<
>

Lloris' wonder save earns 8/10 for France in World Cup win over Uruguay

France are into the World Cup semifinals for the sixth time after a disciplined 2-0 win over Uruguay in Nizhny Novgorod on goals from Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann.

Positives

The French are into the semis, which was the aim at the start of the World Cup, so now they have made tangible progress and can face Brazil or Belgium in the last four without being weighed down by expectations.

It was a professional performance from Les Bleus as they dominated a tough Uruguay side, which reflected well on Didier Deschamps' preparation for the clash.

They might not have been as impressive going forward, but France were better at the back against La Celeste than they were against Argentina and Hugo Lloris once again earned a clean sheet with a fantastic save.

Negatives

There were few real negatives, because France won over 90 minutes and have reached the semifinals.

Perhaps that could have happened with greater style, or without Fernando Muslera's second-half error putting the match to bed, but it was still determined stuff.

Manager rating out of 10

8 -- Deschamps did very well. The French tactician's decision to go with Corentin Tolisso as suspended Blaise Matuidi's replacement was the right one, while every player was well-drilled and focused on their task.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Hugo Lloris, 8 -- His save from Martin Caceres shortly after Varane's opener was arguably the turning point of the match, denying Uruguay their best opportunity. Otherwise, he was assured between the sticks and made some other timely stops.

DF Benjamin Pavard, 7 -- Although not at the same level as his heroic display against Argentina, this was more disciplined, so in many ways, equally impressive.

DF Raphael Varane, 8 -- An absolute rock at the heart of the French defence over the 90 minutes, he deserved his goal and took it well when it came with one of the headed goals of the World Cup so far.

DF Samuel Umtiti, 6 -- Not as impressive as Varane, but still solid, he was quietly efficient at times and timed his interventions well.

DF Lucas Hernandez, 6 -- Deserving of his first-half booking, he was not as disciplined as Pavard on the right, but he also managed to get forward and contribute in attack.

MF N'Golo Kante, 8 -- Irrepressible. Once again, he underlined why he is so important to this France side by being everywhere in midfield and barely giving his Uruguayan counterparts room to breathe.

MF Corentin Tolisso, 5 -- Matuidi's replacement, he assisted Griezmann for the goal and even though he went close to making it 3-0 before he was substituted, he did impose himself enough. Expect Matuidi to be reinstated for the semifinal.

MF Paul Pogba, 7 -- It was another match that he grew into and after a slow start, he was one of the main protagonists by the end.

FW Antoine Griezmann, 7 -- A goal and an assist against the country that feels like a second home to him, he did not even celebrate his strike to make it 2-0 via Fernando Muslera's blunder. The Atletico Madrid man is growing into the World Cup and even if this was not his most complete performance, he did work very hard. His free-kick to tee up Varane's header was sublime.

FW Kylian Mbappe, 6 -- His explosive form from the last-16 win over Argentina was not matched, but he did worry the Uruguayan defence on occasions. Booked in the second half, he was lucky that it was not worse -- he must not make a habit of his second-half antics.

FW Olivier Giroud, 6 -- Like Griezmann, he worked tirelessly in attack and often did the dirty work that nobody else was capable of. He was not brilliant, but he was motivated and purposeful and that aided Deschamps' game plan.

Substitutes

MF Steven Nzonzi, N/R -- Sent on for the final 10 minutes in place of Tolisso, France had already won the match and the Uruguayans (particularly Jose Maria Gimenez) knew it.

FW Ousmane Dembele, N/R -- Given the final two minutes in place of Mbappe, despite the five of stoppage time, it was not really enough to get too involved.

FW Nabil Fekir, N/R -- Took Griezmann's place midway through extra time, which was barely long enough to get on the ball, let alone do anything purposeful with it.