France beat Spain 1-2 in the UEFA Nations League final. After a match dominated by Luis Enrique’s team, the ‘gala’ effectiveness sentenced the Spanish team. Oyarzábal was the first to score, but Benzema with a great goal, and then Mbappé in a controversial play, culminated the comeback for France.
San Siro hosted the final of the second edition of a national team tournament that brought the world of football to a standstill in October. The Spanish team played their first final since 2013, where they lost in the Confederations Cup against Brazil 3-0. On the other side of the field was a selection that had the objective of putting aside the bad feelings of the elimination in the last European Championship. Therefore, on the Italian turf, the consolidated talent of France faced off against the self-confidence of the youth of Spain.
Without clear occasions, but with Spanish dominance
Luis Enrique’s approach was clear. Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso waited behind for Deschamps’s pupils to come out to bite the bait. For this reason, Sarabia and Ferran Torres were waiting very open to wait, especially for the right side of the Spanish attack. It is true that neither Spain nor France showed their winning cards in the early stages of the match, but the ‘French’ team had no clear chance in the first forty-five minutes.
One of the proper names was Gavi. Luis Enrique once again gave him confidence in what was his second international appearance with Spain and showed him that he is a footballer with a great projection. The Andalusian midfielder was very comfortable at San Siro using his body to cover and drive the ball avoiding rival pressure. Pogba and Tchouameni, two burly midfielders, struggled to take the ball away from him. In addition, he also took the opportunity to get off the hook and serve as a link with the offensive line of the Spanish attack.
No clear occasion stands out from the first half, but the most accurate moment for France came in Benzema’s boots. Unai Simón was able to send the heads-up to a corner, but the play was offside. On the other side of the lawn, Rodri hung a ball around the half hour of shock and Koundé repelled it with his hand. After reviewing the VAR, it was decided not to award a penalty. Without any clear play to be highlighted by both teams, mentioning Varane’s injury in the first half, who had to be replaced by Upamecano.
The controversy closes the ephemeral celebration of Spain
After going through the dressing room tunnel, the script was the same, but with a different ending. One of the clearest was in Sarabia’s boots. After five minutes of the second half, the winger recovered from Koundé, ran quickly, but made the wrong decision and made it too long for Ferran. On the next play, France made a counterattack that caught Spain out of place, but Marcos Alonso was masterful on the cut to send the ball to a corner.
The first goal of the night was immediate and arrived for Luis Enrique’s team. A great pass from Busquets behind the defense was picked up by Oyarzabal. He took the ball, beat the defense and in hand-to-hand he defined perfectly to implant euphoria in Spain. However, it was short-lived due to a masterpiece by Karim Benzema. He quickly moved the ball from field to field and, from a corner of the area, put it in the squad. Unai Simón got to touch her, but it was early and it was not enough to get her out of the bottom of the tights.
The two goals in two minutes made those of Luis Enrique suffer because France took a step forward. Mbappé twice and also Pogba tested Unai, but without success for the Spanish benefit. Didier Deschamps’ side kept pushing and scored his second goal of the match.
A deep ball was touched by Eric García, but he had a hand in hand with Mbappé to define against the Spanish goal. The French forward was offside, but when he touched the Barça defender, the referee interpreted that he intervened in the play and gave the goal as valid, despite the position of the PSG forward.
Oyarzábal had the clearest at the end of the match, but Lloris made the stoppage of the match to avoid the Spanish draw. Finally, France took the UEFA Nations League and sentenced their comeback against Spain.