France 2 Nigeria 0: Player ratings as Arsenal’s Giroud struggles

France 2 Nigeria 0: Player ratings as Paul Pogba and Joseph Yobo's own goal send Les Bleus through to the last eight

By Josh Nicholls
France
2
Nigeria
0

France

Hugo Lloris Never severely tested but collected crosses and made the odd save like the refined goalkeeper that he is. 7/10

Mathieu Debuchy Linked up well with Valbuena down the right at every possible opportunity and didn’t allow Nigeria danger-man Musa to have the influence he had against Argentina. 7

Patrice Evra Odemwingie and Moses caused him problems at times with their energy going forward, but Evra improved in the latter stages and had more of an impact going forward. 5

Raphael Varane Along with Koscielny, the Real Madrid man was solid and kept Emenike at arm’s length. 7

Laurent Koscielny Distributed the ball effectively, and helped protect his team from the threat of the attacking trio playing behind Emenike. 7

Yohan Cabaye Unspectacular anchoring the French midfield until his right-footed shot after 77 minutes cannoned off the crossbar as Les Bleus pushed for the winner. 6

Paul Pogba Always looked to get his side moving forward. He failed to produce the incisive pass his team-mates craved but he did conjure up the decisive finish to head his country in front as their pressure finally told. 7

Blaise Matuidi Seemed to be solar-powered as his penetrative runs from midfield in the sun of Brasilia were ceaseless and were often the catalyst to his side’s most dangerous attacks. But such forays were less frequent after the interval. 7

Mathieu Valbuena A key weapon in the French armoury. His pace and productivity down the right flank often backed up by Debuchy was crucial to the French forward line. The quality of his delivery from the right was demonstrated by his ball for the second goal. 8

Karim Benzema Cut a forlorn figure on the left but became a persistent threat when moved centrally playing neat one-two Greizmann, which saw him denied by a combination of Enyeama and Moses. 6

Olivier Giroud Struck a wasteful shot early on and was not on the same wavelength as his attacking counterparts. Withdrawn for Greizmann on the hour. 4

Substitutes:

Antoine Greizmann The Real Sociedad man offered natural width down the left and linked up well with Benzema to produce outstanding second-half chance. His part in the second goal which wrapped up the win was befitting of the contribution he made. 8

Moussa Sissoko N/A

Nigeria

Vincent Enyeama Produced solid saves to deny Pogba and Benzema but cost his team with erratic attempts to claim French crosses, which led to the crucial opening goal. 5

Efe Ambrose Looked capable when allowed to venture forward, which became a more regular occurrence as the match progressed, but struggled defensively after Greizmann’s introduction. 6

Juwon Oshaniwa Like his fellow full-back Ambrose, always willing to get forward and link up with the winger Musa stuck to the difficult task of trying to keep Valbuena quiet with varied degrees of success. 6

Joseph Yobo Made his 10th World Cup appearance, overtaking Jay Jay Okocha’s record of nine. Contributed a timely early clearance after Matiudi’s cut-back fell into a dangerous area. Was in the right place at the right time more often than not for the Super Eagles and did not deserve to score late own goal. 7

Kenneth Omeruo The 20-year-old from Chelsea showed admirable composure alongside the experienced Yobo, together they dealt with Giroud comfortably. However, was troubled once Benzema moved centrally. 6

John Obi Mikel Seems to take on more responsibility for his country than he does when playing for Chelsea, something aided by his increased license to go forward. Hit rasping shot just before half-time which Lloris got firm hands to. 7

Ogenyi Onazi Carried off on a stretcher early on after a tangle with Pogba following a 50/50 but returned to perform tidily in midfield only to be stretchered off again in the second half after Matuidi planted his studs into the Nigerian’s ankle. This time his departure from the pitch was final. 6

Ahmed Musa Nigeria’s star man against Argentina put in an excellent delivery for Emenike’s disallowed goal but he could not replicate such service when taking corner kicks. 5

Victor Moses Interchanged with Odemwingie from a central position to the right flank throughout seemed to have more joy when operating out wide. Bizarrely on the goal line to clear Benzema’s second-half shot. 7

Peter Odemwingie Stoke City’s fleet-footed forward was at the forefront of his team’s most promising attacks and his movement troubled Patrice Evra at times. 7

Emmanuel Emenike Was unfortunate to have his goal chalked off in the opening period as many officials would have given him the benefit of the doubt. The number nine was kept in check pretty well by Varane and Koscielny. 6

Substitutes:

Ruben Gabriel A replacement for the injured Onazi, but played the role with less distinction and could not stop France taking control. 4

Uche Nwofor N/A

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