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Reds in Russia: Paul Pogba helps send France through to the last 16

The Manchester United midfielder guided France to a 1-0 win over Peru

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

It was a buzzing atmosphere at the Ekaterinburg Arena for the Group C match up of France and Peru. The Peruvian traveling supporters made their presence known, with players and fans passionately singing their national anthem with tremendous emotion.

That emotion seemed to carry Peru in the opening stages of the game. Looking for a win after their opening day loss to Denmark, Peru started brightly, enjoying more possession but were unable to connect successfully in the final third.

France's quality was evident. Manchester United's Paul Pogba hit an adventurous strike that narrowly evaded the frame of the goal, shaving the post. Peru looked to hit back with captain Paolo Guerrero forcing Hugo Lloris into a save.

Shortly after the half-hour mark, Pogba's beautifully intelligent pass to Kylian Mbappe looked to break the deadlock, but the 19-year-old talent was unable to convert the chance.

However, France's new found dominance in the game paid dividends. A minute later they got on the scoresheet. It was another slice of good fortune that gave France their opening goal – Paul Pogba’s determined defensive work in Peru’s half led to a turnover for the Manchester United midfielder, he slotted Olivier Giroud through on goal whose deflected shot fell kindly to a wide-open Mbappe for a tap-in.

The second-half was a strongly contested affair, and Pogba's influence in the game became more defensive. Didier Deschamps opted for a more cautious approach and sat back deeper in order to preserve the three points.

Pogba was booked later on and replaced by Steven N'Zonzi with little time left. Most notably was the addition of Chelsea forward Giroud to the starting line-up. The big target man seemed to link well with the Manchester United number six, as well as Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann.

France finish off their Group C campaign against Denmark next Tuesday at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium