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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Kieran King

Graeme Souness "gobsmacked" as he lays into Argentina and makes England point

Graeme Souness blasted Argentina's hunger and desire after they suffered a shock World Cup defeat at the hands of minnows Saudi Arabia - and pointed out their performance was good news for England's hopes.

Lionel Scaloni's side took the lead within the opening quarter of an hour when Lionel Messi slotted home from the penalty spot after Leandro Paredes had been brought down inside the area. Argentina dominated the remainder the first-half and saw three goals ruled out for offside, with Messi denied once while Lautaro Martinez had two chalked off.

But the game turned on its head at the start of the second-half as the Green Falcons struck twice within five minutes. Firstly, Salah Al-Shehri worked half a yard of space before tucking the ball into the bottom corner beyond Emiliano Martinez. Then, Salem Al-Dawsari spectacularly curled an effort from the edge of the box into the top corner.

It was a result that shocked the world and Souness was also "gobsmacked", although he focused his attention on Argentina's performance. Scaloni's side struggled to cope with Saudis' high press and high line, which caused them all kinds of problems, with Messi hardly having a kick in the second-half.

Souness told ITV : "I am gobsmacked, I have never witnessed an Argentinian team not be up for the cup, in terms of a physical encounter. They were wishy-washy today, the referee was obviously going to be lenient, Saudi Arabia were super aggressive, the referee let it go.

"At that point, Argentina have to say: 'We have to match this otherwise we’ll be in trouble.' That’s exactly what happened, I thought Argentina had another gear, they don’t have another gear.

Did Saudi Arabia deserve to beat Argentina? Let us know in the comments below!

Saleh Al-Shehri celebrates scoring for Saudi Arabia against Argentina (Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

"Unless they find a yard of aggression from somewhere, they can be rolled over. Really good news for England, if they have to meet them in the competition."

Meanwhile, Roy Keane decided to praise the Green Falcons for their display and how they manage to stifle Argentina throughout. It is arguably the greatest result in Saudis' history, with Herve Renard's side ranked 51st in the world - 48 places behind Argentina. The former Manchester United man did, however, call the South Americans "dreadful".

Keane said: "Absolutely amazing, 1-0 down you’re thinking they’re hanging in there, surviving, on the ropes.

"They get a goal back and went on to win the game but it’s a great reminder to anybody watching the game of football, if you think you can turn up with just your quality to get you over the line, you’re sadly mistaken. Argentina really dreadful second-half, all credit to Saudi Arabia, stayed in the game, competed, amazing result."

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