France booked their place in the World Cup final and Tottenham Hotspur captain Hugo Lloris played a key role in getting them there.
While England fans are currently waiting anxiously to find out whether Gareth Southgate’s men will be able to book a place in Sunday’s World Cup final, France can begin to prepare for Moscow – and while it was Samuel Umtiti who scored the goal that saw off Belgium on Tuesday, it was Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris who had a massive hand in sending Les Bleus to the final.
Lloris was superb against Roberto Martinez’s men and one piece of brilliance from the Spurs star in particular is likely to be remembered as a key moment in the game as many in the stadium and watching at home would have been forgiven for thinking that Belgium were milliseconds away from taking the lead.
The Belgians had a first-half corner and the ball found its way to Toby Alderweireld just inside the box after a touch from Marouane Fellaini. Instinctively, the defender hit a first-time shot and it seemed destined for the net until Lloris produced the kind of save that Alderweireld is normally hugely grateful to see.
Somehow, the Frenchman managed the claw the ball round the post when it seemed to already be behind him to thwart his Spurs teammate and keep the game goalless. And the images below help illustrate just how incredible a moment it was.
It proved to be a massive save that gave France the platform to go on and score the winner in the early stages of the second-half. So when the likes of Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen reflect on their agonising exit, they would certainly be forgiven for feeling that the brilliance that they often see from their Spurs teammate was a key reason.
Here are some of the images that perhaps best capture Lloris’ stunning save…