Sunday 16 December 2018

Hugo Lloris demands improved performance from France as he reaches milestone

The Tottenham goalkeeper is set to win his 100th cap.

Hugo Lloris made his international debut in 2008 (Mike Egerton/PA)
Hugo Lloris made his international debut in 2008 (Mike Egerton/PA)

By Press Association Sport staff

Captain Hugo Lloris admits France will struggle to beat Peru if they replicate their opening World Cup performance.

Les Bleus relied on a late own goal as they scraped to an unconvincing 2-1 win over Australia on Saturday.

Didier Deschamps’s side continue their Group C campaign on Thursday, when they face the South Americans in Ekaterinburg.

Coach Didier Deschamps captained France to the 1998 World Cup (Nick Potts/PA)

And goalkeeper Lloris, who will win his 100th cap in the match, knows they must produce an improved display.

“There is always pressure for all matches, especially when we started the World Cup,” said the Tottenham player at his pre-match press conference.

“But this is when you have to go beyond your own capacities as a competitor.

Hugo Lloris was beaten by Mile Jedinak’s penalty against Australia (Darko Bandic/AP)

“Tomorrow is going to be a difficult match; if we do not raise our quality level, we are going to have some difficulties.

“Peru are a quality team, a difficult team to beat. We know that the players are committed to playing for their country.

“It is their last chance to go through the group stages so they are going to give everything and we are going to have to raise our quality level so we can get the three points.”

History was made in France’s opener when they benefited from the first use of VAR at a World Cup.

Antoine Griezmann put them ahead from the penalty spot after referee Andres Cunha adjudged he had been fouled by Joshua Risdon having watched replays at the side of the pitch.

Atletico Madrid forward Griezmann, the top scorer at Euro 2016, was later substituted due to an ankle injury but coach Deschamps said the player has regained fitness.

Antoine Griezmann, right, has trained following an ankle issue (David Vincent/AP)

“There was a little bit of concern with one of his ankles because it was a little bit swollen after the match but he has started the training sessions as per usual,” said Deschamps.

“He wasn’t at his best during the match, he had heavy legs, it can happen, but it wasn’t less decisive because he did score the goal.

“After that I decided to get him out of the pitch so that we could have something extra that he was not able to give.

“When it came to the final result, it did not have any consequences.”

Peru lost their opening game to Denmark (Gregorio Borgia/AP)

Peru, playing at a World Cup for the first time since 1982, suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to Denmark in their opening match and need to pick up a result to extend their stay in Russia.

Coach Ricardo Gareca said: “The most important thing that Peru have is the team. We are here at the World Cup because of that.”

The Argentinian added: “France have their own identity, they can win the World Cup, they can adapt to every team they play against.

“They’re one of the favourites but we can be a tough opponent. We have our own style and will not let France distract us.”

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