June 19, 2018 / 10:09 AM / a month ago

France to ramp up intensity against Peru, Varane says

ISTRA, Russia (Reuters) - France will have to step up the intensity of their defensive coverage when they face Peru in their second Group C match, defender Raphael Varane said on Tuesday.

Soccer Football - World Cup - France Press Conference - Istra, Russia - June 19, 2018 France's Raphael Varane during the press conference REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

France struggled to contain a tenacious Australian side in their first game, winning 2-1 with the help of the first World Cup penalty awarded after a video review and a deflected Paul Pogba goal.

“Some things were not done that well (in the first match),” Varane told a news conference. “We know that we will have to defend with more intensity, but mostly defend together.”

Varane warned that France should not be complacent against Peru on Thursday in Yekaterinburg, a team who looked lively despite losing 1-0 to Denmark.

“We’re still at the start of the competition,” Varane said. “We shouldn’t dramatize (the situation) even though we have to be aware of the things that didn’t go so well during the last match.”

The Real Madrid center back said the tough match against Australia had stirred discussion among the team on how to improve against Peru.

“We’ve made our assessments,” he said. “We have talked among players. We’ve talked to the coach. We know where we want to go for the next match.”

France have often struggled against South American sides, losing 3-2 at home to Colombia in a March friendly.

Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber,; Editing by Ed Osmond

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