International

Saliba reaches quarters after France beat Belgium

William Saliba following France's win against Belgium

Two Gunners went head-to-head for a spot in the Euro 2024 quarter-finals, and it was William Saliba who was left celebrating after France beat Leandro Trossard’s Belgium 1-0.

Our defender once again started for Les Bleus and played the full 90 minutes for the fourth game in succession in Germany, which was settled thanks to a Jan Vertonghen own goal five minutes from time.

Leandro had been dropped to the bench for the game, where he remained throughout despite his side struggling in front of goal in a tight affair with few chances for either side. That means his involvement at these finals is over, having played 171 minutes for the Red Devils during the group stage.

William meanwhile won his 19th cap in Dusseldorf, and looks set to make that 20 against Portugal on Friday in the last-eight clash after they progressed courtesy of a penalty shootout win against Slovenia.

He kept his third clean sheet of the finals, and was widely praised for his shackling of Romelu Lukaku throughout, limiting Belgium’s main marksman to just 20 touches.

Coach Didier Deschamps was thrilled with his backline, stating: “Defensive solidity is essential at this level. It is not just about defending well. There is also the use of the ball by starting from behind. They are gaining strength.

“Have you seen the clubs where they play? It is Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern, AC Milan… I have very high-level players. I can count on the whole group.”

The result means there are still six Gunners hoping to lift the trophy. Kai Havertz’s Germany will face David Raya’s Spain in one of the quarter-finals, while England trio Declan Rice, Bukayo Saka and Aaron Ramsdale will face Switzerland.

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