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Varane and France Advance To Round of 16 With 1-0 Win Over Peru

Peru is now eliminated.

France v Australia: Group C - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Much like the Spain-Iran match yesterday, France-Peru didn’t feature many goals between the two sides either. It was more of a defensive victory for France as that is what they seemed to focus on during the course of the match. Peru actually held the possession percentage overall.

Raphael Varane was again a stalwart for the French defense next to Samuel Umtiti. There was one cross chance from Peru that he should have controlled, but overall he was quite impressive again. It seemed that the defense was going to be relied on heavily from the first whistle given the starting lineup Didier Deschamps fielded.

France really hasn’t impressed as of yet, a large part of that seems to be because Deschamps is favoring defensive tactics. Pogba is playing much too deep in the midfield for the type of midfielder he is, though he did lead help greatly lead to the lone goal in the match. Griezmann and Giroud really weren’t factors in this match either; Mbappe truly looked like the only offensive threat out there and was able to get his goal.

With his first World Cup goal, Kylian Mbappe becomes the youngest French footballer to score in the World Cup at just 19 years old. Only two other times a teenager has scored, Divock Origi in 2014 and Pelé in 1958.

Defensively, France is among the best with Varane, Umtiti, and Kante. With the amount of talent France has, however, they still aren’t scoring goals. Their attack should be much better than it is and yet they’re still struggling against weaker sides. Deschamps has to fix his structure; Lemar needs to be on the left instead of a defensive midfielder in Matuidi, Pavard created nothing as a right back, and Pogba is playing too deep.

While the attack was lackluster, the defense really did shine. They were able to limit Peru’s chances, the closest Peru got was striking the outer corner of the post. Varane is clearly the best defender on the team and he is really going to make himself known even more at the World Cup.

Varane and France will be back on action on Tuesday against Denmark, though France is already advancing. If France can add some goals to their great defense, they will be a force to be reckoned with in the knockout stage.

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