Simon Turnbull: Domenech's pride of lions left looking sheepish

According to the astrological calculations in the Daily Record yesterday morning, it was supposed to be a good day for Leos. "Nobody should stop you from having your way," David Wells (of TV's Most Haunted) forecast - which must have made happy reading for Raymond Domenech over his porridge oats and croissants.

The head coach of France is such a firm believer in astrological matters he is said to have discarded Robert Pires because he distrusts the nature of Scorpios. It is just as well for Domenech that Thierry Henry happens to be a Leo. So was Napoleon Bonaparte, whose stars were presumably unpromisingly juxtaposed on the day of the Euro 1815 final at Waterloo.

Whether or not Walter Smith believes in the stars is unclear but he certainly didn't have any of the recognised football variety to help the Scots shackle Henry the Supposed Unstoppable last night. When the strains of "Flower of Scotland" gave way to the cold reality of the Group B Euro 2008 qualifier, it was left to the unheralded central defensive triumvirate of Steven Pressley, David Weir and Gary Caldwell to contain the elusive Arsenal man. Weir's last assignment was playing for Everton's reserves against Sheffield United's stiffs at the Halton Stadium in Widnes on Tuesday night.

"Whack him early," Alan Hansen had helpfully advised, and the first time Henry got into his smooth stride - effortlessly eluding Paul Hartley on the fringe of the Scotland penalty area - he was not so much whacked as crudely bumped to the ground by Caldwell. Not that it made much difference. Hampden heaved a sigh of relief as Henry's curling free-kick smacked off the inside of the far post, off the back of Craig Gordon's head, and thence to safety.

It was a close call, but as half-time approached France's No 12 was drifting increasingly wide in search of possession, holding up his hands in frustration when his colleagues failed to find him.

The signs were there that Smith and his underdogs were coming up with the answers to the question of "How do you solve a problem like Thierry?" There was even the surreal sound of the Scotland side being serenaded by "Doe, a deer" as they played out the closing minutes of the first-half cruising in the comfort zone.

It got even better after the break. As Henry continued to stall, Domenech sent on Louis Saha and Sylvain Wiltord in the hope of injecting a little va-va-voom. It came instead at the other end, Caldwell sweeping home Hartley's corner.

The stars, it transpired, were not the Gallic galacticos but the artisans in dark blue. In his time at Newcastle, Caldwell rarely made it past the reserves and was farmed out to Darlington, Hibs, Coventry and Derby. Bobby Robson kept getting him mixed up with his brother, Steve.

At Hampden last night the Celtic defender made a name for himself as the man directly responsible for introducing Henry and his colleagues with their Waterloo - the first defeat on foreign soil in a qualifying match for France since 1992. "We had a game plan; it worked really well," the match-winning hero said, modestly deflecting the acclaim.

Henry the great was not so unstoppable after all. Whatever was supposedly written in the stars, it was not the best of days for the Leo or for his Aquarian coach.

At the final whistle Domenech stood transfixed on the touchline. For the Eddie Jordan lookalike, last night at Hampden must have been something like the pits.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map