Best images as Antoine Griezmann goal helps France reach semi-finals after 2-0 win over Uruguay

France booked their place in the semi-finals of World Cup 2018 as they beat Uruguay 2-0 at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.

A header in the 40th minute from Real Madrid star Rapahel Varane gave Didier Deschamps’ team the lead.

Antoine Griezmann then made it 2-0 as goalkeeper Fernando Muslera’s rare mistake took the game from Oscar Tabarez’s team, who missed their injured striker Edinson Cavani.

The Paris Saint-Germain star could not recover from his injury in time, as Uruguay went crashing out of the tournament.

France will now face Belgium or Brazil in the last-four.

Here, we take a look at some of the best images from the game.

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Luis Suarez's ineffective showing earns a 4 as Uruguay lose 2-0 to France in World Cup quarter-final

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Luis Suarez didn't live up to his reputation in the World Cup quarter-final.

Uruguay’s World Cup came to an end on Friday after a battling 2-0 loss to France in the quarter-final.

Hampered by the loss to injury of star striker Edinson Cavani, Oscar Tabarez’s men succumbed to goals from Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann to bow out.

Here’s a look at how the players rated.

STARTING XI

Fernando Muslera 4 – A forgettable night for the Uruguay goalkeeper as his clanger for France’s second goal killed all chances of a semi-final spot for his side.

Martin Caceres 6 – Had his hands full with Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe. But performed admirably as he could, though not well enough.

Jose Gimenez 6 – Conceding from a set piece will sting for Gimenez and his defensive partner Godin, especially as they should be well aware of the threat of La Liga rival Varane.

Diego Godin 6 – A rare occasion where Godin wasn’t the roaring, warrior defender the world is accustomed to seeing. Like Gimenez, he’ll be disappointed in conceding from a set piece.

Diego Laxalt 5 – Laxalt couldn’t handle Mbappe other than to foul him. The young Frenchman had the beating of him time and again.

Lucas Torreira 7 – Was arguably Uruguay’s best performer in this game. Proved a combative presence in midfield, though his attacking impact was limited.

Nahitan Nandez 5 – Wasteful in possession and offered little threat in attack. Nothing came off for Nandez in this game.

Matias Vecino 6 – Vecino delivered another average performance in midfield, completing a World Cup where he was serviceable but never quite had a telling impact.

Rodrigo Bentancur 5 – Struggled to get anything going from an attacking perspective, as he couldn’t link up with Suarez or Stuani often enough for Uruguay’s liking.

Luis Suarez 4 – Zero shots, zero touches in the opposition box for the first time ever in a World Cup game, this was a match to forget for Suarez, who clearly missed the presence of regular strike partner Cavani.

Christhian Stuani 5 – Thrust into a starting role by Cavani’s injury, Stuani couldn’t provide the same impact – which is understandable. A tough outing nonetheless.

SUBSTITUTES

Maxi Gomez 6 – The young attacker came on for Bentancur and played better than his colleague, although his impact was minimal.

Cristian Rodriguez 5 – Brought on for the ineffective Stuani but fared little better, as his efforts to serve as an adequate partner for Suarez came up short.

Jonathan Urretaviscaya 6 – The winger was brought on to provide greater width as Uruguay fruitlessly chased a goal, but to no avail.

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Didier Deschamps' France midfield not thrilling but starting to click as Uruguay are dispatched

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A thoroughly professional performance earned France a place in the World Cup semi-finals as they beat Uruguay 2-0.

Raphael Varane headed in the opener five minutes before half-time from Antoine Griezmann’s free-kick before the Atletico Madrid star added a second in the 61st minute when Fernando Muslera flapped at his effort from range.

Here’s a look at how they gained the tactical edge over their opponents.

BASIC STATS

Goals – 2

Shots – 11

Possession – 62%

Tackles – 18

Dribbles – 13

30-SECOND REPORT

The game got off to a surprisingly lively start but France were well equipped to deal with Uruguay’s attack, which was missing Edinson Cavani through injury. Deschamps’ side gradually took control of possession and the game.

With Luis Suarez dropping deep to receive the ball and Uruguay operating in a diamond midfield, France had little to deal with in terms of runners in behind. Les Bleus weren’t too adventurous themselves, trusting their forwards to hit the back of the net, making things increasingly comfortable at the back.

France's front-line did enough to win the game.

France’s front-line did enough to win the game.

TACTICAL TALKING POINT

Midfield dynamic

Deschamps has received plenty of criticism for some of the systems he’s deployed, including France’s 4-2-3-1 formation that was used again on Friday. To his credit though, he seems to have made a few tweaks that’s encouraged a bit more fluidity.

Despite Blaise Matuidi’s absence, Deschamps was determined to stick with the system and used Corentin Tolisso in his stead. The midfielder played on the left but often tucked in alongside N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba.

The set-up not only made them more formidable in the middle of the park but also allowed the Manchester United player to venture forward and link-up with the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Griezmann.

Didier Deschamps turned to Corentin Tolisso in Blaise Matuidi's absence.

Didier Deschamps turned to Corentin Tolisso in Blaise Matuidi’s absence.

VERDICT

Gareth Southgate has never been this popular and his stock will only rise if he takes England to the semi-finals. Deschamps has guided France to the final four, but you sense that’s only made him more tolerable. His team didn’t thrill against Uruguay, but there was a distinct upgrade in cohesion. It’s not pretty, but ever so efficient.

Rating – 6/10

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