Eden Hazard's response when asked about France's performance vs Belgium

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Belgium's Golden Generation have fallen short once again.

After exiting both the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 at the quarter-final stage, Belgium managed to go one further in Russia but were dumped out by France in the first semi-final.

Samuel Umtiti scored the only goal of the game courtesy of a glancing header from a corner.

France had chances to extend their lead, but were denied by the impressive Thibaut Courtois.

Belgium certainly had their opportunities, but Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku picked the wrong time to have serious off days.

Had it not been for the brilliance of Eden Hazard, though, the Red Devils would have struggled to impose themselves in an attacking sense.

Throughout the 90 minutes, Chelsea's main man was constantly probing and putting Les Bleus on the back foot.

And Hazard made sure he left the tournament with a bang courtesy of his post-match comments about France.

He said to reporters: “I prefer to lose with this Belgium than win with that France.”

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Would you like some salt with that, Eden?

Hazard wasn't the only one who criticised Dider Deschamps' tactics, with Courtois adding his own salt to the situation.

“France have played anti-football," the goalkeeper said. "I have not yet experienced that a striker plays so far from goal. It’s their right to play like that... but it’s not nice to see.

“Not only the French tactics, but the referee... he didn’t call well at all.”

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Even De Bruyne got involved, but the Manchester City playmaker took a classier approach than his international colleagues.

“Have I been annoyed by France? No, I play at City," he said.

"I play against teams that play so defensively 90% of the time. That is football. What they do, they do well. Both teams have had opportunities. That one goal makes the difference.”

All three raise a valid point, but what did they expect, France to play into their hands?

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Les Bleus showed elite organisation throughout and countered superbly, creating the better chances.

It might not have been chaotic entertainment, but it was game management of the highest order.

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