Talking Points: Is Mbappe the missing link in France's jigsaw puzzle?
Written by: Atrayo Bhattacharya
The striker became the youngster player to score in a World Cup for Les Bleus.
France registered a narrow 1-0 win over Peru as the Les Blues qualified for the knockout stages of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. A 34th-minute strike from France's youngest goalscorer, Kylian Mbappe proved to be the difference between the two sides. Peru came back into the game in the second half, but could not create enough chances to trouble the French defence.
1. Peru missed killer-instinct in the final third
The Latinos have impressed with their quick counter-attacks and brisk wing-play. But, Los Incas have missed the killer-instinct in front of goal.
Captain and record goalscorer Paulo Guerrero who was finally allowed to feature in the tournament has not found his goalscoring boots and even the other Peruvian forwards have kept on squandering chances in front of goal for the second time running.
2. Mbappe can be the ace up France's sleeve
The Paris Saint-Germain teenager was a nightmare for the Peruvian defence as he kept on pushing them back and dropping in holes between the back four. His first half strike proved to be the difference between the two sides in the end.
The 19-year-old forward kept troubling the Peruvian backline and is definitely one for the future for Les Blues.
3. Deschamps is trusting young full-backs Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard over experienced ones.
Not many people knew Benjamin Pavard until the start of the World Cup, but manager Didier Deschamps decision to start with the unheralded Stuttgart defender has been a masterstroke.
There were questions over Deschamps' selection as he went with the young full-back duo in comparison too the more renowned pair of Djibril Sidibe and Bernard Mendy. But, with time he has proved his critics wrong as Pavard along with Lucas Hernandez have been very solid at the back. Their balance in attack and defence and their exquisite positional sense allowed no room whatsoever for the Peruvian wingers.
4. France not looking as convincing as they should
Les Blues are one of the favourites to lift the coveted crown, but they haven't been at their best yet. They did not look their best against Australia and even on Thursday they just about got the job done with a 1-0 scoreline.
Although, they have won both their matches, they have not been comfortable in doing so. Maybe Deschamps and his men are keeping the best for the business end of the tournament. But, Les Blues will very soon face tougher opposition and they will want their performances to improve as soon as possible.
5. Despite being out of the tournament, Peru have given a good account of themselves
The Latinos came a long way from home and will definitely be disappointed as they are out of the tournament on the back of consecutive defeats.
But, they should take enough heart and inspiration from the brand of football they played on both occasions. They lacked a clinical finisher in the final third as they kept squandering chances in both their matches.
Published: Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:01 AM IST