They may have won in white, but ‘Les Bleus’ will play in the World Cup semi-finals as France were 2-0 winners over Uruguay, Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann with the goals.

The South Americans were dealt a serious blow before a ball had been kicked in Nizhny Novgorod. Their Round of 16 hero Edinson Cavani hobbled off in their win over Portugal, he was unable to recover in time leaving Luis Suarez without his partner in crime.

Despite this, Uruguay started the stronger, tenacious in their tackling and pressing with France struggling to break through the lines. From Diego Laxalt up to Christian Stuani, they were relentless in closing down their opponents.

The one-time France cut open their tight rear-guard, Kylian Mbappe miss-timed a header not knowing he was completely free in the penalty area.

A set piece looked like being the route to goal for both, before Hugo Lloris unbelievably denied Uruguay, the Europeans found a way through.

A clever stutter from Antoine Griezmann on taking a free kick gave Raphael Varane a vital half-yard on his marker, when it was taken he glanced the ball into the far corner, minutes before half-time.

For all the marvels paid to the Uruguayan centre halves, it a French defender who was taking the plaudits now.

Now, that Lloris save. A set piece down the other end found Martin Caceres’ head, it was destined for the corner but Lloris somehow got down to it, save of the tournament.

The second half saw ‘Les Bleus’ start clicking into gear with Pogba and Griezmann becoming more and more influential. It was the former who found the latter on 61 minutes, but the focus will be on Fernando Muslera who inexplicably parried Griezmann’s shot in.

‘La Celeste’ grew frustrated and when Mbappe decided a Cruyff flick pass would be nice, that set off a furious reaction and a flailing arm from Cristian Rodriguez. The commotion brought anger from the Uruguayans with their exit from the World Cup on the horizon.

It wasn’t as free-flowing and explosive as their 4-3 beating of Argentina, but it was professional, resolute and in the end dominating performance from France. But their toughest test will be the semi-final and the task of taking on Brazil or Belgium.

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