France and Belgium locked horns in the World Cup semi-final on Tuesday in a game that was expected to be full of action. Although there were bits and parts that excited, Les Bleus' victory left a bad taste in the mouths of Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois.
The Red Devils aces were not impressed by Deschamps' tactics in their encounter. While the 1998 champion did exhibit flare when going forward, they relied heavily on counter-attacks and were ready to park the bus and defend their lead after Samuel Umtiti headed in the only goal of the game.
Hazard was on fire in the first half but found it difficult to create chances in the second as France defended in numbers so as not to concede an equalizer. The Red Devils captain, alongside the goalkeeper, criticized the World Cup finalist for this and labeled them as being "anti-football".
"I prefer to lose with this Belgium than win with that France," the attacker said after the game, as per the Mirror.
Courtois held a similar opinion as his Chelsea team-mate, telling beIN Sports: "I wouldn't say the team in front of us was better than us.
"The team in front of us has defended well with 11 players 35 meters before their goal. And they've done this the whole tournament. Against Uruguay, they score with a free kick. Today a goal from a corner. Pity, but that's football."
Thibaut Courtois: "I'd have preferred to lose to Brazil in the quarter finals, at least that was a team that wanted to play football. France are just an anti-football team".— SPORF (@Sporf) July 11, 2018
Eden Hazard: "I prefer to lose with this Belgium than win with that France".
Shots Fired. pic.twitter.com/3dHtKhReG3
This criticism of Deschamps and his tactics is nothing new. Many have blasted him for holding back the nation's talented attackers from expressing themselves with his pragmatic and often constrained approach.
Nonetheless, the manager with that approach could be the man to lead France to a second World Cup title, having been part of their first win as a player. It should also not be forgotten that he came achingly close to winning Euro 2016, losing 1-0 to Portugal in the final.
As for the final in Russia, Mbappe and Co. will the favorite regardless of the negative sentiments directed at their tactician. They will face either Croatia or England knowing they are only 90 minutes away from glory.