How Paolo Guerrero's desperation led to Peru's downfall

Frederick Clayton
The Telegraph
Peru's Paolo Guerrero reacts as he's show a yellow card during France vs Peru - How Paolo Guerrero's desperation led to Peru's downfall - REUTERS
Peru's Paolo Guerrero reacts as he's show a yellow card during France vs Peru - How Paolo Guerrero's desperation led to Peru's downfall - REUTERS

Peru fans waited more than a decade to see what their best player, Paolo Guerrero, could do on the world's biggest stage.

After a short cameo off the bench against Denmark, Guerreros's first full 90 minutes of this World Cup was anti-climactic to say the least, as opponents France forced Guerrero deeper down the field until he gave away the ball that led to their opening goal.

Peru's 4-2-3-1 formation is set up to provide Guerrero with as much service as possible from midfield, with Andre Carillo, Christian Cueva and Edison Flores all working to provide him the ball.

READ MORE: How Giroud brought a much-needed focus to France’s attack

READ MORE: French through to last 16 but show little sparkle as Peru go home

Peru manager Ricardo Gareca used this formation throughout qualifying, and reaped the rewards as Peru outscored Argentina and Colombia, with Guerrero scoring five goals. 

France force Guerrero deep

Usually, Guerrero prefers to stay as high up the field as possible, but the striker only managed five touches in the final third during the first half, as he was forced to drop deeper as France won the midfield battle.

Here are his first half touches against France:

<span>Paolo Guerrero's first half touches against France</span>
Paolo Guerrero's first half touches against France

Desperate to get involved, Guerrero was tackled by as he tried to take the ball through midfield, and Pogba's pass then found Giroud in the box. 

Here's how the goal was scored.

In the second half, France kept Peru chasing the ball in midfield and Guerrero was unable to play the role that has served him and his national side so well in the run up to the tournament.

Here are the average touch maps for France and Peru. Peru number 9, Guerrero, was not even the most advanced player in his team.

When Peru found themselves in possession, France restricted service to Guerrero by keeping their centre-backs either side of the forward, whilst their midfield also protected him.

<span>Guerrero isolated upfront as France defend well</span> <span>Credit: BBC </span>
Guerrero isolated upfront as France defend well Credit: BBC

As France sat back and soaked up pressure, Peru's main chances came through their wingers and Guerrero was limited to just two shots on target. The 1-0 defeat means that they are knocked out of the 2018 Russia World Cup.

At 32-years-old, Paolo Guerrero is unlikely to play in another major tournament. Peru, who waited 36 years to return to this tournament, will hope they don't have to wait as long for another opportunity to show the world just how good they can be.

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