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Platini inspires French rout against Belgium

Published: Saturday 4 October 2003, 13.55CET
France 5-0 Belgium
Captain Michel Platini scored a hat-trick as the tournament hosts moved up a gear with an emphatic victory against the 1980 runners-up.
Platini inspires French rout against Belgium
Michel Platini (right) scored three goals against Belgium ©Getty Images
Published: Saturday 4 October 2003, 13.55CET

Platini inspires French rout against Belgium

France 5-0 Belgium
Captain Michel Platini scored a hat-trick as the tournament hosts moved up a gear with an emphatic victory against the 1980 runners-up.

Scorer of the only goal in France's opener, captain Michel Platini once again stole the show in his country's 5-0 defeat of Belgium.

Les Bleus, fielding a five-man midfield in the absence of the suspended Manuel Amoros, overwhelmed Belgium in Nantes. Platini was the main instigator, running riot on either wing having given his team the lead after just four minutes. Patrick Battiston's fearsome free-kick cannoned off the frame of Jean-Marie Pfaff's goal but the French captain was on hand to calmly collect the rebound and finish.

It may have been Platini who stole the headlines, but Alain Giresse once more helped to pull the strings. It was he who added France's second just after the half-hour, scoring with a neat chip after a one-two with Jean Tigana.

A splendidly effective player, Giresse played the role of creator for France's next, providing the cross for Luis Fernandez to head past Pfaff just prior to half-time. Platini made it 4-0 with an emphatic penalty with 16 minutes remaining and completed the scoring with his hat-trick goal a minute from time, deftly heading in Giresse's delivery.

Michael de Wolf hit a post and Erwin Vandenbergh should have registered with a header, but Belgium could not cope. They could at least draw comfort from the knowledge they would not be the last team to struggle against France's majestic midfield.

Last updated: 04/01/12 22.56CET

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