one or two dangerous crosses and handled well
John O'Shea - 8
After Saturday's sloppy display, a much improved performance from the Manchester United man. It was his interception which paved the way for the opening goal. Missed another glorious opportunity to score in Paris
Sean St Ledger (right) - 9
Made three tremendous blocks which were clearly goal-bound. Considering where this guy has come from, he deserves outstanding credit for producing such sturdiness on the world stage
Richard Dunne - 7
Less prominent than a couple of his partners and was guilty of some loose positioning in the early flurries until he settled down, using his physicality to good effect against anything France threw at him
Kevin Kilbane - 9
Must like Paris as this was his best game in the current qualifying campaign. Made a telling pass to Duff to set up the Keane goal and patrolled the left flank much better than he had in Croke Park. Will we see the long-serving veteran in a green jersey again?
Liam Lawrence - 8
Fully justified his second successive selection ahead of messrs Hunt and McGeady, offering a physical defensive buffer neither of the latter pair could have managed. Linked superbly in general play
Glenn Whelan - 8
Outstanding. Exacted the firmest retribution on Las Diarra with some thunderous tackling and his distribution was of the highest order, finding his range with a couple of accurate crossfield passes
Keith Andrews - 7
Anonymous for the opening quarter but his mere presence ensured that the French weren't able to pour through midfield with the same alacrity with which they had done last Saturday. Eventually warmed to the game's heartbeat
Damien Duff - 9
Dovetailed superbly with his oul' mucker Keane for the wonderfully contrived Irish goal. A consistent harassment to Bacary Sagna, offering true width while not slow in joining infield
Robbie Keane - 9
Wonderfully taken goal launched a night of a thousand dreams, showing excellent awareness to pull wide off Duff and then hold the space, before calmly hitting his strike across his body. A huge moment and the captain delivered
Kevin Doyle - 8
Tireless worker up and down the flanks but managed to join in the play, popping up in the box occasionally and unlucky to lose his footing in the penalty box in the second-half
Giovanni Trapattoni - 8
Betrayed his natural caution by allowing the team free rein to express themselves on the ball, clearly spurning the ideal that the team would perform with mere hope, rather than expectation
Darron Gibson - 7
(On for Whelan , 63) Came on to continue the dogged efforts of Whelan just after the hour mark and succeeded in frustrating the increasingly desperate attempts of the French to create an opening
Paul McShane - 6
(On for John O'Shea) Should have dealt with the cross before Henry's crucial handball that led to Gallas's goal. A couple of strong blocks on shots but also booked for heavy challenge on Nicolas Anelka
Aiden McGeady - 6
(On for Lawrence. 107) The last throw of the dice but again the frustrating lack of an end product proved to be his downfall

I am a French fan. I want to apologise. Excuse me and excuse all french fans who aren't cheaters.

I am sorry for the goal by Thierry Henry. It is a disgrace. Now all will think French are cheaters. I howled when Keane scored because Irish deserved to win! I was really happy.

Trapattoni is a genious and Domenech ridiculous.

Ireland team has got a heart, she fights with courage. You would have deserved to go to the World Cup. All my friends apologise.

Simon, France, via email

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