Baffling, dull and, ultimately, wrong.

But enough about every single prediction I've made at this increasingly bonkers World Cup, can we have a word about the holier-than-thou reaction in certain quarters to Argentina's quarter-final win over the Netherlands? Actually, I did predict one thing, right around the time Leandro Paredes sparked mayhem in rattling a ball in the direction of the Dutch dugout - that it would not be long until we heard 'well, these are scenes we don't want to see'.

Unimpressed BBC commentator Jonathan Pearce duly obliged with something to that effect, pontificating about "spoiling the occasion"; Football Focus host Dan Walker bemoaned a "lack of class"; one match report in a national English publication read as though penned by shrieking reverend's wife Helen Lovejoy from The Simpsons; and a viral social media post carrying a photo of the Argentines taunting their crestfallen opponents - who had given out more than their fair share themselves - was captioned as "everything wrong with football". Give it a rest, lads, please.

Personally, for my clearly uncouth and uncultured self, what unfolded at the Lusail Stadium on Friday night was everything you want to see in an incredibly high stakes football match. Argentina and the Netherlands have a long history at the World Cup and the tone was set well before kick-off with some mischievous Louis van Gaal comments about Lionel Messi's off-ball contribution that were never going to go unnoticed. Basically, if you didn't expect a bit of needle then you probably weren't paying much attention. And, even if you did, what was really so reprehensible about what unfolded?

The match was meandering towards a comfortable Argentina victory before Paredes had his rush of blood, somehow only managing to wallop a dugout chair, and Virgil van Dijk charged in to deck him in response. After that, we get Lautaro Martinez being harassed and harangued by angry Dutchmen as he steps up to kick the most significant ball of his career, followed by the greatest footballer in history halting a live TV interview to abuse a striker who scored two goals for Burnley with patter straight off the school playground. Somewhere among all this, a football match broke out, featuring a classic assist from Messi and a stirring Dutch comeback facilitated by manager Louis van Gaal going full "bring on a big fella and get it in the mixer". I just can't get behind the idea all this could be construed as anything other than a brilliant spectacle.

Plenty others agreed, mind you, and there was a distinct whiff of Fathers Ted and Dougal protesting the Passion of Saint Tibulus while the rest of Craggy Island piles into the cinema about the outcry. Down with this sort of thing? Nah, more of it, please. There's something hilariously captivating about elite athletes occasionally behaving in a manner totally unbefitting of their reputation and talent, as though in the same way the rest of us want to be them, they themselves are constantly suppressing their inner Sunday League loose cannon.

Maybe it's just where my Scottish football-frazzled brain is at odds with the Very Serious element of football punditry/journalism/social media, but there's nothing wrong with enjoying a bit of this every once in a while, because there's obviously no way such scenes are going to happen every game. Of course, if some of those dire, goalless, but impeccably politely contested, group games were more your bag, fair enough. But having sat through England 0-0 USA, among others, just a few weeks ago, I'm going to enjoy two-and-a-bit hours of pandemonium while I can. It was certainly a welcome prelude to Lee Dixon moping his way through England's defeat to France on ITV, at least.

As a horribly bitter Scot, I'll confess to finding it terribly difficult to appreciate the string of upsets that have brought this tournament to life over the past few weeks, as each one felt like a boost to England's chances of going all the way. That they bowed out against the French, despite arguably being the better side against the reigning world champions, means focus can turn to a fresh dilemma. Messi's quest to finally capture the one trophy which has escaped him over an illustrious career, in what will surely be his last chance to do so, has been the obvious story for the neutral to get behind. But it's just becoming increasingly difficult to root for anyone but Morocco, eh?

Youssef En-Nesyri's first-half goal was enough to send Portugal tumbling out and ensure the World Cup has an African team in the last four for the first time in history. A string of near misses down the years, including from the likes of Cameroon and Senegal, have elevated the elusive feat to near-mythical and the outpouring of emotion from Moroccan players and fans when the final whistle sounded immediately cemented itself as one of the great all-time moments in this competition, regardless of what comes next.

It's the world champions up next for Walid Regragui's side, and despite their continual defiance of the odds, you do suspect an ever-growing injury list might finally be their undoing. France have been impressively efficient in getting to this stage with several absentees of their own - and it's not just because their squad depth is borderline unfair. There's been an air of Real Madrid in the Champions League about Didier Deschamps' team, failing to really sparkle against Poland and England and yet they found a way to get over the line, albeit with some assistance from Harry Kane sending a penalty into the earth's orbit. It's one of football's great intangibles, but with that 2018 success still relatively in the memory, France simply 'know how to win', and that makes them the cerebral choice to do so again.

But, in Messi, Argentina have a man who has built his career on defying all logic.