James: I tried to miss Anelka but he was too quick for me

Last updated at 11:40 27 March 2008


England goalkeeper David James said he could do

little to get out of the way of

Nicolas Anelka in the one decisive

moment at the Stade de France.

James clattered into the France striker

on 30 minutes and Franck Ribery

dispatched the subsequent penalty

for the only goal of the game.

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Anelka and James

Up and over: Nicolas Anelka goes flying under the challenge of David James, handing France their penalty winner

But James, who has been in

fantastic form for Pompey as they

reached the FA Cup semi-finals

this season, insisted he wasn't to

blame.

He said: “I realised that I wasn't

going to get the ball first and I

actually tried not to go into him

[Anelka] and get out of the way.

“Sadly, he knocked the ball

past me and I ran into him.”

James suffered a similar

torment at Euro 2004 in

Portugal when England lost

their opening match of the

tournament 2-1 to the French.

Then, the keeper brought

down Thierry Henry and

Zinedine Zidane hit the

winning spot-kick.

James added: “As a

goalkeeper you feel slightly

hard done by but if it had

been one of our

forwards against them

then you would have

expected a penalty.”

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