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?
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform