July 17 – Croatia’s Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has poured out his heart over their World Cup final defeat saying his side “played much better football” than France.
Croatia took maximum points in the group stage and looked the better team for large parts of Sunday’s final and Lovren criticised the approach taken by Didier Deschamps’ team.
“I think we have been better today and overall we have been better,” he said. “France didn’t play football. They waited for their chance and they scored. They had their one tactic and you have to respect it. They played every game of the tournament like that.”
“I am proud of what we achieved, second in the world. I’m proud of everyone and for the country. We have regrets now when we look at decisions but it doesn’t make sense anymore.
Lovren was equally scathing about the officiating, in particular the free kick and penalty decisions that went France’s way, the latter after invoking VAR when a flick-on from Samuel Umtiti struck the left arm of Ivan Perisic in the Croatia area.
“France have been one of the favourites to win the World Cup and they did. But nobody understands the rules. Our guy couldn’t possibly react so why did he give it?”
Asked if VAR needs more work, Lovren said: “Definitely. Of course it needs to improve. Sometimes it is a penalty and sometimes not. I really don’t understand. So everything is still on the ref. A lot of people say it’s not a penalty but what can we do now?”
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