Paul Pogba sent another message to his critics with a rampant first half performance for France in their 1-0 win over Peru in Yekaterinburg on Thursday.
The Frenchman played a fundamental role in his side’s only goal of the game, winning the ball back high up the pitch and supplying a tantalising through ball to Olivier Giroud, whose deflected strike was turned home by Kylian Mbappe.
It was a controlled, powerful performance from the Frenchman, who used the ball well during the opening stages and prevented Peru from making any tangible progress going forward.
Pogba in the first half alone won the ball back seven times, demonstrating a form of tenacity in the middle often under-appreciated by supporters
Paul Pogba managed 7 ball recoveries in 45 minutes against Peru, that’s what you call a José Mourinho player. When you listen to great people, you accomplish great things. He’s also been involved in every goal so far!!
— ManUnitedMedia (@ManUnitedMedia) June 21, 2018
The second half was a mundane affair as France looked to preserve their advantage rather than build on it, with Pogba unable to bring the ball up the pitch since emphasis had switched on maintaining shape over building up the pitch.
Nevertheless, it was job done for Pogba and France. He only needed a 30 minute spell to inflict the necessary damage needed to put France ahead and give them control in the game. Attention will now focus on Denmark, against whom they simply need to avoid defeat to qualify as group winners.