World Cup 2022: 10 takeaways from Matchday 3

Day three of the FIFA World Cup 2022 was thrilling for some, but agonizing for Argentina fans as the South Americans went down to a shock 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia, one of the biggest upsets in the history of the competition.

There was plenty to take away from the four matches. Here are 10 takeaways for our OBSERVER ONLINE readers.

Argentina's forward #10 Lionel Messi reacts during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group C football match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha on November 22, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

1. Argentina still a ‘one-man’ squad

Despite Argentina boasting many “world class” players, the team is still heavily dependent on Lionel Messi. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner scored the Argentines’ only goal of the match by way of a penalty.

Argentina's Lionel Messi reacts during the World Cup group C football match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Tuesday, November 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

2. Messi not to blame for Argentina loss

With the likes of Angel di Maria, Julian Alvarez and Lautaro Martinez all producing lacklustre performances, it is unfair for Messi to shoulder the blame for the defeat. Messi needs help!

Saudi Arabia's Salem Al-Dawsari, second left, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the World Cup group C football match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Tuesday, November 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

3. Saudi Arabia produced a standout defensive display

The Saudis made the stacked Argentine frontline look average as they displayed a superb defensive performance. Argentina registered 10 offsides during the match and their lone goal came via a 10th minute penalty by Messi.

Denmark's Christian Eriksen walks off the pitch after the World Cup group D football match between Denmark and Tunisia, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Tuesday, November 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

4. Denmark lose dark horse status?

Denmark underwhelmed against the number 30 ranked Tunisia. Many had the Danes as dark horses entering the World Cup, but their opener may have led to second thoughts.

Tunisia's Hannibal Mejbri acknowledges the supporters after the World Cup group D football match between Denmark and Tunisia, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Tuesday, November 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

5. A good day for Arab teams

A team that arguably most people picked to finish bottom of Group D, Tunisia surprised their more fancied Danish opponents to earn a well-deserved point and round off an impressive day for Arabic teams following Saudi Arabia’s big upset over Argentina.

Mexico's goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa saves on a penalty kick by Poland's Robert Lewandowski during the World Cup group C football match between Mexico and Poland, at the Stadium 974 in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, November 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

6. You shall not pass! Ochoa comes up big, again, for Mexico

Guillermo Ochoa announced his presence in Qatar with a huge save of Polish striker Robert Lewandowski’s penalty, earning the North Americans a point in the tough Group C. The 37-year-old goalkeeper, called up for his fifth World Cup, remains Mexico’s ‘saviour’. It was an equally-superb performance against host Brazil in the 2014 staging that introduced him to the world.

Poland's Robert Lewandowski reacts after missing a penalty during the World Cup group C football match between Mexico and Poland, at the Stadium 974 in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, November 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

7. Poland miss opportunity against Mexico

Robert Lewandowski’s failure to capitalise on a penalty awarded in the 58th minute is a major blown opportunity in a group that is now even more competitive than originally predicted given Argentina’s loss against Saudi Arabia.

France's Olivier Giroud celebrate the win against Australia after the end of the World Cup group D football match between France and Australia, at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, Tuesday, November 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

8. France look convincing despite depleted squad

Title holders France made a big statement despite a slow start and heavily depleted squad, thrashing Australia 4-1. Les Bleus fell behind in the 9th minute after a goal by Craig Goodwin against the run of play. But the French showed their class with goals by Rabiot (27), Giroud (32, 71) and Mbappe (68) to secure an impressive win. France is missing top class players such as Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, Christopher Nkunku and Presnel Kimpembe.

France's Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring against Australia during the World Cup group D football match between France and Australia, at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, Tuesday, November 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

9. Kylian Mbappe produces lively performance for France

Despite starting slow, Mbappe quickly got into his groove to set up Giroud’s first goal, while grabbing one for himself after a superb cross by Ousmane Dembele. Prior to the tournament, many believed that the fate of the French’s World Cup campaign rested on the shoulders of Mbappe. Today he showed that he is up for the challenge.

France's Olivier Giroud celebrate the win against Australia after the end of the World Cup group D football match between France and Australia, at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, Tuesday, November 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

10. Giroud showing he’s like fine wine

Talisman Olivier Giroud equalled Thierry Henry’s all-time goalscoring record (51) for France in an emphatic performance against Australia. In doing so, the 36-year-old striker became the oldest French player to score a goal in the World Cup. Well done, Olivier!

Diwani Masters and Athena Clarke , OBSERVER Online reporters

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