France 1-0 Peru: 5 Talking Points, World Cup 2018
France came up against a Peruvian side which impressed on their debut in the competition against Denmark, in their second fixture of group C.
In the opener, Peru were more than deserving of the win on the night, as they'd kept bombarding the opposition goal right through the match.Denmark had nicked a goal on the counter and then sat back to invite future South American flair.
Peru provided that in plenty and came close on numerous occasions. Denmark had hung on for all three points denying the newcomers the perfect opening bow in the competition.
France, meanwhile, had been sluggish in their build-up to the competition with the USA, who themselves missed out on this year's World Cup, holding them to a 1-1 draw at home in their final warm-up game before boarding the plane to Russia.
Some of that sluggishness spilt over onto their opening fixture of the World Cup against Australia, who were looking good for a point against one of the favourites to win the competition, but with just ten minutes left on the clock, France knit together a neat move and Pobga tried to poke the ball toward the goal. In an attempt to clear the ball, Aziz Behich only managed to lob the ball into his own goal. That meant they had to better themselves in the next game.
So, there was always the feeling that this particular encounter in Group C would be exciting. As it turned out, a solitary goal from Kylian Mbappe meant that France secured progression into the knockout rounds with a game to go in Group C, but the game was anything but dull.
Here are the Talking Points:
#5 Deschamps rings in the changes
From the whispers coming out of the French camp, following their fortunate win in the opener, we could gather than Deschamps was likely to make a couple of changes which would alter the way his team approached the game. The star of the fixture against the Aussies, Pogba, retained his starting spot in midfield but Tolisso missed out with Blaise Matuidi coming into the space vacated by him.
Against Australia, Deschamps had decided to go with the three youngsters, possessing blistering pace, upfront: Dembele, Mbappe and Griezmann. They'd found it difficult to get going right through the match and, as a result, it was the substitute Olivier Giroud, who'd linked up magnificently with Pogba for the goal in the opener, that started the fixture against Peru. He also provided the French side with an alternative of whipping balls into the box, something he thrives on.
Matuidi failed to make much of an impression but Olivier Giroud proved why the manager was right in bringing him back into the fold as it was his deflected effort in the first half that was bundled in by the PSG man.