France booked their spot in the Round of 16 with an historic Kylian Mbappé goal, but Peru were unfortunate and dominated the second half.
Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi stepped into the starting XI after a hard-fought opening win over Australia, somewhat surprisingly on the left wing, while Peru striker Paulo Guerrero was finally fit to lead the line.
Les Bleus surged forward immediately, Kylian Mbappé penalty appeals waved away as he went down in the box, then Antoine Griezmann’s shot was parried by the knees of goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.
Peru had most of the crowd behind them and nearly broke through, Hugo Lloris keeping out Guerrero from close range, but France opened the scoring when a deflected Olivier Giroud effort turned into an assist for Mbappé. Aged 19 years and 183 days, he became the youngest ever France player to score at a major tournament.
Peru made a double change at half-time and came out fighting, as Aquino clipped the crossbar from distance, Andre Carrillo and Luis Advincula blasted just over.
Jefferson Farfan’s volley hit the side-netting and France were under so much pressure that Mbappé was accused of time-wasting as he shook everyone’s hand before his substitution.
Les Bleus ultimately clung on, but this performance will have done absolutely nothing to take the pressure off Didier Deschamps.
France 1-0 Peru
Mbappé 34 (F)
France: Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez; Pogba (Nzonzi 89), Kante; Mbappé (Dembele 75), Griezmann (Fekir 79), Matuidi; Giroud
Peru: Gallese; Advincula, Ramos, Rodriguez (Santamaria 46), Trauco; Aquino, Yotun (Farfan 46); Carrillo, Cueva, Flores; Guerrero
Ref: Mohammed (UAE)
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/