Just a quick note today: France needed its loss, even more than Mexico needed this win today. Les Bleus need to absolve themselves of the burden of guilt brought onto the team by Henry's handball, which kept a more deserving Ireland from participating in these World Cup matches.
Mexico showed they wanted this win, when 22 year old Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez - recently recruited by Manchester United (big, big news in these parts) - glided past France's back line to receive Marquez's long ball. Abidal was marking Hernandez - the photo shows him moving away from his goal, to force Hernandez offside. Video will show him stop in his tracks and throw up a hand for the call - which, quite rightly, never came.
To me, that said it all - Abidal stopped playing, he stood still where Hernandnez ran, called for the whistle rather than pressure the striker. I've fought strikers who've blown past me harder than that - huffing and puffing behind them, hoping the sound of my exploding lungs might distract them enough to send a shot wide.
Left alone, with no one breathing down his neck, Hernandez confidently handled Lloris, the 23 year old French keeper. And that was that.
French headlines are grim - So Foot declares the team to be "The Sum of Nothingness" - and I don't know who doesn't blame Domenech - he has drained all soul from this squad. Any hope for Les Bleus rests on turns of events that will only bring them out of the group with more bad karma - defeating the host country's squad, and depending on Mexico losing to Uruguay. It's hardly something to root for. And the French know it.