World Cup 2018, France 1-0 Peru: 3 things that went right for France
After narrowly stumbling past Australia in the first round of fixtures of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the intimidating French side took on Peru in a game that was capable of sending them into the round of 16 despite having a game to spare.
Didier Deschamps' men were touted to be favourites to win the tournament before the start, but their match against Australia proved that to be favourites, you need more than just big names.
Eyeing nothing but a win, France entered last night's match having never lost against a CONMEBOL side since 1978, and they needed to keep that stat intact. Despite a bright start from Peru, France eventually wrestled back control of the game before Kylian Mbappe gave them the invaluable lead in the 34th minute.
Again, Peru started off the second half in threatening fashion but failed to convert any of their chances as France eventually ended the tie with a crucial 1-0 victory. As Les Bleus sealed a spot for themselves in the next round, here is a look at 3 things that went right for them:
#3 Accurate personnel changes by Didier Deschamps
After receiving widespread criticism for the rather unimpressive performance against Australia, Didier Deschamps was bound to be under pressure before the start of last night's encounter.
Naturally, the French manager was expected to make a few changes and boy did he get them right. Switching from a 4-3-3 formation that he fielded against the Socceroos, Deschamps brought back Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud to ease some pressure off of Antoine Griezmann.
He also reinstated Blaise Matuidi into the midfield in place of Corentin Tolisso, thus handing Paul Pogba a bit more freedom to create. The results were there to see as France ostensibly put in a more impressive and fluid performance last night as compared to the one they displayed against Australia.
Trial and error was always going to be the only way of finding the right fit. While their performance can further improve, this does seem to be the right starting 11 and Deschamps might just field the same side in France's upcoming last group stage game against dangerous-looking Denmark.
Now, last night's performance may have been a shade better than the one against Australia, but for a side like France, if they are to seriously contend for the trophy, their performances will have to improve a lot more.