Euro 2008

France feel 4-1 was harsh

Les Bleus stars believe performance deserved more

Opening goal: Dirk Kuyt gives Holland the lead

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France are struggling to come to terms with their 4-1 defeat to Holland, but Thierry Henry insists the team's performance was not 'ridiculous'.

"It's far too heavy a defeat. Their success is insolent."

Sidney Govou after France's 4-1 defeat to Holland

Quotes of the week

After their shock 3-0 victory over Italy in the opening game, the Dutch produced another sublime performance to beat France by the same the margin and book their place in the quarter-finals.

But France believe the scoreline is an unfair reflection of the game, and they could have found a way back into it at 2-0 as Henry scored with a deft finish on 71 minutes.

However, Arjen Robben scored a spectacular goal less than one minute later to end hopes of a comeback before Wesley Sneijder produced a stunning last-minute strike to make it 4-1.

"It's hard because, on the commitment and playing level, we weren't ridiculous," Henry said. "But, at the end of the day, we were up against a Dutch side in great form.

"It was a bizarre game. I haven't had many like that in my career where we had lots of opportunities, we played well but at the end we lost 4-1."


Henry feels matters could have been different had referee Herbert Fandel awarded them a 50th-minute penalty against Blackburn's Andre Ooijer, which would have given them the opportunity to make it 1-1.

"I saw Ooijer touch the ball with his hand. He should have had a red card. Referees see things differently."

Goalkeeper Gregory Coupet, due to leave Lyon this summer after over 10 years at the club, admits it was a new low for him as a Les Bleus player, but insists the team should not be embarrassed by their display.

"It's not the end of the world, but it is a huge knock," he said. "I've never had such a reverse on the international scene.

"But we weren't humiliated - we had chances. As for them, they had an incredible success.

"Now we have to lean on the good atmosphere in the group in a bid to bounce back against Italy."


And Lyon attacker Sidney Govou, meanwhile, struggled to come to terms with what had happened.

"4-1 - it's far too heavy a defeat," he said. "Their success is insolent."