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Chelsea's Malouda defends Henry after hand-ball shocker

Chelsea winger Florent Malouda defended France after Thierry Henry's handball helped them end the Republic of Ireland's World Cup dream.

Barcelona striker Henry clearly handled the ball before setting up his former Arsenal team-mate William Gallas to head Les Bleus into the finals in South Africa next summer.

Robbie Keane's goal had earlier cancelled out Nicolas Anelka's first-leg strike to take the tie into extra time.

Malouda defended Henry over the incident, but insisted on Sky Sports: "I didn't see it - I was really far (away).

"I took the free-kick - but I could see from the reactions that there was a problem.

"He (Henry) tried to score and maybe the ball touched his hand - the referee didn't see it, we have to see on the replay if there was a hand.

"Tonight we are really happy because we have reached the World Cup but we think about the Irish - it was really unlucky for them."

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