France 2-1 Australia: Five things we learned

first_imgFrance began their World Cup campaign with a nervy, historic victory over Australia thanks to the first ever penalty awarded by video assistant referee (VAR).Here are five things we learned. FRANCE DESPERATE FOR A LONG RANGE GOALFrance managed to score two goals in a game where they were nowhere near their best. Interestingly, both goals were inside the penalty box. This means that France have still not scored a goal from outside the box since Thuram’s long-range effort in the 1998 World Cup. Can this be a cue to Pogba?WHO IS ON SET PIECE DUTY FOR FRANCE?Today we saw five different players playing set pieces for France. Mbappe played a free kick. Pogba played a free kick. Fekir played a free kick. Dembele played a corner and Griezmann played a corner. It looks like there is equality in the team when it comes to set plays because everyone capable got his chance. WE EXPECTED A GOALFEST BUT WE GOT A FOULFESTLloris had not kept a clean sheet in his last 6 games and the French attack were looking sharper than ever. It looked like it will be a match full of goals. Although we ended up with 3 goals, there were frequent breaks in play. There were 34 fouls in the game meaning there was a foul every 3 minutes. This prevented both teams from really building any attacking momentum.ALL TECHNOLOGY ON DECKThis is the first time we have witnessed Video Assistant Referees (VAR) in a World Cup and it hadn’t really been deployed in the previous matches. However, we saw the referee consult VAR before giving the penalty to France. The referee also needed the help of goal-line technology before allowing Pogba’s match-winner as the ball bounced off the crossbar.DESCHAMPS LOOKS VERY OPEN MINDED Deschamps did not hesitate when it came to making changes. He took off his star man Antoine Griezmann in the 70th minute when the game was tied at 1-1. The attackers of Les Bleus were very flat today and Deschamps was not afraid to make the changes as he also took off Dembele and Tolisso. His changes made a difference as new energy in the midfield drove France forward to get a winner. Maybe we may see a different starting XI against Peru.last_img read more