England might have avoided France game due to Portugal players' actions at Euro 2020

  • Kobe Tong

The ‘Group of Death’ at Euro 2020 certainly didn’t disappoint with its conclusion.

‘Group of Death’ concludes

It says everything that Portugal occupied every single position in the group from first to fourth throughout the absolute carnage that was Wednesday night’s fixtures in Munich and Budapest.

In the end, though, the form book came to pass with Hungary’s valiant efforts against Germany proving insufficient to save them from the elimination that many thought would be an inevitability.

However, Die Mannschaft can consider themselves lucky to have avoided a fall at the final hurdle, rescuing a point against the Hungarians courtesy of Leon Goretzka’s late equaliser.

Portugal 2-2 France & Germany 2-2 Hungary Highlights (Football Terrace)

England to face Germany

And all this drama was of particular interest to England who, upon topping Group D, knew that whoever finished second in the infamous ‘Group of Death’ would be their round of 16 opponents.

In the end, Germany proved to be the silver medalists, setting up a rerun of the 1966 World Cup final and Euro ’96 semi-final in which the Three Lions will fancy themselves to secure the win.

Besides, with Joachim Low’s men having looked so out of sorts in the Hungary draw, many fans might actually think that drawing Germany is more favourable than either Portugal or France.


Pepe and Patricio incident 

Well, hold that thought because what if we told you that a seemingly innocuous moment in the clash between those two nations might actually have saved England from a clash against France?

Yes, that’s right, put your tinfoil hats on and burrow down the rabbit hole with us because England fans might have Rui Patricio to thank for avoiding a game with the world champions on Tuesday.

And we say that because Patricio seemingly spurned the opportunity to save Karim Benzema’s penalty by way of ignoring Pepe who could be seen correctly predicting which way he would shoot.

[gmsStartingEleven url=”https://givemesport.starting11.co.uk/2020-09-05/”]

Having played together at Real Madrid, footage shows Pepe passionately appealing for Patricio to dive to his right-hand side, which ultimately fell on deaf ears despite being bang on the money.

And with Benzema’s strike not necessarily landing that far in the corner, there’s good reason to think that the Portugal shot-stopper would have made the save if he had listened to his teammate.

Don’t just take our word for it either because the fact that Pepe was so visibly annoyed with the Wolverhampton Wanderers man spoke volumes.


England vs France conspiracy theory

Therefore, if we imagine a world in which Benzema was denied from the penalty spot for the fourth time in a row for France, then it’s not outrageous to assume that Portugal would have won 2-1.

That would duly see Portugal top the group on six points by way of beating Hungary and France, while Les Bleus and Germany would sit on four points ahead of the plucky underdogs on just two.

And by way of France having beaten Germany 1-0 when they met on the opening day of the group, Didier Deschamps’ men would have finished second and faced a clash with England on Tuesday.


Euro 2020: News, Groups, Fixtures, Dates, Tickets, Odds And Everything You Need To Know

Are you still with us? Ok, it’s a little bit of a stretch, but it just goes to show how the tiniest of moments can have the biggest of impacts.

So, if you’re sitting down to watch England next week and think to yourself: ‘wow, it’s a good job we’re not playing France right now’, then perhaps thank Patricio for daring to ignore Pepe. Carnage.

1 of 20

Who did Rooney surpass to become England's record goalscorer?

News Now - Sport News